Giveaway: Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner

Jaime and I have been eagerly awaiting Handmade Beginnings for a while.

“… 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby”… By Anna Maria Horner?!?!

Just about the best combo ever for the gals from Prudent Baby. This book was worth waiting for! We’ve been drooling over every gorgeous page and can’t wait to try out a project. The little dress below is on my to-do list.

Thanks for entering! We will announce the winner next Sunday when we are part of Anna Maria’s Blog Book Tour! So here goes. Enter to win a copy of this beautiful (and useful!) book by leaving a comment here with a question for Anna. You can learn a little more about Anna and all of the amazing things she does on her  blog. Anna is going to stop by and hand-pick some questions to answer next week. The giveaway ends at midnight CT on May 14.

We will announce the winner on May 23rd (my birthday!) when we are part of the book tour for Handmade Beginnings. At that time we will also post YOUR interview with Anna.

If you would like to take a peek at the rest of the tour, here’s the schedule:

May 3      Craft
May 4      Indie Fixx
May 5      Sew Mama Sew
May 6      Pink Chalk Studio
May 10    Wise Craft
May 14    House on Hill Road
May 16    The Purl Bee
May 18    All Buttoned Up
May 19    Alabama Chanin Journal
May 20    Homemade by Jill
May 21    True Up
May 22    Oh, Fransson!
May 23    Prudent Baby
May 24    Sew Liberated
May 25    Handmade by Alissa
May 26    Hazelnuts
May 27    Petite Purls

And not to confuse y’all but we will announce the winner of The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin on Monday and share her answers to your questions. You are going to love her, she is so funny and smart!




Where do you get your inspiration for projects, patterns, fabric, and everything lovely you make?


How do you sew without your children standing on the pedal of the sewing machine? πŸ™‚

Jenny Lynn

Can we take a peak into your craft room? I'm ready for something great and I'd love to get an inside peak of yours!!!


I like to design and make fabrics. (I batik and weave.) I get the sense that large scale fabric design is verrrrry different from what I dabble in. What sorts of tactile processes do you use to design fabric?


I want to sew around my children so they can see the process of making a sheet of fabric into something functional, but haven't found a happy way of doing so.
Do you have any tips on how toddlers/preschoolers can help out in the sewing room?


Do you have a GINORMOUS stack of fabric sitting under your sewing table with every piece designated for some project that may never get done because you have small children running around? : ) I know I do! So any tips on making time for projects would be much appreciated! My mind goes a hundred miles an hour with all my ideas, but I can't seem to get them done!

PS the tour will be great! Prudent Baby and Homemade By Jill are my FAV blogs!!! : ) Hooray!



What a great giveaway! I am wondering how Anna finds time to be creative and juggle family life.

Natalie K

What was the first baby item you ever sewed? I am getting more into sewing for my baby and I'd love this book! I also like that you included some maternity stuff in there too, because we tend to forget about ourselves!


Such a cute book! How did you get into publishing?

I'm expecting my first child in July, and I'm very excited. His nursery is going to be very DIY. πŸ™‚

Amy Plew

LOVE the new book!!!!
How in the world do you find time to be so creative with 5 kids? I have 1, and 1 on the way, and I seem to always have something get in the way of my crafting time. Thanks!!!


I have a lot friends who have babies or are currently pregnant. In your opinion, what is the best homemade gift for baby and mom?


when did you know that this is what you wanted to do with your life and what gave you the courage to pursue it?


What a great giveaway!

What are the best tips you would give a new mom regarding sewing with little ones?


I'd love to win. Do you have any basic tips for someone just starting to craft and sew?

faithcarpenter at gmail dot com


Have you tried to teach your older children how sew? Do you have any advice for when and how to begin to teach a child sewing basics? Thanks!


Anna, I know how busy you must be with 6 kids (I 'only' have 4!), and that you run a business (we run a totally-non-design-or-craft-related business) – what's your advice for apportioning time to allow for being creative? Often I get caught up in the whole "researching" other peoples blogs, Flickr etc, and then realize that I should do more rather than read about others doing.


What do you find our the biggest challenges and the biggest blessings in raising a large family?

aja reeser

what are some of your secrets for staying organized and on task with little ones in the house? or without little ones for that matter?


There are a lot of great questions on here about having a large family and still finding time to pursue your passions. I, too, want to raise a large family bursting with creativity. My oldest is 20-months. At what age did you introduce your children to crafting, and how do you encourage such a young one to be and think creatively?


What will you take with you to Minneapolis? Thanks for this wonderful giveaway πŸ™‚


I would love to have this book! I'm interested in making more of my own patterns. What would advice would you give to a novice pattern-maker?


How do you manage 6 kiddos underfoot while working/designing/sewing? Do you have someone help care for them, have activities to keep them occupied? I have 3, and cannot find time at all to sew really, let alone to create!

Karen Day

i am very new to sewing and there are SO many techniques that i see on homemade clothes that make me *gulp*. they look so hard!!! so i just avoid those clothes and stick to only stuff that is elasticated (in the tube of the fabric – ive never tried shirring or anything like that). yes i am soooo scared that i still havent sewed buttons or zips yet. it looks so hard! but lets just say that my kids have an extensive elasticated wardrobe haha.

so, my question is, what is one technique that looks SO hard and that a beginner may avoid, but in actual fact is incredibly easy and fool-proof? what technique should i step outside of my comfort zone to try? πŸ™‚ thanks!!

xxx Karen

Im an australian mumma to a 5 yr old girl, 3 yr old boy, and a new lil bubba girl due date 8th June!!! (yay!)

karen (at) tkday (dot) net


Where do you get inspiration to choose fabrics, like where in the world?
I read that you have a grandmother from Greece, and it seems like you have some colors from that lovely contry.

Hugs from Stine in Norway


I'd love to get more into sewing for my new little girl, but so many of the cute patterns I see seem to be all about the beautiful fabric, which I don't have access to in Australia. Do you think that I can achieve the same results with simpler or less patterned fabric?


Everybody has a pet peeve with sewing (I have a LIST) – what was one of yours that you created your own solution to? I'd love to learn a few tricks!


Hi Anna!

I have a super hard time reading patterns, do you have any advice for beginners in regard to following patterns/directions?


Laura Wynn

This has nothing to do with sewing, but I'd like to know where you got inspiration for you kids' names!
-PS, The book is gorgeous!


Love, love, love you, my dear! In the current market, what do you think is the best way to go about opening an online fabric shop? (featuring your lovely fabrics of course!)

My Little Cupcake

How do you find time for creativity and crafting when you are busy with children? I have two, Kaitlin is 2 years and Caleb is 6 months, and I am having a hard time finding the time to sew.


I live in France so my fabric shopping is done primarily online. How do I choose a fabric based on just the small square photo? What should I look for?


Do you have any money saving tips? I love designer fabrics but I can afford the 4 to 8 dollor a yard price tag. any ideas on how to get some for cheaper?


what a lovely book! I'd love to win.. πŸ™‚

and the question:
what types of fabric do you recommend for sewing for young babies?


It seems there are a lot of similar questions out there like mine but i would like to know how she gets everything done that she would like as well as being a mom and getting everything done that goes along with that.


Do you have any tips on how to allow a toddler to "help" while sewing? It might buy me a little more time to finish a project or two!

Nutella Nutterson

What tips do you have for modifying existing garments to become maternity wear?

In particular, I'd love to modify t-shirts so they don't just hang like tents, and I'm also having the darnedest time finding a fleece jacket (yes, in May. But it's Seattle.) It seems like I should be able to buy a larger size and trim it down – but my new geometry confounds me!


That looks like a very cool book. What was your favorite project in the book?


Can you recommend a sewing machine brand to buy? I've heard mixed reviews on all different kinds!

Thanks so much!

ladyufshalott at yahoo dot com


Time management… I have not sewn much of anything since my son was born 6 months ago. How do you make time for all things sewing and otherwise?


I would also love to know when you get your sewing done. Us mommies get so busy…any tips on getting projects done would be great! πŸ˜‰

kate thaete

anna, i'd like to know what was the very first project you sewed for your kids? did you get started sewing with your first child?


The book looks fab! Thanks for the giveaway!
Who most inspired you in your life? Someone in your family or perhaps a friend?
cokelush at gmail


There's a lot of great questions here…My biggest question is related to time management and creativity. Do you schedule creative times and if so how do you keep inspired when in a time crunch?

??? ?.

this book looks adorable.
i would like to get some tips for crafting in a small and messy department.


I would love to know how you juggle work and family with a houseful of children! We're expecting baby #4, and our other three are 5, 4, and 2. Do you sew and design just whenever you get a snippet of time, or do you have set "business hours" where momma is working and off limits (and under another's care)?


Hi Anna Maria, I watched the video on your book; you are a true inspiration! I have a 7-month old and feel like I can't find the time to finish any project I start (thankfully, my husband is patient). I recently acquired my first sewing machine, and am scared to death to sit down at it in fear of breaking it and messing up on cool fabric. Do you have any beginner books to recommend? Somehow, I need to get over this intimidation!


I guess we all have the same question: How do you run your house, your family and your business and not lose your mind?

Aunt LoLo

Oooh…*squee* I'd love to win this book! All the reviews make it look just SCRUMMY.

My question for Anna is…what is your creative process? Do you look at a kid and think "how can I make that thing look CUTER?!" Or do you look at fabric and say "How can I put that on a kid?" ??


Anna–Your fabric styles are so amazing. What is the most creative use of your fabric that you have seen out there in the blog world?


I so love your fabrics- very colorful and happy. Maybe it's an assumption that you must have a cheery disposition— but what do you do to keep creativity flowing and happiness exuding from your work? Thank you so much for putting a smile on MY face!


Let me start by saying that I love the creativity that y'all inspire, it almost gives me the courage to clean off the sewing table and start creating again!
I would love to use my stash of vintage and vintage-esque fabrics to make some dresses for my daughter, but I often find that the patterns are too busy, any suggestions on using the fabrics without creating an overwhelming appearance?


What is your favorite item to sew? Quilts? Clothes? Bags/Purses? Or, do you need variety to keep you creative?

Also, can you tell us more about your beautiful embroidery? Will you have a book about that any time in the future?


I have two unrelated questions if that's okay. I am a new garment sewist and never heard of "voile", and read raves about it in blogland. How/why did you decide to put a line out and what are pointers for working with it. What's the difference between it and cotton?
My 2nd question is weird I know, but are you friends with Amy Butler and do you two bounce ideas off each other? Just curious if 2 major influences in the industry get together.


Love your work….everything about all of it. πŸ™‚ Big fan here! I am curious to know: What was the first sewn item that you made and how long ago was that?

Can't wait to see this book in person.

Amber Gray

What makes your projects stand out from other "sewing for baby" books?


I am 100% in line w/ "wiscogirl."
Sitting down to my sewing machine is a dream some times that never becomes reality. I fear I will mess up the tension settings and not be able to get them right again, I fear messing up nice and expensive fabric, I fear sewing when that time could have been spent w/ my son. After all, they do grow up so quickly. How do we get started?
How do you balance your time?

BTW – Can't wait to get the book!!!


I have two questions:

Have you always wanted a "large" family? and
How do you balance family life with work life?


anna, what do you do when your daughter(s) want a princess dress? do you fold and sew with that icky polyester shiny fabric or do you encourage them toward natural princessdom (cotton etc.?)



Oh goodness, how I would love a copy of this book!

My question for Anna is: Since no mother has enough time to make everything she wants to for her baby (at least, I assume not!), how do you decide what to spend your time on and what's okay to pick up at the store? Are there a few key handmade clothes or items that you find give you the most impact?


There are TONS of sewing projects out there for baby girls, but not as many for boys. What are your fave sewing projects for the little guys?


How are you able to find time to be a creative artist while not getting bogged down in the daily tasks of life and motherhood?

lil misses' mama

How do you come up with the quaint, clever, and very fitting names for all your fabrics? You are oh so very talented!! I cannot wait to start working on new dresses for my daughters in the Good Folks – Fortune in Sea fabric I just bought!


What was the first craft project you remember doing? What age? I was just thinking the other day how as I child ( 8 years old) I found pieces of scrap fabric in my parents garage and I hand sewed a doll quilt. I wish I knew where it was!

Plum Handmade

I'm a newer Mama of a 7 month-old. Do you have any pointers on how to have creative time while still spending quality time with a wee one?


When do you find time to sew and still make time for your kiddos and husband? Also, how do you control the sewing mess so kiddos don't get into it?


Looks a great book! My question is-do you find it hard to sew lovely things for boys as well as girls?


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