Are you ready to kick off the tour? You will certainly not be disappointed by this book.

Scandinavian Stitches, published by Stash Books is by the incredibly talented Kajsa Wikman. You have probably seen her in Flickr under the name syko or are a frequent follower of her website. Kajsa lives in Finland with her family and adds a touch of Scandinavian to all that she makes.

The book is beautifully laid out and includes 21 projects for quilts, softies, pillows and ornaments. You will want to make every project and will spend a long time ohhing and ahhing over the beautiful photos.

Kajsa describes her mission as being to make you smile. And she certainly succeeds!

Each of Kajsa?s works is an interpretation of a scene. She is inspired by what is happening around her as much as by shapes and colours. The descriptions of each of her projects tell the story of the scene that led Kajsa to create that piece.
This for me was one of the most important things that I learnt from Kajsa?s book. I too often become bogged down with looking at shapes and patterns and colour combinations that I forget that fabulous projects can be made by taking a snippet of your life and interpreting it in fabric.

Stash books is also offering one of you the opportunity to win a copy of the book. (details at the end of the post) And Kajsa is including a set of 14 of Syko’s Yule Cards!

But first I caught up with Kajsa to learn a little about her and her book.

What does Syko mean / represent?

Syko is short for Sykompaniet, which means the Sewing company in Swedish, my language. I also thought it was quite a Syko idea to change careers to start a craft business :) I haven’t regretted my decision a single time though!

Do you have a design background?

No, I studied Ethnology at the university and after my MA degree continued to do research on historical re enactments, but after getting children I realised I was more into practice than theory.

The book is based on the changing seasons in Finland and how it influences your crafty projects. What is your favourite season?

The beginning of Autumn when school begins after the holidays has always inspired me and felt more like a new beginning than the start of a new year. I love the soft, warm air, the change of colours and the rainy days when you can cuddle in with knitted socks and a quilt. But I always feel inspired whenever seasons change!

What is your favourite project in the book?

I think that must be the Frosty baby quilt! I had seen a few quilts made of solid coloured fabrics had been wanting to give it a try and was so happy when this idea popped up!

From the book:

“It’s January, and it’s freezing outside. I look out of the window over my desk and see a colour combination that I would never have thought of. The icy weather and the long shadows make the snow turn light blue beside the spruces. A quilt is born! The fox is just my imagination!”

You advocate using all types of fabric in your work. From designer to old vintage bed clothes. Do you have any tips for people buying vintage fabric? Where to look? What to look out for?

Open your mind! Treasures can be hiding anywhere, start with your own closet! Buy quality e.g. natural fibres. Fresh air can do wonders with evil smells, hang out your flea market finds in the fresh air if you can!

Teapots and tea feature often in your books. Are you an avid tea drinker? What is your favourite type of tea?

I just love the idea of having tea! In real life most Finns are heavy coffee drinkers. I usually wake up before the rest of the family and have my cup of tea in peace and quite before the school run begins. There is a special kind of sentenced black tea, called the Emperor’s bride from a Finnish family company that is my favourite morning tea. I also love rooibos in the evenings and tend to buy clipper tea because of the sweet packaging.

Do you have a favourite colour palette?

Difficult question… I love colour! Colours inspire me very much and trying out different colour combinations is one the most inspiring parts of my work. But my strong opinion is that there can never be enough lime green(s) in the world.

Describe the process of writing a book. What did you enjoy most? Did anything make you think never again?

I will never write a book during Summer holidays again, especially if we are moving, that’s for sure! The process was a bit stressful because I had never done it before and I everything was new to me. Retrospectively it feels quite silly when I’ve ended up with this lovely book in my hands! The best thing was when I saw the first sample pages of the book, until then I didn’t really believe that there was actually going to be a book. It feels very special to see your work in print.

How do you involve your children in your work?

Sometimes my children help me to come up with new ideas, like the little bird quilt that I’ve featured in the book. If I’m not sure about a detail or fabric choice I ask my daughter, she has a very good eye and dares to share her frank opinion!
What is next for Kajsa? You recently printed some fabrics on spoonflower. Can we hope to see a Syko fabric collection soon?

Well, that would be very interesting! But no such plans yet, I’m afraid! But now when I have forgotten about the painful labour, there might be another book in my future….

So now to the giveaway!!! Leave us a comment on our blog to enter the drawing. You can get an extra entry if you are a follower of Kajsa’s blog or if you follow our blog!

The giveaway will close on Friday 19th November.

Follow the tour around blogland to find out more about Kajsa and her book. – 11/15 – 11/16 – 11/17 – 11/18 – 11/19 – 11/22 – 11/23 – 11/24 – 11/25 – 11/26