November 24, 2010

Scandinavian Stitches & Giveaway


Recently, I was given the chance to review Scandinavian Stitches by Finnish designer Kajsa Wikman. I met Kajsa four years ago through Flickr when her whimsical appliqués caught my eye and have been following her blog Syko ever since. I am surrounded by her handmade goodness every day. She has been a huge inspiration to me so I was very excited to talk about her first book!

I was pleasantly surprised to find more than just projects inside Kajsa's book. There are sections about inspiration, organization, choosing fabrics, designing your own appliqués, embellishing, appliqué techniques, and free-motion quilting. My favourite section in the book was "I just don't get it!" which lists problems and solutions to ease our frustration when things go awry! Thank you for reminding us that we're not the only ones who have quilting disasters! I was thrilled to find that the book reflects Kajsa's design style and her creations to the "tea"!!

The simple & playful projects encourage creative freedom making it easy for the quilter to add their own flair. Each pattern is easy to follow and accompanied by clear diagrams paired with full-size templates! I was so excited that I immediately whipped up a few of Kajsa's projects that I have been eyeing on flickr and her blog for years!

The first project that I absolutely had to make was the Syko Teapot pillow of course!!! The colours I used reminded me of the taste of Earl Grey tea so I decided to add some free-motion writing at the top. It looks great on my wicker chair in the tea room! I think the result is a very happy blend of Kajsa and Laurraine!


I have also had my eye on the Tomte Stuffies since last Christmas! A tomte is described in the book as "the Scandinavian relative of Santa’s little helper". My tomte is made using non-traditional Autumn colours! I added a flower to her hat and she happily helps me in my craftroom (an army of these little helpers could come in handy all year round)!


Kajsa's description of Autumn in Finland is also my experience of Autumn here in British Columbia. This quilt will remind me each day that my friend is not so far away! I had a few extra leaves so I added them under the tree. My smaller version of the Ruska quilt now decorates my kitchen table :o)




Here are a few things I asked Kajsa...

What is the proper pronunciation of your first name (for all of us foreigners)?
For all of you English-speakers - if you say Kysa I think you will get it right! (I can hear everyone saying AHA! now) It is a long "i" sound as in KITE!

What was the first thing you ever designed?
I was 15 and it was a sweater. I asked my mum to knit me something and she told me to do it myself! So I learned how to knit! It was very wide and colourful, a one of a kind piece for sure, a pity I didn't save it! I do have pictures of my fist appliqué designs, I did my first appliqué on clothes for my daughter, some 7 years ago now, luckily I now have a digital camera!

Do you belong to any quilting or craft groups?
No quilting groups, but I would love it, I might start my own when the kids are a little older! I do belong to a local craft organization. We are having a show this December.

When did you realize that you wanted to make a business out of your crafts?
I think the seed was planted when I participated in my first Christmas market, but it was Etsy that made me think about my options seriously. Etsy gave me an affordable sales channel for my first creations. All the positive feedback I got on the pictures I posted on flickr was very valuable and also helped me with the decision.

Have you taken any craft business courses and were they helpful?
I took a course for starting businesses when I was starting up and I wouldn't have managed without the things I learned about taxes, book-keeping etc. Right now, I am participating in a project for craft businesses. We meet about once a month to learn about things like pricing and product display. I spoke about social media (blogging) and Etsy for my fellow students last month! It felt great to be able to share my experience and it made me realize how much I have learned along the way!

Have you ever thought about hiring someone to help you sew? (I know I have!)
YES! And it will probably happen soon, I need someone to help me with the sewing. I can't keep up with the demand anymore and with so many different projects the time dedicated to sewing is shrinking all the time!

GIVEAWAY TIME! (now closed)
Stash Books is giving away one copy of Scandinavian Stitches per blog and Kajsa is giving away one set of Syko Design cards per blog. Simply leave a comment on my blog for your chance to win! Giveaway closes on Saturday, November 27 at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time.

Thank you for choosing me to be part of your amazing online book tour! The blog tour will end off tomorrow at Allsorts. Please see the previous post for the complete list of participating blogs.

If you don't win or can't wait to purchase some of Kajsa's work, please visit the Syko Shop.

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)

138 comments :

Gali said...

the blanket is gorgeous!!! loved the fabrics.
:)

Светик said...

thanks for this wonderful possibility. The book simply велииколепная!

nicolette said...

Thanks for a great interview and for some interesting questions asked!
I’m a lover and admirer of Kajsa’s work!

Quiltjane said...

Thank you for hosting the giveaway. I would love to win that book. You have made many beautiful things.

Eva said...

There are wonderful pieces of work in this book, and I love the way you made the designs "your own"! I'd be thrilled to win a copy of the book!

Harmien said...

Both you and Kajsa are such an inspiration, thank you for that!! Scandinavian Stitches is at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year... ;o)

Karen said...

I enjoyed reading your information and interview. Lovely book too!

Mom said...

I love the way you showed how you adapted the patterns to express your own ideas.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the lovely book review and interview - the book looks lovely and I would love to win a copy :-)

papelhilo-l'araignée said...

I love both Kajsa and your work !!
wonderful giveaway !
laraignee71(at)gmail(dot)com

Kirie said...

I't always a pleasure to visit your blog and see some new things. Thank you for such a nice book tour and for the giveaway :)
Best regards
Jo&cats

Little Green Doll said...

She's a great artist!! I love her work!! Thanks for this opportunity! :)

ugne said...

Tea pillow looks amazing :)

Catswhiskers said...

what a great opportunity to have this wonderful book.
Brilliant editorial you have made.
Thank you for the chance
Gina
http://gina-catswhiskers.blogspot.com/

baukje said...

Your ealr grey pillow is lovely. Thanks for the inspiration; love your blog... I would love to win this beautiful book...

Karin på Ösäter said...

I would love to win this book!!

memmu said...

Love this blog tour of Kajsa and her wonderful book!!! She did a great job... and so did you with the Tea cushion and Ruska quilt. They really are a lovely mix of Kajsa and you. The design is Kajsa's but the colors are definitely yours! I already made a few Tomtes... I think I'll be making some more of them for gifts too.

I've got the book already but would love to win another one to give as a gift for a dear friend :)!

nadra said...

Oh I would love to win a copy of this wonderful book...!

Penny said...

Love the quilted fall tree! Love the book too :)

gill said...

Great interview - thank you!
I'd love to win a copy of Kajsa's book - especially now I know how to pronounce her name!!!
Gill

teresita controne said...

Es una maravilla todo!!!!!, gracias mil!!!!

Béa said...

I would be so happy to win this book ! Your versions of Kajsa's work is wonderful. Hugs from France.

Catherine said...

thanks for a lovely giveaway, and I loved seeing your interpretations of Kajsa's work too!

A Time for Stitching said...

Each reveiw of this book I've seen tells me a bit more and I want it even more! I have to say (very quietly) that I prefer the look of the projects you made to the ones in the book because they are in my favourite autumn colours but they are great because they show that the designs can look how you want them to! Thank you for a great interview.
Teresa x

Sara said...

I have been your reader for a long time, and it was very nice suprise that you have a giveaway Scandinavian book with finnish writer... So I'm in =). Greetings from Finland, Sara.

DianeM said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I love your take on the projects :) Please enter me for a chance to win.
Smiles, DianeM

Alexandra p. said...

I would love to win this book! Kajsa's work is so inspiring...

Mirjam said...

Kajsa's work always makes me smile. Winning the book would be a very warming winter gift.

Olga said...

I love the pillows! It would be great to win this book.

Greedy Nan said...

The book looks so-o-o good - would love to have my very own copy to keep.

quilary said...

This is a very enjoyable blog tour. I love the simple and delightful designs in the book. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

Family Atelier said...

Hello, I loved its blog! I am from Brazil.
Pretty its works. Also I make artisan works.
Visits my blog too: http://www.familyatelier.blogspot.com/

Lee said...

Love her designs. Thanks for a chance win. Off to make pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving holiday!

Pil said...

Id would love to win this book. Nice interview with Kajsa.

kisses

TilkkuSatu said...

I really like your versions of tomte and teapot pillow!

Kerry said...

Lovely to see her designs interpreted by yourself, it shows the potential for creativity in the book

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love the book...the projects are wonderful! Enjoy your day and thanks for the fun! ♥

Wendy said...

Wow! Love the look of the book and your interpretation of Kajsa's designs. Would love to try some for myself

kleinzonnetje said...

I would love to win a copy of this book - it's been on my wish list for aaaages!!

Dolci Fusa said...

I love the palette you have chosen for the tree!
Thanks for the opportunity,
Veronica

Eva Emilie said...

Love this book!! and so happy I found your site as well ;)
Like your autumn tomte (or nisse, as we call them in Danish) and the idea to have a nisse around all year is great! I welcome the "season" nisser ;)

Sofia F. said...

Everything is so nice! :)

VickiT said...

Ooh I really love the pillows with the teapots. and the tree quilt is gorgeous. I think so far of all that I've seen in the blog hop are the stuffies. They are just super cute. I know my Granddaughter would love having an entire village of those. LOL
Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful book.

PT in SC said...

Great interview! Thank you for the chance to win.

Noelia said...

It will be a dream to get the book and im SO glad she is finnish, im very touched but everyone there, i have semeral friends and i think i left a little bit of my heart when i visited the country.

Thanks for the chance

Bakarasz said...

I would love to have that book! The teapot pillow is fantastic! Thank you for the opportunity! Crossing fingers!
Agnes from Hungary

Bea said...

I so love seeing the things in this book. I looks so great.

saganaga said...

i plan to blog in Dec about Scadinavian things & will blog about 2010 craft books the whole month of Feb 2011, so i would really love to own a copy of this book... so please enter me in your very generous giveaway ! thanks !!!

Elizabeth said...

I love your version of the pillow and I love the Scandinavian aesthetic of the book projects!

Nancy said...

Thank you for the giveaway!

Poppyprint said...

Fantastic interview questions, Laurraine, and of course, great answers Kasja!! I am very happy to know how to pronounce your name correctly now. All of the projects you made are beautiful L and I especially love how you quilted your tree quilt. ♥k

Jane S said...

I would love to have this book.
Nice that you have the book as a giveaway!
Regards from Sweden

rosemaryschild said...

Great Book! Would LUV to win this one!

MG said...

Love the Ruska quilt! Thanks for the chance to have this book.

mjm said...

I love the tomte doll. I remember reading about tomtes to my children. maybe soon I can introduce a tomte or two to grandkids

flora said...

lovely designs. I love the cards!

Anonymous said...

I love your interpretations of her creations. Kajsa's book looks great. My fingers are crossed.

margie

margiedicroce@rogers.com

WvHmmngbrd said...

I love all things Scandinavian! Thanks for the chance to win!

Anita said...

This looks like such an inspirational book. I ordered a copy for friend this Christmas. I would love to own a copy. Happy Thanksgiving from chilly northern California.

beth said...

Of course I love how you have interpreted Kajsa's designs!! Thank you for having the giveaway - sure would love to have this book!

Mariantero said...

Hello Laurraine,

Kajsa's designs are really an ispiration, just like yours. While I was reading your post, I thought: "The same thing Laurraine felt in relation to Kajsa's projects, I did with hers"! It is really nice to be inspired by other fellows' works... Thank you for sharing with us the beautiful things from Kajsa (and from yours, btw)!
Cheers from Brazil!!!
Mariane (mariantero)

JanetK said...

I really want a copy of this book - please count me in!

Vintage Girl/Marivel said...

lovely crafts.
I want this book.

James-Linda said...

VERY NEAT BOOK!
THANKS FOR SHARING!

jldouglas@wispwest.net

DebbieB said...

Such wonderful projects and such a wonderful book!

Pam said...

I want this book more and more with each blog that I visit...love your creations from Kajsa's book...would love to be a lucky winner, if not I am definitely getting this special book. Thanks!

Elephants et plus by Sonia Otero said...

Preciosos cojines. Me gustan!!!!
Saludos!

Marieke Bos said...

Yay, another chance of winning this amazing book!!

kathy said...

I liked seeing your interpretation of the project next to the book page. Very inspiring.

Emily said...

I'm also a stay-at-home mom who is inspired by the online craft community. This is a beautiful book with wonderful ideas that I would love to try. Thank you, Kajsa & Laurraine!

Elaine said...

Thank you for explaining how to pronounce Kysa's name.
The projects in this book look wonderful. I especially like the tree quilt.
Thank you also for the chance to win a copy of the book.

almadr said...

thanks for this chance ;-)Kajsa creations are so lovely!

Paula said...

Thanks for the chance! I would so love to have this book!
ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

Johanna said...

I met Kajsa last year in a craft fair and was very pleased to find out about her book! I just love her style!

tanya904 said...

I would be thrilled to win this book. I can't decide which project I would start first ;)
tanyainjville at yahoo dot com

eva vercauteren said...

I've seen this book on a few blogs I follow already. It looks such a great book!

Kriza said...

thanks for your post of the book, it was very enjoyable. I would love to win the book, so I'll keep my fingers crossed! :-)

Marisa said...

I'd love it to have this book!!!
Thanks a lot!
Marisa (from Spain)

A.S.K.-P. said...

This book looks GREAT! I love the projects you shared from it and your versions! LOVE!

Kelly said...

i would so love a copy of this book!
Kellyx

Linda og Lynet said...

Syko is always inspiring:)
Nice review of the book, can´t wait to have a look at it myself!

Janny said...

The book looks great. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sandra Schwab said...

Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous projects! I particular love the autumn-tree quilt!

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Sandra :) said...

I love the colour of your Tomte doll - it would look great in my house too :) I've made one already, and have another one cut out to work on - I'm making several for Christmas gifts. I'd love to win my own book, tho, so I can stop borrowing my friend's copy ! (And I'm glad to know how to pronounce Kajsa's name - we've been calling her Kaya, not Kaysa ... ooops!)

trudys_person said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! Thank you for the giveaway, Laurraine and Kajsa!

TZel said...

Thanks os much for this giveaway- all of your projects are lovely ;)

Marcia said...

Thank you for this stop on the blog tour. Please enter me into the drawing. I like the little flower you added to the little stuffed man in the window.
Happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Joy said...

Thanks for doing the interview and for the chance to win a copy!

Courtney said...

Thanks for the interview and for sharing your ideas -- I love how you made the pillow into an Earl Grey tea pillow!

Ms Muffin said...

I would love to win! The books sounds awesome!

Lisnaweary Quilts said...

This is a beautiful book, thanks for the chance to win.

WandaFish said...

Thanks for a great review and interesting interview. This book is definitely at the top of my wish list and I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity!

Julie said...

Really interesting interview. Thanks for the chance to win. Making a tomato is definitely in my future.

Marianne said...

What a sweet book just chock full of luscious projects. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Lyn said...

I love Kajsa's crafts!
And such a lovely interview :)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Love the teapot pillow. This book looks amazing. Thanks for entering me :-)

yenni said...

i heart your blog & works..it's awesome...^^..really..i'm still amazing how one can do that...Kajsa's one of them..i'd love to win Kajsa's book..^^..thanx

MaMa said...

I'd love to win a copy of this beautiful book. The projects are too cute. Thanks for hosting!
Lisa
mistyfuji *at* yahoo *dot* com

SewLindaAnn said...

Great interview. I appreciate knowing how to properly pronounce her name. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

"ethel" said...

This blog tour has been so good. I hope I win a copy of the book somewhere along the way, but if not I've asked Santa to deliver a copy for me.
:o)

tusen said...

They are great designs and I love how they still look your style. And what a wonderful giveaway.

Luciana Kajiura said...

The book is wonderful!!! Thank you for the explanation. I want a book!!!
Hugs, Luciana.

Debbie said...

What a fantastic book, thanks for such a great giveaway.

Anitras said...

thanks for this wonderful possibility¡¡¡¡

Diane H said...

Lovely post thank you for introducing us to Kajsa and her beautiful work.

Carol Crafts said...

It is a nice book. I love the new ideas. :)

Neza said...

It's very interesting to see how you interpreted her patterns, thank you for the review, it must be a great book!

Dolores said...

I too love Kajsa's work and follow her blog. Thanks for the chance to win. I like your interpretations of her designs.

Mimi said...

I love everything she does!! Oh such talent! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome giveaway!!

Ali Pyper said...

I love the projects you made from Kajsa's book! I think that this book is so lovely - thank you for your fun interview questions and for featuring the book on your blog.

CraftyVanty said...

Wonderful blog you have! Thank you for the chance at giveaway.
Happy crafty Holidays :)
valerie

Mello said...

I follow both of you on Flickr, Kajsa and Laurraine. I have your books on my Amazon Wishlist and I was thrilled to find both of your styles fused together in this post! Awesome! Would be thrilled beyond measure if I'd win this amazing Giveaway!

Linda said...

Enjoyed seeing your creations from the book. It would be wonderful to win.

Jane said...

wow what a wonderful pre-christmas surprise this would be! I am on holiday all summer here in australia - lots of time to get crafting!

LENA11 said...

I like both Kajsa and your work, lovely book.
lenalena002@hotmail.com

Caroline said...

I've been dreaming about this book lately!

The Sassy Librarian said...

That teapot pillow is worth the price of the book! I've added this one to my Amazon cart in case I don't win. ;-) I'll still buy it for the library that I work in!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Wow! such lopvely projects. I would love to win this book!!!! Sandy :-)
sandangels1945@hotmail.com

Deb said...

I have entered at every site so far and hope to win this creative book! Thanks for the chance.

mon ami said...

This books so inspiring! thanks for sharing

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

That pillow is the cutest!

Mytutorlist.com said...

I think that your tree version is even more awesome than the original! I love the detailing you put into the quilting process. Great work!

Bec Clarke said...

Oh how lovely that book looks, I am so hoping to win one during the blog hop.

Kimberly said...

Such a neat book!

Anny Meng said...

Ainda está em tempo???? então quero participar...Amo muito tudo isso, e não quero perder a oportunidade...obrigada por existirem e compartir com todas nós seu conhecimento.Ana

Vickie E said...

It's a lovely book, can't wait to get it! thanks for the review.

Herta said...

Such a lovely book, would love to try some of the projects

Hyewon said...

The pictures here alone are so lovely and inspiring, how wonderful to have the book in my hands! These colors transfer to my entire dream home. I love love her work. Good luck to her business as well!

Kitten's Lost Her Mittens said...

Is it too late to enter?? I would love to win!!

Sharon said...

Such a lovely book -- can't wait to see it live

Nita said...

I love the little Tomtes! So cute

Thanks for the giveaway.

JakDeeandKids said...

Such a lovely book -- thanks for chance to win!

Sew Useful Designs said...

Hi Laurraine! :-)

Kajsa's book looks absolutely delightful! I particularly love the teapot pillow, in both colourways! It's always so interesting to see different interpretations of the same project - your cushion is so *you*!!! :-) Love it!

What a delightful post! :-)

Hugs from Australia!
Vikki xo :-)

Now This Is Life... said...

OH! Pick me! Pick me! lol Your blog ALWAYS inspires me. When I hit a wall in creativity, I just hop over here and I get loads of ideas!

Dawn said...

Thanks so much for sharing this - I just added Kajsa's book to my Christmas list because of it.

I love your Tomte!!! I can't wait to make one for my Sister-in-law who likes gnome-like things!

Nadia Simona said...

Beautiful book !!!
Nadia Simona

Cupcake said...

As I discovered your post after the give away was closed, I ordered a copy of the book and had it signed by Mrs Wikman, too. It's really a great book and thanks again for recommending it. I think my favourite project in it is the little birds quilt, which I am thinking of turning into a bigger quilt für my office and using all these little pieces of my favourite fabrics ... I also LOVE the fox quilt.
Juliane

Biżuteria z filcu said...

You have wonderful blog :)
Hugs from Poland
AGata