Samarra Khaja is Sew Adorkable


Welcome Sew Adorkable Blog Hop Book Tour readers!! We are so thrilled to be a part of this fab tour and I (Erin at Pellon) am personally super excited about this book! Sew Adorkable is the quirky brainchild of artist/designer/author/maker Samarra Khaja, who just happens to also be a Pellon Project Designer.

Samarra never fails to charm with her style and her wit and this book is a prime example. She has created an irresistible line-up of completely fabulous projects. From the TRAWRzers! (check Lindsay’s rendition here) to the Teacher Tool Belt, the Typewriter Tissue Box Cover to the Odd Socks Quilt, this one has a little something that will speak to the inner geek in all of us.

To get a bit more background and learn about Samarra’s thought process behind bringing this one to life, we went straight to the source.

Pellon: Samarra! Welcome:). Any chance you’d like to tell our readers a little more about yourself and how you came into this whole fabulous world of sewing? 
Samarra: I went to the Talented & Gifted Magnet High School, a geek-tastic college prep school, solidifying my position in life as a card-carrying nerd and goofball. I’ve also been a lifelong creative person and maker of things. My fine arts degree in printmaking, drawing and photography (along with a minor in Medieval Studies, cuz nerd’s gonna nerd) morphed into working as a graphic designer for many years and that subsequently evolved into including surface and textile design and voila, here we are with my new sewing book!

P: You had me at Adorkable;). Seriously though… how did you come to the book title and how does it represent you and your crafty persona?
S: Hahaha, how does it not represent me, is more like it! My publisher’s Creative Director, Gailen, used the term ‘adorkable’ first to describe my point of view (maybe even me, hahaha) and the universal theme behind my projects and the word stuck all the way to the end! YAY!

Prehistoric Portrait Painting by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

Prehistoric Portrait Painting by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

P: Each project in the book features a quirky mash-up of finished project photography and your awesome illustrations. How did that all come to be? Did you always know that the Octopus was destined to wear the Teacher Tool Belt and that the hedgehog would peek out of the shower, or did the illustrations take inspiration from the final project images? 
S: My idea to overlay photography with my illustrations was a solid concept from the beginning. The specifics didn’t come about until I saw the final photographs and played around with them. I had a two-part goal for the final look: to keep the images open and universally welcoming to a wide range of folks (by not depicting any specific people/models in them) and to also add an additional layer of other-worldliness to the book to help push people into feeling as creatively inspired as possible.

P: I’m sure there will be a handful of readers who feel the same way that I do… these projects seem almost like they were made just for me. I mean The Bee’s Knees Patch and TRAWRzers!? Did the projects or the titles come first? I’d love to hear a little more about your process.
S: I’m fairly concept driven with all my work, so the projects typically come first in a seed of an idea and then shortly thereafter the punny landslide begins and I start sorting through all the possible clever layering I can crowbar into a single idea. It’s really fun when it all falls into place!

Braille Alphabet Quilt by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

Braille Alphabet Quilt by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

P: I adore the layout of the book — each project gives the same layout: Fun Facts, What You’ll Need, Go Time!, All Together Now, Almost Done! & Ta-Dah! It sets readers up for a perfect sense of satisfaction with each project. Did you stumble upon this snazzy sequence for one project and decide it should be followed for all, or did you have the idea before even getting started?
S: After taking a first pass at a few of the projects, I recognized the rhythm I wanted and because I’m a freak for consistency, made it the standard structure for the whole book.

P: What was your favorite part about putting this book together? 
S: Hands down, drawing over the photos. Deciding what characters got to live on each page was incredibly enjoyable and I had fun picking a wide range of creatures, real and otherwise and housing them all together in one happy place.

Toothy, the Tooth Fairy by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

Toothy, the Tooth Fairy by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

P: What would you like our readers to know about how this book will change their lives?
S: I’m not an especially frilly girly-girl and am always looking for clever things that make a statement beyond just being pretty. With that in mind, this book fills a need I see in the sewing market, specifically catering to people like me, who want projects that are quirky, offbeat, humorous and downright fun and dorky. With added ridiculous humor and a lighthearted approach, my aim is to also disarm any hesitant people who may feel like crafting outsiders and let them know they’re welcome to join in and make, make, make!

P: Other than being a super fabulous designer, maker and author, you’re also a graphic designer, fabric designer and illustrator. First of all — WOW, you’re kind of awesome! Second, how do you feel they are all connected? Are you drawn to one particular area over another? 
S: It’s that whole concept-driven mindset I mentioned before; I love puzzle-solving like it’s nobody’s business, making things I haven’t seen before and putting a whole new spin and twist on things. So under that umbrella, and regardless of specific medium, I’m always trying to create the unexpected from the expected. I think that’s what connects everything I do. I love any chance to share my creative perspective on things, so if it’s through my illustration, fabric designs, or craft concepts, I’m as happy as a lark. And humor, if it can be done with humor, all the better!

Candy Dots by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable

Candy Dots by Samarra Khaja, Sew Adorkable



Looking to grab a copy of your own? Head on over to C&T Publishing to snag your hard copy or your ebook.

Just because we love giveaways so much, we’re doing another one!! One lucky winner will win:

1 pkg of Pellon® 805 Wonder-Under
1 throw-sized pkg of Pellon® Nature’s Touch® 100% Natural Cotton Batting
1 yard of Pellon® FF78F1 Flex-Foam™ 1-Sided Fusible 
AND 1 copy of Sew Adorkable by Samarra Khaja!

To enter-to-win, simply leave a comment below telling us which fabulous project pictured is the first must-make project on our list. 1 bonus entry (please leave a separate comment) for a fun, adorkable, sewing story that you’d like to share!! 🙂 (2 total entries per person!!)

One book per winner. Open to US & Canada residents only. US residents will receive a hard copy of the book. Canada residents will receive a promo code to purchase the ebook version free of charge. Giveaway is open until 11:59pm on Monday, October 26 (the last day of the blog tour!). Good luck:)

We’re still in the beginning stages of this fabulous tour! Make sure to click through to check out already published posts and keep an eye out for all the fabulous posts coming up! So much Adorkable goodness;).

09/14/15: C&T/Stash Books
09/16/15: Generation Q Magazine
09/18/15: Sew Timeless
09/21/15: The Fire Science Blog
09/23/15: Art School DropOut
09/25/15: Craft Buds
09/28/15: Pellon
09/30/15: Crafty Planner
10/02/15: Modern Handcraft
10/05/15: Imagine Gnats
10/07/15: May Chappell
10/09/15: Nancy Zieman
10/12/15: Dritz
10/14/15: Spoonflower
10/16/15: Sew Sweetness
10/19/15: Aurifil
10/21/15: Accuquilt
10/23/15: Schmancy Toys
10/26/15: Samarra Khaja

Thanks so much for stopping by to hang with us today!! Enjoy the rest of the tour!

38 thoughts on “Samarra Khaja is Sew Adorkable

  1. Pam says:

    My most adorkable project was a quilted elizabethan collar for my dog. She had hip surgery and had to wear an uncomfortable looking plastic collar so she wouldn’t pick out her stitches. I wanted her to have something equally stiff but softer so it would be more comfortable to sleep in. So I used a very stiff interfacing, some soft batting and scraps to make he a lovely collar. She was cute, but I don’t think she appreciated my efforts.

  2. Carole hiller says:

    Oh the Lost Socks quilt, to be sure!! I have enough rogue socks to make one for each of my three sons!! What a perfect and hilarious keepsake!!

  3. Alla @ rainbows.bunnies.cupcakes says:

    Ok, I’m a total dork: I sew outfits for a small stuffed penguin (he’s a travel buddy, always looks better than me in vacation pictures). So, when I went on an Alaskan cruise, I needed to make him an outfit for formal night on the cruise ship. I made him a sailor suit. AND a life vest, since my sewing friends told me that the first thing one does on a cruise ship is have an “abandon ship” drill. He attended the drill in his blaze orange life vest, and was very popular with the folks in our lifeboat group.

  4. Himeko says:

    My most adorkable project would have to be the giant oversized head bow and bag ( I blew the pattern up 200%) for my costume for Anime Expo this past year. After I blew up the pattern and started cutting out the bag I realized I probably shouldn’t have gone that big. 😛

  5. Beth says:

    With one year old twin grand babies you can see why I have a list of things to make from this book! There are so many cute things. I think I will tackle the tooth fairy pillows first though.

  6. duchick says:

    Who wouldn’t love their own Candy Dots quilt??? That’s my first project! It would make a great game pad for a junior round of Twister too!

  7. Melanie C says:

    My adorkable-ness is my love wearing sewing related shirts. Plus I have been know to forget to measure twice before cutting 😉

  8. Lori Morton says:

    All my sewing is an Adorkable Story!!! lol You should come hang out with me for a day! (but things usually turn out OK…after tearing out seams, or plain just changing my “plan”! You know..we Quilter’s nevvvver evvvver make a mistake..we just change our minds! giggle….

  9. missenota says:

    I think sewing swaps bring out the adorkable for me. Most recently, I joined in the Gnome Swap on Instagram and designed a cone-shaped gnome doll for my secret partner, complete with movable arms and quilted beard. If it’s cute and quirky, I want to sew it!

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