Review: Quiltmaker Magazine

Quiltmaker Jan-Feb 2018
Quiltmaker Jan-Feb 2018

Recently I bought the January-February 2018 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. I remember when this magazine started and it was very different to the behemoth that was Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine.

I didn’t have a chance to read it until this week when I had to stay home and be quiet for a few days.

I noticed several things about it. First, it still has a few quilts from readers who made patterns found in the magazine. I haven’t read many magazines lately, but I don’t remember seeing that feature in some of the newer magazines.

Next,There is one page about new notions, gifts, books and “gotta-haves” (pg.8).

Third, this is still a pattern magazine. There are 12 patterns in this issue, which, if I worked diligently, would take me over a year to make. The patterns have a lifestyle shot and an easy-to-find straight on shot. Included on one pattern page is  a small sidebar that tells the difficulty, the finished size of the quilt and the size of each box. FABULOUS! Patterns also include a coloring page. Not only can you relax with some coloring, but you can also try out your own color ideas without needing to buy EQ8. Some of the patterns have colored in drawings of the quilts as well. This issue had a pull out section with some templates and designs for quilting as well.

Fourth, one of the patterns, Sodalite Cabins, includes an artists profile after the pattern. I think this is a nice touch. I always like to know more about people, how and why they quilt.

Instruction n.4
Instruction n.4

Next, I like their directions for basic quilting instructions. The instructions are for the Stitch and Flip method of adding triangles to a square or rectangle type unit. The description says “Stitch & Flip is the perfect technique for making Flying Geese, Square in a Square’s [sic] and parallelograms without having to sew on the bias” (pg.33). The new Folded Corners Ruler does the same type of thing, but with these Quiltmaker instructions you don’t necessarily need the ruler. There are 6 illustrated and easy to follow instructions to show the reader how to get the job done. You have to buy the magazine to get the full instructions, however what caught my eye was the way the editors showed the particular placement of the ruler. Nice!

Fifth, Articles! Yes, the magazine has a few articles, some non-pattern content. A couple of the articles were on using some type of machine for  quilting and the last one was a column called Addicted to Scraps. Addicted to Scraps is written by Bonnie Hunter. She is the designer of the various mystery quilts that start around the holidays like my En Provence quilt. In this column she talks about using her Essential Triangle Tool and about making some scrappy blocks that include 4 patches. These are not instructions for a quilt, but you can see a layout diagram for a quilt if you follow the link included on the page. I like this idea as it forces readers to be a little more creative.

While I don’t plan to become a subscriber, I am pleased with what I saw in this magazine this week.

Block Magazine Review

Block, Summer 2015, v.2, n.3
Block, Summer 2015, v.2, n.3

I have been wanting to write a review of Block Magazine for a few months now and this is the first chance I have had to do it. I will write about the magazine in general, but use the Summer 2015, volume 2 issue 3 issue as my reference.

In general, I like this magazine, because there is more to it than just patterns.Like many other magazines, there is an introduction, patterns, sometimes an article about a notion or tool and some piece of quilt-related fiction. This magazine is good entertainment.

Each pattern comes with a story or essay and that makes the patterns infinitely more interesting to me. Wouldn’t you rather hear about how and why Aunt Irma made thus and such quilt from pieces of her little girls’ dresses than just get a pattern on a sheet of paper? I would and, thus, I like the essays that go with the patterns. The essays tell the inspiration of the quilt.

The pattern for Box Full of Letters was in a previous issue of this magazine. There are a couple of interesting patterns in this issue as well. One that I really like is 4 Patch Frenzy. It reminds me of a tile floor. It occurred to me that it might be a good use for the Half Moon Modern fabric I have. I also like Sweet Stars. The bright colors on black have really great contrast.

I also like the colors they use for their drawings of the patterns. The soothing blues and greens make me feel like I can make anything.

If you like pre-cuts, this is the magazine for you. Usually the patterns use some kind of pre-cut, sometimes two. They never talk about bias issues, but the patterns do work.

This issue has an article about needles, which I think might be missing a paragraph, but gives basic information about needles that is really helpful.

Color Palette, Summer 2015 issue
Color Palette, Summer 2015 issue

Sometime ago, I made my own Jelly Roll. In each issue of the magazine, they put together a color palette, which I am often tempted to duplicate. The one included in this issue is particularly bright and cheerful. They also tell the line, stock number and color for each piece of fabric in case you want to buy a piece and/or make your own Jelly Roll.

Do you absolutely need this magazine to get the patterns? I don’t think so. I think that most of the patterns included have been made into one of the Missouri Star Quilt Company videos. The price is really reasonable – $5.99 per issue and each issue is more of a book than a magazine.

I might have to stop subscribing to this magazine just because it is giving me TOO MANY ideas! LOL!


Magazine: Quilt with Scraps

Threads Publication: Quilt with Scraps
Threads Publication: Quilt with Scraps

My local grocery store has a lot of interesting magazines and they change them up quite frequently. I saw one called ‘Salt’ once and then never saw it again.

Last Tuesday, I was doing the weekly shopping and saw this magazine at the checkout stand. Of course, I had to buy it.

It is a publication by the same people who make Threads. Scrapitude is on my mind, so I grabbed it to see what quilty loveliness was there.

It is actually more of a book in magazine format, though here is no title page.

The whole magazine appears to be written by Joan Ford and discussing her Scrap Therapy program/system. I was interested in the various sections (they weren’t really articles) and how she presents the system.

One thing she does is cut her scraps into 2″, 3.5″ and 5″ squares. She explains how much can be done with those sizes, including how well they fit together. It occurred to me that I could test this on a donation quilt at quilt some point.

Aside from the sizes, her system seems to include the concept of Scraps+1. Fortunately she has the sense to point out that it is fine to buy a background fabric to go with your scraps. She considers design when she is discussing laying out the scraps, which I appreciate greatly.

Included is a sensible approach to some of the basics. She has a section on accurate cutting and shows a slightly different way to hold the ruler to keep it in place. In places where she does things slightly differently than the assumed norm, she explains why she does it that way.

The projects are interesting, too. One thing that s a given is that more fabrics are better than one. Many of the projects are inspired by the Infinite Variety show, but do not mimic the quilts in that show. One of the quilts inspired by the show is blue and cream. I love that! I love that she shows how to expand beyond what the pattern shows.

There are a lot of photos and diagrams, which helps explain the techniques. Applique’ as well as piecing is included and Ms. Ford marks the patterns by difficulty. She does not shy from intermediate and advanced patterns.

If you see this magazine, it is beautifully done and well worth the money.

Review: Love Quilting & Patchwork

Love Quilting & Patchwork
Love Quilting & Patchwork

I picked up this magazine on a whim at Joann when I was there the other day NOT buying ShapeFlex (apparently they had has an interfacing sale and were cleaned out). I was attracted by the bright and cheerful colors. Yes, despite autumn coming on the quilt on the cover had no browns. Points scored!

Every page is designed with bright and cheerful colors. I think that in the US, it might be marketed as a modern magazine, but nowhere obvious in the content did anything scream modern.

There are patterns and most of them have an alternate colorway. The quilt you see on the cover has a 1930s alternate colorway, which is GREAT. It is so different than the fabrics shown that the 1930s fabrics really show the pattern to a different advantage.

In addition to quilt patterns, they offer block tutorials (in this issue, Tula Pink), interviews, and a tote bag pattern, which makes me hope for small accessories in future issues as well. There are a couple of pages showing new fabric lines, a shop review, technique tips and an article about a designer’s journey to Quilt Market. There was also a pattern on how to make apron pockets. Different, yes.

My favorite part of this magazine is the Triangle City pillow (block) pattern by Katy Jones. If you don’t know Katy Jones, she is the designer of the quilts that flow out of the I’m a Ginger Monkey blog. I like this pattern, because it is not made up of a 1,000 half square triangles and is a challenging project. The directions are several pages long, involve English Paper Piecing and assume that you can do this. You can. I am going to try it. It might kill me, but I am going to try it. Try it with me. Buy rotary templates from Katy.

The photography is colorful and interesting. The drawings are cheerful and fun. There is a god balance of color and white use on the layout of the pages.

Try it out. As encouragement, they have a special offer good until September 27, 2013:

  • UK readers:
  • US readers:

Find an issue. I hope you will like as much as I do.

Magazine Review: Quilt

Quilt, Aug/Sept 2013
Quilt, Aug/Sept 2013

This is a review of the August/September 2013 issue. I read it while I was on the plane to Seattle. I bought this one at the same time I bought Fast Quilts. I think I bought it because the cover is fresh and cheerful. If I have read this magazine before, it has been awhile.

This magazine has articles as well as patterns. Near the beginning is a “Readers Top Tips.” I have heard many, many tips in my travel through the quiltmaking landscape, but occasionally is something that sparks my interest. We can always learn.

In this issue, a reader suggested that cutting a 2.5″ strip off each piece if yardage quiltmakers wash and iron might be a good idea. I am cutting pieces anyway so why not? One reason that I might not want to do that is that I might not want to make a jelly roll quilt. Also, if I only buy a half yard of a fabric, cutting a 2.5″ strip off of it will reduce the width.

However, in addition to using a collection of jelly roll strips for patterns such as those from the Lintott girls, such as Jelly Roll Quilts or Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts, or from Kimberly Einmo’s Jelly Roll Magic, the tip suggests giving them as a gift. I like this idea. Not many of the friends to whom I give gifts make jelly roll quilts, but it is an idea.

Another article, or tip, is called Scrap Savvy. It suggests cutting your scraps from a project into usable sizes. Pam goes into her methodology for this type of project on her site and in her podcast. I think it is a good idea to cut scraps into usable sizes. For me, I am not sure what the usable sizes would be.

This issue includes a column by Kaffe Fassett [enough said]. I know he comes from knitting and needlepoint, which, I think, gives him a briader perspective. I’d like to see his essays on design and color compiled into a book.

Quilt, August/September 2013, pg.14
Quilt, August/September 2013, pg.14

An interesting couple of pages showed two different blocks. I think the idea was to encourage stash building (like any of us need that!), but I think putting blocks on a page without a quilt allows the readers’ imaginations to flow and inspire some interesting possibilities.

I am always interested in new tools, so the page full of the sparked my interest. I liked the idea of the Bloc_Loc rectangular ruler (website with video). I think it is interesting how the ‘locking mechanism’ fits on the seam line rather than the mat or somewhere else.

A Guide to Batting is covered in this issue as well. The article is laid out in a very cute and appealing way, but, ultimately, poorly done. The author did not talk about characteristics consistently across products. I wanted to know which batting (aside from poly) would shrink the least when washed. I couldn’t tell from this article and plan to go back and look when I am not quite so tired. I did find out that there are quite a number of new battings that I haven’t heard of. There was was also a glossary of terms related to batting, which was helpful.

You might remember my Triangle Technique. This issue has a chart showing how to make triangle squares 8-at a time the way my TT tutorial shows. If you read my tutorial you will know that others thought up this technique. I added to the knowledge store by creating a chart showing sizes. The tutorial in this issue gives you the math formula showing how to calculate for different sizes. No, I am not going to tell you what it is; you have to buy the magazine. My tip, though, is go a bit larger than they say, so you have room to trim to get absolutely perfect HSTs.

The primary focus of the magazine is on the quilt patterns. There are 16 projects in this issue. The directions and supplies are generally contained in 2-3 pages.

I liked the Floating in Air pattern, because of the scrappy / charm selection of squares. It doesn’t look chaotic. TFQ and I used to exchange 4″ squares and this quilt would work really well with those charms.

Looking at the Stars & Stripes pattern (guess the color scheme) would look in other colors. I realize this pattern was designed for a specific holiday, but I would like to see it in a different colorway. Would the design translate successfully into different colors? Could the appliqued stars be replaced by eggs for Easter or moons for worship of Artemis?

I thought the Falling Stars quilt (pg.67) was an interesting layout. I don’t know why the designer used an appliqued Sawtooth Star when those stars are so easy to piece. Perhaps the unbroken look of no seam lines?

Blueberry Parfait (pg.74) has a great name. The pieces are so large that it is hard to see any sort of design unless the quilt is spread out flat. Once flat it has a strong diagonal design. The scale of the pieces are too big for me. I think this design could be scaled down just a bit and have equal impact.

I haven’t made the quilt, but glancing through the directions gave me the impression that there was a lot of waste in the construction techniques.

The quilt on page 82, Galileo’s View, really made me wonder.The quilt has blocks, but the blocks work together to make an overall design.  It is marked intermediate and I can’t tell why. The blocks are large and simple. The sashing is thin and the blocks have to be placed in a certain way to achieve the overall design of the quilt. Other than paying attention to layout, I don’t know why anyone but the very fresh beginner would have any problem piecing this quilt.

Overall, there are quilts in this magazine for everyone. All tastes and a lot of styles are covered, even the 1990s, Asian, floral and, of course, modern and classic.



**Nota Bene: I am still creating posts off of my phone, so pardon the weird, uncropped photos and any typos. We’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming soon.

Fast Quilts Surprise

Fast Quilts Magazine
Fast Quilts Magazine

Fast Quilts was a new magazine to me, though I see there are a few issues, at least, out. I picked it up, my lip curling, in an unattractive manner, at the name. I expected to look at another batch of boring quilts. You know my firm and fast opinion: quilts are not fast, simple or easy. Quilts take time.

My sneer quickly dissipated. Yes, these quilts are fast, but they are not boring. The people who selected the quilts for the magazine were smart. They chose quilts that are not difficult (I refuse to use the word ‘easy’) to make, but use interesting designs.

This McCall’s magazine includes only patterns. There are no articles except a brief introduction by the editor. A few of the quilts use clever techniques such as wonky applique and button embellishment to add interest to various quilts within the pages.

Primarily, however, there is an excellent use of fabric and block settings. a couple of the quilts include an additional colorway with the pattern. You know I love that! Funfetti (pg.50) is a two block quilt made with Textured Basics, like Fresh Fruit. The setting looks unusual, but a closer look tells us that the 2 different blocks and the way they are set do all of the work. The fabric choices don’t slack either. While looking at this quilt, it occurred to me that using a plus type block as an alternate block can create all kinds of interest in a quilt. This quilt is fresh and fun while making good use of the fabric.

As I said, the settings are interesting, sometime unusual without being gimmicky. Raspberry Cheesecake (evocative name, don’t you think?) (pg.69) has similar blocks to the Orange & Grey Donation quilt. The wide sashing between the blocks and the way the fabric sashing blends with the background fabric in the block provides an interesting row quilt look in one version while also showing an interesting grid arrangement in the alternate version.

The quilts in this magazine reminded me of donation quilts. Nobody wants make a boring or ugly quilt and the quilts in this issue would be great donation quilt patterns. Odds & Ends (pg.67), which includes more plus-type blocks would make good blocks for the leaders and enders technique. It would also be interesting to make with a consistent background and scrappy pluses.

Zig & Zag (pg.56) is really the reason I bought this magazine issue. I was interested in the other quilts, but this one was really interesting. I like the colors and the strong diagonal line. I also wanted to study the construction a little more than a quick glance at Barnes &  Noble allowed. It is one of my favorite quilts in the magazines.

McCall’s really shows their dominance in the quilt world with Pickup Sticks (pg.52). I know that phrase sounds quite pompous, but Pickup Sticks is really just a bunch of strips, yet the designer (and the editor for picking the quilt0 was a genius, because she really takes a simple technique of strip cutting and makes blocks that are not boring and uses fabrics that moves the eye around the quilt. This is the type of quilt where I can see the possibilities using different fabric.

Check it out.

Not Renewing

I received a ‘SERVICE INTERRUPTION PENDING’ notice from QNM yesterday. I received this notice despite the fact that I have sent back at least 2, if not 3 of their previous renewal notices letting them know I am not renewing.

I wonder what it takes for them to get the message?

Why am I not renewing? Many reasons.

Reason #1: My primary reason is that QNM is now part of a group that owns Love of Quilting, Keepsake quilting and other quiltmaking properties. This group has low standards for customer service.When I was looking for certain rotary cutting instructions that were not included in a pattern, but were mentioned on the Love of Quilting TV show, I kept getting fobbed off on someone else. Nobody would take responsibility for helping me, for finding the instructions.  I am not a moron. I know how to check the web, I have the CD of patterns, which I also looked at. They just don’t care.

Reason #2: I don’t usually use patterns, so the projects in the magazine are a waste of space for me and I don’t want to pay for them. This issue says “..patterns are ideas or guidelines not absolutes.” This is not the ‘vibe’ I have gotten from the quilt industry lately. They want you to use patterns, buy the printed pattern and the Jelly Roll and make what they tell you to make. The quote is quite ironic, I think.

Reason #3: They keep changing editors. Every issue seems to have a new editor.

Reason #4: My fabric doesn’t match the patterns anyway. When I did try and use a pattern (Stepping Stones by the Lintott girls) I found it to be very difficult, because they didn’t use terms such as light, medium and dark, large-scale print, small scale print or solid when describing the fabrics. They used pre-cuts and that was all the pattern was written for. There was no option for the future, when that pre-cut isn’t available or other color choices, because a person doesn’t like that mushy look.

Reason #5: I didn’t ask to subscribe to this magazine. I unsubscribed some time ago and was re-subscribed when they shut down Quilter’s Home.

Reason #6: I have enough to read. I am finding that reading in my life is going by the wayside. I have so many obligations and so much to do that reading is one of the things that is dropping away. If I didn’t have audiobooks, I would never ‘read’ anything. It was such a pleasure to read more than 2 pages in a real book this week while I was sick.

Reason #7: I have enough ideas. I really don’t need anymore new ideas. What I need is to figure out how to live longer (I already don’t smoke), so I can get through them.

Reason #8: There is a mini clothing catalog in the center. Not sure if the owners noticed, but QNM is quilt magazine, not a clothing magazine, why not put a fabric catalog in the center? I think this is one of the problems with QNM being owned by a private equity fund rather than by someone who knows something about quiltmaking. They lump women into a group with the idea that “if they like quilts, they must like clothing.”

Reason #9: I am really liking the Quilt Life magazine. Yes, they have patterns, but the patterns are not the focus. I also like the writing.

Reason #10: I can always change my mind

There are a lot of reasons to like QNM: the great quilt photos, variety of articles, variety of voices writing, the quilt world news and the interviews with designers. I don’t like some of the changes, but I can’t condemn the whole magazine. For now, it just isn’t for me.


Magazine Report

A Variety of Mags & Books
A Variety of Mags & Books

I am pretty happy with the recent magazines and books that have magically appeared in my life recently. I brought several magazines with me to Monterey and read them while I laid in bed.

I recently really and truly gave myself permission to skip over articles even if the magazine cost a lot. As a result I was able to get through 2.5 of these magazines over the weekend.

Stitch (upper left) always draws me in with their cover photos. I really try hard not to buy the issues, but their covers are so gorgeous that I gave in this time. There are a couple of projects I want to make including a two handed hot pad and an apron. I am thinking the hot pad, if the directions are not stupid, would make great gifts.

I had never seen Classic Stitches magazine. It is a UK magazine and that journal cover just blew my mind. I am having a hard time reading the pattern, because I can’t stop looking at the photos, so I can’t tell whether I could make it. There is soldering required and I probably wouldn’t do that part, but I have to try the pattern in general. It might revolutionize my journal cover making, or at least jazz it up.

Love of Quilting was mostly patterns. I did enjoy Gerald Roy’s column on antique quilts and would like it if his publisher would compile a book of those columns. My all time favorite is still his column about the Tea Basket pattern. There are lots of appealing ads in this magazine!

Fresh Vintage v.10
Fresh Vintage v.10

This is what I bought (I think I did anyway) after seeing Gerald Roy’s column on the Tea Basket pattern. I am sure this pattern is in EQ6 (etc) as well. You can buy this pamphlet at the Fig Tree site. Is it a great block? Not easy, but great!

I bought a second issue of the Quilt Life just to see. I am concerned about it having anything new and exciting because the editor is the same as QNM. I probably won’t subscribe, but I’ll read it and see if it is worth another issue. Sometimes I just feel like I need some new quilt info and buy whatever magazines I can find.

The Jane Brocket book is not a magazine, but it came in from The Book Depository. I have not read it yet, but glanced through and noticed it has the Kaffe Fassett styling with lots of old, shabby brick, decrepit walls and peeling paint. There is an obligatory section on how to make a quilt. I’ll tell you later if I find anything of interest. Her writing style is what attracted me. I liked the Gentle Art of Domesticity and was hoping for something like that. The current title was released int he US already and I saw it in Back Porch Fabrics.

Go read and be inspired.

Quilter’s Home Subscription

I received an e-mail today to subscribe to QH. Since I hadn’t gotten around to sending in the card, I clicked on the link and in 2 minutes, I was done. I am behind an issue now, so I still have to go and find that one, but am glad that I won’t have to hunt around for hilarious quilt reading material after this.

And while you are at it, read the Washington Post article. If the Post asks you to register, get a slightly used login from BugMeNot.

New Q Mag

Mark Lipinski is the editor and, presumably, creative genius, behind Quilter’s Home, a new quilt lifestyle magazine from Primedia. Lipinski is a fellow Quilt Maverick. In an effort at full disclosure I have to say that despite sharing cyberspace on this venerable list, I haven’t met Mark. I have also, unfortunately, only read a few of his posts.

Airplane rides are good magazine reading time so I picked up a copy of the premiere issue of his magazine at Joann’s after ordering one from my friends at Quilting Adventures. Yes, I know I will have two copies, but either I will cut one up or send one to St. JCN or both and really, I just couldn’t wait!

In general, I like the magazine. I think it gives a different twist to quilt magazines and brings quiltmaking out of the ‘hobby for quilters only’ area and into the mainstream decorating world. In addition to a few patterns, techniques and reviews, the magazine shows using quilts as decorative objects. The magazine is billed as being for quiltmakers, but I think it would appeal to non quiltmakers, especially home dec fans, as well.

One aspect that I especially appreciated was the writing. There is a cohesive voice in this first issue, but the writers also tied their styles together well. Perhaps this is what editors do?

The layout and colors were really well done as well. I liked the scrapbook like splashes of color across the pages. It draws your eye around and makes the layout interesting. I especially noticed this on the “Souvenir Hankies” article. The color of the title picks up the color in some of the hankies.

I thought there was a nice range of articles related to quiltmaking, if not completely about quiltmaking. The big YAYs were the fact that there was NO section on how to make a quilt. Thank goodness Mark resisted Primedia’s probable pressure to include two paragraphs on quilting your quilt. There are enough magazines and books out there telling beginners how to make a quilt in 3 paragraphs. I am in favor as much as the next girl of getting people into quiltmaking, but how often do we have to publish incomplete directions on how to make a quilt? [Come back and look at this post, because I know this is a soapbox that I will have to stand on one day. When I do, I will put the link HERE as well]

Of course, the mag doesn’t serve all of my “needs.” One thing I would like to see is a review of blogs. Mark and crew did have a list of quilt related podcasts, which is COOL. I can’t wait to see what they are about. Perhaps, Quilter’s Home will choose blogs as their next medium to review? I think there are way too many blogs to include in one issue. I hope that it would be a short regular piece of the magazine… at least for a as long as blogs are around.

While there was only one pattern (YAY again, go somewhere else for patterns!), I thought it was an interesting and unusual pattern. Not a difficult pattern, but also not a 9 patch or an Ohio Star. They tied the pattern into an article that covered the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire as well as genealogy. I thought this approach was very well done. I would like them to continu, if not expand this aspect. My ideal would be a column or regular feature on how to take a pattern you find in everyday life (Gradma’s quilt, a mosaic stoop or an ad in the newspaper) and make it your own. Another aspect could be how to take a block you like, change the size and turn it into a quilt or wallhanging. There are enough patterns in this world to choke a horse. I don’t need anymore.

Additionally, I would like to see some of the more complex, unusual and interesting blocks highlighted in their historical context as well as, perhaps, a gallery of quilts or wallhangings or sample blocks made by readers in that pattern. I am thinking of the Laura Wheeler Snowball Wreath block I found on eBay. See a photo below of my rendition of this block pattern.

Snowball Wreath by Jaye
Snowball Wreath by Jaye

Mark did have an article on diet and exercise for quiltmakers, which I thought was a) an enlightened idea for an article; b) a great public service; and c) listed good ideas for keeping the weight off. I did, however, get the impression (and correct me if I am wrong) that it set an underlying tone of self deprecation for the entire issue. I don’t like self deprecation in anyone and don’t want to see it in a magazine. I believe that everyone is fabulous the way they are. If a person wants to improve themselves, more power to them, but nobody should be made to feel like a lesser person because someone else says they should be fatter, thinner, prettier, uglier, etc. I am sure that Mark is struggling with the difficult position of being a man in a predominantly female hobby and doesn’t want to come across as too arrogant. Mark, you ROCK the way you are!

I was pleased to see some sources of creativity and inspiration displayed, such as Vera Wang. It is great to think about how another media or designer can influence a quiltmaker or quiltmaking. Not enough attention is given to inspiration and creativity, so this was a great choice of article.

In that vein, the article entitled 111 Ways to Jumpstart your Creativity was excellent. As you have probably noticed from some entries here on Artquiltmaker, I am adamant that you have to look at everything in order to get inspiration. The Greek embroideries at the Textile Museum were very interesting. There is a turquoise, hot pink and seafoam green quilt in my future, I think, as a result of looking at them. Many of the sources listed in the article were sources already on my radar, but it is great to get a reminder. I would have liked to have seen more visual examples of the sources of creativity. Little squares to the right of the text showing examples of the editors’ entries would have added to the article. It may, however, have cluttered up the fine layout of the page. They mention holiday ornaments, why not have a picture of one? Mosaic-show an example of a piece of the mosaic and give a URL for the whole piece. The end part of the article discusses flea markets, which confused me a bit. Do the editors mean that we should be inspired by a flea market or what we find there? The latter, I assume, but one can never tell. One thing I didn’t see on the list was grillwork. Did I miss it?

I also liked the concept of the real room makeover. I would have liked to know to whom the room belonged. Was it a real room or a staged room? Was it the master bedroom of one of the editors? Was it Mark’s guest room? More info, please. Perhaps he could take readers rooms and have his designers make them over? After my construciton is finished, I would volunteer one of my rooms. Heck! They need redoing anyway!

I am not really sure what to think about the article about the medium talking with Jane Stickle. Was it for real? It was definitely different. If true, it is very interesting. I am inclined to lean towards true since the “discussion” with Jane Stickle was rather vague.I have no experience in that area, so I’ll let my faithful readers draw their own conclusions.

One ad displayed Martha Negley fabric and shows an interesting coffee print. I have o shortage of coffee prints that I am not using, so I will have to see if it comes in different colorways for curtains or napkins or something. I didn’t find any of the other ads particularly interesting. They are the same as in QNM and the AQS magazine. No big surprise there.

The book reviews are placed in interesting locations, which draw your eye around the different pages.

I couldn’t appreciate the cat in the studio article as I am petless and wouldn’t stand for the rummaging around that pets do. I don’t allow it for anyone else so why would I allow it for a pet? I have to say that the article was well written and had an interesting voice. I know there are many quiltmakers with pets and I refuse to judge the whole magazine by one article.

The rotary cutter comparison article was great. I had a hard time finding the detailed review descriptions, but once I did the information was really helpful. They make an important point upfront about people never testing rotary cutters themselves, because of the cost of rotary cutters. I especially liked the Mark’s Posse aspect. I think that idea epitomizes the way people learn about stuff: from their friends.

The Souvenir hankies article reminded me of a feature in the Mary Englebreit magazine. It was nice to see it, but it is not an aspect of the magazine that I think is critical. Could I use these hankies in a quilt? Should I use these hankies in a quilt?

I have to say that I am disconcerted by the fact that this mag is published by Primedia. Primedia has nearly ruined Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine. In all fairness, the decline started after Bonnie Leman left. Some freshening up of the layout has been good, but I fear that venerable lady will be dead soon. I hope that Primedia doesn’t have too much say in the direction of Quilter’s Home.

In any case I would buy another copy or the next issues. No subscription card for this mag was included in the issue. We’ll have to stay tuned. Thanks and NICE WORK to Mark and the gang.