It’s Official

Now that it’s official, I can announce Color Mastery is a Benjamin Franklin award winner for Best Craft Book of 2009.  The Independent Book Publishers Association developed the awards to honor excellence in book publishing by independent presses.  David and I flew to NYC, attended the awards, and celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in Little Italy.

Before the ceremony, I corresponded with all three nominees for the Craft category, and guess what?  All three were independent publishers of quilting books!  Crafts is a huge category, with winners in previous years covering weddings, beading, sewing, crafting businesses, and other crafty mediums; for all three to be quilting books is a tremendous coup for indie quilt book publishers.  David and I sat together with Linda Teufel of Dragon Threads, and we had a delightful time.  It was inspiring to be around so many talented, creative, and innovative publishers.  The third nominee, Gyleen Fitzgeral of Fitzgerald Publishing Inc, couldn’t be there, but she sent me a copy of her book and it’s gorgeous.  You really must get it.

David and I did all the sites we could in NYC in two days, considering I was attending Publishing University during the day.  I learned all kinds of wonderful strategies for delivering amazing content to you, the quilting consumer, in innovative and exciting ways.  I’ll be talking more about that in the weeks to come.

Times Square at night was electric, very safe, and totally fun.  Of course, I wanted my photo taken under the Liberty of London ad for Target.  Fabric really is everywhere.

David and I had our anniversary dinner at Lunella’s in Little Italy, a charming and authentic section of the city.  Interestingly, you walk through Chinatown to get to Little Italy.  Vendors were practically dragging me into their shops to see their knockoff handbags.  I had to chuckle and graciously say no thank you.  I make my own, you see.

And no trip is complete without a visit to a museum offering quilts.  We visited the New York Folk Art museum, and it did not disappoint.  It had wonderful quilts, embroidery samplers, and a Howard Finster sculpture I had never seen before.  Here is my favorite quilt, full of proverbs and made by a 79-year-old woman in 1848:

Here are the three winners in the Crafts category:  I highly recommend them all, and your quilting library is sorely lacking without them.  Congratulations to us all!

Fiberart Montage by Judith Baker Montano, DragonThreads (Gold award)

Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts , Willow Ridge Press (Silver Award)

Quilts:  Unfinished Stories with New Endings, FPI Publishing (Silver Award)

And for some light reading, here is the background on the Benjamin Franklin Awards:

Titles that enter the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are judged for their overall editorial and design excellence. The judging pool is developed from industry professionals: acquisition librarians; bookstore buyers; wholesalers and distributors; reviewers; editors; designers and artists. Each category has three judges who judge independently of one another and return the judging forms to the IBPA office for tabulation. That is a total of 150 judges over 50 categories. Three finalists are announced in each category (out of the three, one is chosen as the winner based on highest total points received, and the remaining two are the silver award winners for that category).

The concept of expanding the awards to include individual titles was developed both to honor the best in the trade and to assist the independent publisher in becoming better at his/her chosen profession. Based on this philosophy, the judging forms are returned to the participants in the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ after the winners are announced, so that they can determine where their specific title is excelling and where it can use a little help. The judges are also encouraged to make comments on the forms to assist the publisher in further developing his/her line of titles.  This is the only award that allows participants to obtain comments on how to become better at the art and craft of book publishing and is the main reason why the Benjamin Franklin Award™ has become one of the outstanding awards in the field of publishing.
Today, the Benjamin Franklin Award™ is given in a variety of specific genres, as well as recognizing specific design and/or marketing excellence. These awards are open to all publishers. The 2010 Awards experienced more than 1,300 entries.