Thursday, May 24, 2018

I'm the kiss of death!!!

Yesterday was a very productive day. I'm working my way through the tasks that I have highlighted with little sticky notes around the edge of my computer monitor (so I won't forget them). I looked at the call for submission to a magazine and decided that it wasn't my thing so I tossed that one. Yeah!! The editing process is going great although I was slow to get started yesterday. Not slow to start, but the editing of one post took forever. Too picky?  Not sure - my brain probably wasn't working on all points yet.

And I got a customer quilt done in the afternoon.

Customer quilt - DONE

No - I was not out lounging in the backyard while I did that quilt. I was monitoring it and doing more tidying. I'm not sure what happened since the last sit n sew, but I had a hard time finding spots for all the stuff that was on the work tables and on the floor. Yikes - I had better get my act together and start finishing these things at a faster rate. It's really gotten out of hand down there. Granted, I had pulled a few things from a closet that wouldn't take long to finish - like making the backing (one seam) and some binding. I'm hoping to get those done today. And there is that huge stack of quilts that need to be bound. Could be done in a matter of hours.  And there are a few extra sewing machines and embroidery arms and those take a lot of space to hide away.

So the day was going along just great and then BAM - I got an e-mail that at first, I didn't understand why I got it and what it meant. Then I read it again and again and then it hit me.  A magazine that was going to publish a quilt of mine is folding!!!!  WOW - then I thought about it and there's a funny story in this. I'll give you the details about the magazine in a minute.

 Actually, magazines come and go. I remember that I religiously bought (or had subscriptions) to the Chitra publications in the 1990 and 2000's. Traditional Quiltworks, Quilting Today and Miniature Quilts. I still have all my copies and I hate to throw them away, but I will have to one day. There have been other magazines that have come and gone - Quilter's Home with Mark Lipinski is one. The Quilt Life with Alex Anderson and Ricki Tims is another.

Now let's go back to 2011. There was a magazine called FibreArts. It was published by Interweave. If you check out the link, you can still buy a digital copy of the magazine. They ran a contest - the best stash, the best studio, and several other categories. I submitted an entry and I won for Best Stash  (I wonder why). Anyway, I have the magazine here somewhere but wasn't able to find it this morning, but I have a picture of the article that is framed and hangs on the staircase wall to the studio.

Picture of BEST STASH

For those of you who wonder what's behind that door in the studio that is NEVER open when guests are here - this is what it looks like except there is now a big shelving unit in the middle of the floor. Let's just say that it's a stash room and leave it like that.

The bottom line, I get published and then the magazine folds. That issue was the LAST issue.

Over the last couple of years, I've been very fortunate to have a number of my quilts (designed by me) published in various publications. Quilts and More, A Needle Pulling Thread, Quilter's Connection, Christmas special issue for Quilter's Newsletter (which is also gone - not the Christmas special, but the main magazine), Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, McCalls, McCalls Quick Quilts and a few more. I'm very thankful for every quilt that gets published as it's a public acknowledgment of my work.

I was fortunate enough to have a block accepted into Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. I think they published 15 editions - each with 100 blocks. Well, guess what?  Yep - that magazine won't be published any longer. That "closure" was done very quietly - I didn't even receive a notification - the magazine just didn't get published. I found out from someone who doesn't work at the magazine.
Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

I was also lucky enough that they wanted a quilt made with my block. So I had made the quilt and sent it off and it was to be included in Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. Sadly that magazine is also defunct and so my quilt will be published - just in another one of F+W Media magazines once they find a home for it.

Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks

As a result, I won't be able to add those titles to the ones in which I've been published. But that's OK.

Last year, I started to design some more modern quilts with the hopes of expanding into a couple of the modern magazines. After a LONG, LONG, process, one of my quilts was finally accepted into a modern magazine. I was thrilled. I had met the editor and we hit it off. Things were good. I made the quilt, wrote the pattern and everything was great. The magazine was to be published this summer.

Then I got the e-mail last night and TWO more magazines are gone!!!   The publisher is Meander Publishing. The first is called Machine Quilting Unlimited. This is just a random issue that I grabbed this morning. It was a great magazine with loads of tips for machine quilting - both domestic and long arm.

Machine Quilting Unlimited

The second magazine is Modern Quilts Unlimited - it's GONE.  I happened to grab the premier issue this morning for a picture. After 6 years - it's gone. And my quilt was supposed to be in the August issue. They have almost completed the August issue, but it won't be published.  ACK!!!!!   That sucks as I was really looking forward to seeing my quilt in this publication.

Modern Quilts Unlimited
 Oh, thank goodness - I wrote all that and then thought I wonder if I'm allowed to say that.  But I just checked their web page and here is the announcement.  You can still get back issues and I might just do that. I really liked the magazine but didn't get all the issues. What I find interesting is that they attended Quilt Market just last week. How could you go to that show and make like nothing is wrong when you're ready to shut down the following week??

Let's face it - the publishing industry is going through a MAJOR flux at the moment. Higher costs of printing, labor, transportation and all sorts of things. It doesn't surprise me and yet it does. Along with fabric companies, designers, magazines, books - everything is taking a toll in the quilting industry. Despite the fact that people say the quilt industry is growing, it's growing only because of new products and fabrics being introduced and the existing quilters buy them. It's not growing because new quilters are coming onboard. The new quilters that are coming on board are just replacing those that no longer quilt most likely due to age. Anyway, that's strictly my opinion.

We all need to do our part in keeping our industry alive and well. That doesn't mean that you need to go out and buy stuff. It does mean encouraging other people to learn to quilt. We NEED to figure out a way to make the industry grow by engaging more people in the craft. It means that we shouldn't be sharing or photocopying patterns and magazines and books because that means there is less money flowing back to the people who do the creating and they will have no choice but to find another avenue to support themselves. And of course, we need to quit our day jobs so we have the time to sew up everything that we have - but then we wouldn't have the money to buy more stuff. Hmm - now what?

Anyway, I thought I'd share that story with you.  Perhaps it would be a good idea if I just step back from designing for magazines as I really seem to have a kiss of death for them. Maybe I can just write and publish my own patterns!

On that happy note, it's Sit n Sew day today!!!!  We're going to have a blast and I've got stuff cut (did that last night) and I'm ready to sew today.

Have a super day!!!


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