Quilt Magazines

This post was started last week, and I didn’t know I’d have a project in the current American Quilter magazine.  This post is about quilt magazines in general . . not any one in particular and not written for any personal gain on my part.  Full disclosure . . you know!

Seems like every quilt list or group has recently had a discussion about quilt magazines.  Without saying bad things about your least favorites, tell me about your favorite magazines.  Why are they your favorite?  What do you enjoy seeing in the magazines? Articles about quilters, tips on saving time with maybe cooking and cleaning so you can have more quilting time?  What about patterns, challenges?  Are you more likely to make the patterns that look quick and easy – maybe as a quick gift for a niece or neighbor?  Or do the more elaborate patterns call out to you?

I’ve always known it is impossible to please everyone but just from having the blog, I realize how hard it seems some days to please even a few.  I’d hate to be a magazine editor!   Before you’re too critical of any magazine, remember how many people they hear from each and every day — probably like everything else in life, they don’t hear so much praise but they surely hear the complaints.  And, I’m not saying this because anyone has told me this . . I’m just kinda guessing.

My guess (why do I write a blog post full of guesses?) is that financially, it’s hard to make it these days.  With Electric Quilt, we’re all designers.  With the blog, there are free articles and patterns everywhere!

Everything seems to cycle.  Several years ago, I let all  my subscriptions run out.  I’d look at the magazines at the bookstore and buy the ones that looked interesting.  I didn’t miss getting them in the mail.  But sometime last year, I kinda missed getting a magazine in my mailbox every now and then and I re-subbed to several and I find that I can hardly wait to sit down and read them when they come in.  Some of the magazines that I dearly loved a few years back are no longer my favorites.  Some of the ones I wasn’t so crazy about, I now love.  Did they change?  Did I change?  I don’t know but I’m happy to be looking forward to receiving them again.

There was a time when all the ads in the magazines aggravated me . . a lot!  Even knowing that the ads kept the cost of the magazine down, the number of pages devoted to ads bugged me.  But now that I so rarely get to a quilt shop, I love seeing the ads – seeing the new gadgets, seeing the new fabrics, seeing where the quilt shows will be held.

So, if you’ve turned your back on some of the quilt magazines, give them another chance.  At least look at them in the bookstore to see if they mighte something you might like.  We don’t want there to ever come a time when there are one or two or even no quilt magazines out there so let’s give them our support!

Comments

  1. 1

    diane says

    Judy you sound like me, I go in cycles subscribing to magazines and then stopping. I like seeing the ads for new gadgets and fabric lines. I like seeing ones with websites so I can then go look for myself.
    It’s a rare magazine tha doesn’t have at least one thing that I think I’d like to make-which is another reason I stop subscribing every few years-pattern overload!

  2. 2

    says

    I run hot and cold on magazines. They change or I change and what was meaningful or inspiring to me last year, isn’t this year. My current favorites are American Quilter, Fons and Porter and Quilting Arts. I subscribe to others but those have the best mix of articles and patterns. I dislike magazines that I can read through in less than 30 minutes. I do like the ads because I frequently find new products or vendors that I want to check out.

  3. 3

    says

    I held on to F&P’s mag the longest, I liked the column on the antique quilts the best.

    I took a year’s worth of the last 2 mag subscriptions, some 3M post-it flags, and a little time, and when I came out, I’d marked maybe 2 projects I’d actually commit time to. I think I’ll review the antique quilt column in the library. :o(

    Perhaps a great deal of my discontent with the patterns offered in current mags is that they are geared to sell a particular line of fabric. Tough sell when scrappies are my favorite.

  4. 4

    Shannon says

    I buy a lot of magazines. I like to to look through them and there is usually at least one quilt or technique that I think I might do. I usually have no problem being inspired.

    My favorites are still the same: Quiltmaker and American Patchwork and Quilting. I’ve really taken a liking to the Quilts and More magazine and I’ve always liked Quilt Sampler.

    The thing that annoys me is the recycling of projects that some magazines seem to do and not just in special additions.

  5. 5

    says

    Sad to say, I let my subscriptions expire also. I buy a magazine now and then just to see what is new and exciting. There always seems to be a new gotta have gadget or fabric. I thumb through a few and pick one.

    In the last couple years, I have gone through my stack of mags, tore out pages I love, put them in sleeves in a binder–I am now on binder #3 with plans to sort the pages into categories some day. And I have made several quilts from those pages. But since I’m teaching myself to use my EQ5 with help from your posts, I don’t think I’ll be subscribing to any magazines for a while. Anyhow that’s the plan for today. 😉

  6. 6

    Debbie Bailey says

    Judy,
    How scary…we are of the same mind! Since I got a “longarm” a few years ago I definitely look differently at quilts and appreciate the magazines that show quilting designs; American Patchwork and Fons and Porter. I stopped subscribing and instead decide by thumbing through the magazine first. If they magazines are sealed at the news stand I check out their quilts on the internet first. Like you…I had several subscriptions but let them run out when they just didn’t spark my interest regularly.

    I will say one thing that really turned me off from monthly subscriptions was finding free internet patterns as quilt patterns in the magazines…at least vary it a little from the internet freebee!

  7. 7

    says

    I currently subscribe to McCall, Qmaker and recently AM Patch & Q. So far Qmaker would be my favorite, follwed by McC and that is just base on quilts I have made out of these magazines. I guess I am like you, Judy, and can’t wait to get my hands on the magazine and read/ go through it several times. If a $10 year subscription makes me happy for several months, what is wrong about that? I may not agree with their quilt choices or colors, but hey, I don’t have to make the ones I don’t like. It’s all good and ignore what you don’t like. Concerning ads: I have never been to a quilt sale show/ market, so to read about anything new and nifty in form of an ad is fine with me.
    To sum it up: the quilting magazines are the only magazines in my house. I stopped getting these depressing Time / Newsweek and other mags long ago. There is only so much bad news I can take – and yep, I also canceled my TV probably 4 years ago; THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE!!

  8. 8

    Deb says

    Let’s see. I have, F&P, AQS, Quiltmaker, Quilting Newsletter, Quilter’s Home and Quiltworld. I love the fact that AQS and Quiltworld come in a digital version, then I can keep them and pass the hard copy to friends, or people who cant afford them, and the pdfs are easy to print from, especially if it is paper pieced. I like to print out a copy of a pattern, since I write all over them and dont want to wreck the mag or book. I will let some of them lapse ($$). I like AQS, QN, and Quilter’s Home, since they have more articals on what is going on in the quilt world and less patterns. I have all the patterns I could possibly need, and not another of the same pattern done in a different fabric. I dont like mags or patterns that are super easy, I can do those myself, and dont have to spend money on them, (and many are free on the web, or a close version) so I love the more difficult patterns in QN. I have yet to make any of them, but hopefully some day. They are the only ones I don’t get rid of. I like to go through and purge them every so often, and give them away. But, like everyone, I like reading them in bed, or best, before we go camping, I go out and buy every one that I dont have so I have a bunch to read in the camper. So I end up with a few extra! I guess if I cant BE quilting I need to be reading about it! And then I usually get the yearly addition of “The best of American Patchwork” book. I get sucked in, as they are all scrappy patterns…UGH. The husband doesnt get it…After writing it all down, I need to ween myself off of magazines….!

  9. 9

    Joan says

    I let all my subscriptions expire a couple years ago. Eventually started a new one with Quilting Arts but have let that one expire too, cause it’s just too darn expensive for me. I just got an offer from McCall’s quilting in the mail last week and instead of throwing it away I’ve got it on my desk. So I guess I’m about to subscribe to McCall’s which I’ve always liked.

  10. 10

    Kim says

    I haven’t subscribed to a magazine in ages, but sadly, it’s because of our lousy post office. Who wants to get a magazine that’s dog-eared or worse, torn or soaking wet? I’ve had a really good subscription offer from McCall’s Quilting sitting here on my desk…I’d love to take it, but they don’t pack it in plastic bags, so I’d just be asking for trouble. It’s much easier for me to pick up a copy at Walmart or JoAnn’s. At least I know I’d get it home in one piece! I love looking through McCall’s, American Patchwork & Quilting and all their associated publications, and Fons and Porter Love of Quilting and Quilter’s Newsletter.

  11. 11

    says

    I cycle like you do sometimes I want them in the mail and others I don’t.

    I don’t have any favorites right now but def. don’t have any dislikes either. My only “hiccup” with them is most have similar articles each month but I recognize that the biz is all about what’s “in” at that moment.

  12. 12

    says

    One magazine I won’t drop is Quiltmakers. I love this magazine. They give you the quilting designs the other magazines skip over the quilting part of the quilt. Maybe they should be called flimsy magazines since they don’t give any direction on the quilting and you will be left with a lot of flimsys (tops not quilted). I also enjoy American patchwork & quilting.

  13. 13

    says

    My only love is Quiltmaker (and I love it even more with Bonnie’s scrap column in it now). There’s always one or two quilts in there that I want to make, or can at least imagine making. I don’t subscribe, but since I’ve bought every single issue in the last year at the newstand, I probably should.

  14. 14

    Sharon says

    My favorite is Quiltmaker. Always has been. It was the first one I subscribed too and I still do. Something about it has always drawn me to it. I love how the pattern instructions are laid out, and I have made many of their quilts over the years. I like that they don’t require that you purchase “their” rulers or supplies to make the quilts as another major magazine has been leaning toward lately. I also like how they supply the alternate size charts with most of the patterns.

  15. 16

    says

    My very most favorite magazine of all time is no longer published, $100,000 Quilting Challenge. I LOVED it. It was inspiring, interesting and different from anything else out there.
    I do subscribe to several others, but they change every year or so. I do look forward to getting them in the mail.

  16. 17

    pdudgeon says

    I’ve still got my copy of the very first issue that AP&Q put out. i don’t have every issue, but i’ve got a lot of them, and have recently re-subscribed this year.

    what i like best is the tried and true, double-checked fabric requirements, the alternate colorways that are shown, and the pull-out pattern sheets.
    one of the new features, visiting with the quilt and fabric designers, is also something i look forward to reading.

    i also like the special quilt shop editions that they put out, as i love to see other quilt shops. i’ve added several of their shops to my fave’s list.

  17. 18

    says

    Right now I’m not subscribed to any quilt magazines. Like you, Judy, I look at them on the magazine racks & if one interests me I’ll buy it. I’d have to say American Patchwork and Quilting is my favorite right now. I used to love Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, but it seems to have changed a lot in the past couple of years & I just don’t care for it as much. I have a large collection of smaller pieces of fabric to use up so I’m mostly interested in scrappy patterns and I’ve been finding them on the Internet. I’m better off not even seeing the new fabrics because from what I HAVE seen they are running about $9-10 a yd. I’m better off cruising the sale rooms in quilt shops and discount fabric stores on the Internet. Since I’m not that into gadgets I really don’t miss the ads at all. The local library has subscriptions to Quilters Newsletter & American Patchwork & Quilting so I can borrow them from there if I need a magazine fix and won’t be making a trip somewhere that sells magazines……one of the benefits of living in the boonies, you have to make a trip somewhere to buy almost anything. LOL

  18. 19

    says

    I subscribed to a few magazines at the moment. I get Quilter’s Home and McCalls Quilting. I got a great deal on them which is the reason I subscribe. I used to love Quilter’s Home when Mark Lipinski was at the helm. Now it seems too fake/forced to bother reading. I’m not renewing them but I often buy magazines at the bookstore when something interests me, pattern or article. And I love the ads. That’s probably my favourite part of quilting magazines.

  19. 20

    says

    I let all my subscriptions run out because the projects all started looking the same. However I tend to pick up those issues at the grocery store that: (1) are NOT wrapped in plastic because I can’t tell if I’d like the magazine or not (2) have a variety of easy projects and difficult ones and (3) have some projects with both piecing and applique involved because that’s my style.

    I am a member of AQS and love getting their magazine in the mail for the show winners so I can see the quilts up close and read the stories about the people who quilted them. You need an inspirational magazine without patterns now and then.

  20. 21

    says

    I let my subscriptions expire, too. My most recent ones were Quiltmaker and F & P. I do occasionally get them at the bookstore if there is something in one that catches my eye. I have saved all the mags I got over the years and have a huge pile and have only made a very few things out of them, so I felt like it was silly for me to keep getting them. I am one who can’t do a lot of bed quilts, so you ask what I like in the mags and I tend to like smaller things……wall-hangings, interesting table runners, bags/purses (if they aren’t super-hard), and I have been wanting to make a nice (but not super-difficult) quilted jacket. Those are the kinds of things I look for more than bed-sized quilts now. I guess I should look at one of the bookstores that carries a lot of titles and see if there is one I’d like to get sent to me now. I do get the AQS mags since I am an AQS member and I like to look through them when they arrive.

  21. 22

    says

    I love Quilting Arts because it is off the beaten path and I dream of doing that kind of art. I love Quilts and More because they have things that are quick and easy and use up smaller amounts of time and fabric, but you are still quilting.

    I like Fons and Porter as well for their traditional designs. I like Quiltmaker because their patterns are not all easy patterns nor are they hard patterns. They are mid level ones.

    But while I do like quick ones, I also find that there are quilts that often speak to me. I might just do one block, or dream aobut doing a block, but it moves me to think in other ways.

    What I like to see in magazines are the quilting designs. Anyone can use EQ and make a quilt, or even use drafting paper with those squares on it to draw it out, but the quilting designs are the most difficult to envision.

    I also like to see the same pattern with multiple styles of fabric. Those mags who use a pattern to sell a fabric line are missing the opportunity to appeal to a larger audience just by changing the fabrics.

    I also like to see magazines that teach me something in the articles. They describe a process, or a new method of doing an old thing, or even teaches me about color or color placement or quilting after it is finished.

    I Want to see challenges, not with your staff, and don’t let the quilts with heavy applique always win! ;-).

    I like the ads because I see stuff I have not thought about and learn about new gadgets and books and websites.

  22. 23

    Evelyn says

    I have space for about 3 binders of quilting magazines… I got rid of almost all my “newer” issues and kept the very old Quiltmaker and Quilt magazines. Classics! Scrap quilts. Yes, they have lots of b&w photos and templates vs rotary cutting directions – but I can deal with that. What I love is the scrappy quilts and also quilts that take time to put together – the smaller the pieces, the more I love it, yikes! And those old Quilt magazines are just so… friendly!

  23. 24

    ida says

    I used to subscribe to a lot of magazines. Now, I flip through them, and justify their ‘purchase price’ if there is at least ONE quilt in the mag that I’d like to make.

    I do subscribe to Quilting Newsletter. I really enjoy Quilting Arts. F&P has some nice mags, but not every magazine strikes me.

    I used to enjoy Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home. That whole magazine conglomerate has gone downhill (in my opinion) recently.

    I enjoy quilting patterns. I enjoy seeing product comparisons — true comparisons — the ones where they say they did “x” and washed it y-many times … etc. Ones that show how a pink chalk shows on white, black, tan fabric … how it washes out of each, etc.

    BUT … just because there’s some great new product in a mag, I don’t necessarily believe everything there. I trust honest-to-goodness users. I probably rely more on bloggers than the magazines as far as product reviews.

  24. 25

    says

    My favorite magazine is American Patchwork & Quilting, but I only pick up some of the issues at the market. I was getting too many magazines at one time, and would find piles of them around my sewing room that I hadn’t looked at yet. I love the Australian magazines and always get them when I can find them. And I recently discovered QuiltMania. Although I’ve only seen one issue, I really like it.

  25. 26

    says

    I don’t subscribe. The cost of the magazine subscriptions are doubled because of the mailing costs. So, I do buy the occasional magazine, but only if I can thumb through. If there is one pattern that speaks to me, I’ll buy it. I love to buy the special magazines that focus on scrap quilts from various quilt designers. ie: America Loves Scrap Quilts. (Canada loves Scrap Quilts too :))

  26. 27

    Darlene S says

    I too had let my subscriptions lapse except AQS for about 5 or 6 years. Recently I’ve subscribed to Fons & P, McCall’s and the new mag QUILT by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. I enjoy seeing the quiilts, reading articles about feature quilters or techniques of name people, but as others have said, do not need any more inspirations about what to make. I like using my existing fabrics, so scrap quilts or those with simple blocks work well. I will probably let all my magazines lapse again except AQS when these run out. Now I like to see quilting patterns since I too have gotten a LA. I don’t have any more room to store any more mags !!! I have a hard time throwing them out or giving them away, just in case I want to revisit them again in a few years! 🙂 🙂 Dar in MO

  27. 28

    says

    I haven’t seen a comment yet about the only quilt magazine I get through subscription – Machine Quilting Unlimited. It is a fantastic magazine about machine quilting and just about the quilting. I started FMQing about 2 years ago, then got my own longarm just over a year ago and this magazine has taught me so much! I love the articles and the great pictures. My mom gets a few others that we share, but MQU is always the first I read!

  28. 29

    peggy says

    It’s amazing how many of us feel the same. I am still getting American Patchwork & Quilting, but I don’t think I’ll renew. I like to “look” at the magazines, but I hardly ever make any of the projects. Just not worth it.

  29. 30

    Debbie says

    I have also let all but Fons and Porter’s subscription lapse. I love them all but my husband retired too early and I have to watch what I spend on. So now mostly just buy fabric.

  30. 31

    Deb says

    Speaking of mags, I just got my AQS, and was paging through it, and (not thinking that Judy mentioned it) saw this awesome quilt that I ooohed and ahhhed over, and sure enough when i looked at the designer, it was YOU! Check it out ladies, it is great, and yet ANOTHER great border! On my list AGAIN. LOVE IT, Judy!

    And I forgot that I also get Machine quilting Limited, and it’s sister publication. I need help. Those i really like too. I learn alot.

  31. 32

    says

    I’ll flip through one occasionally when I’m in the bookstore but I don’t have any subscriptions anymore and there’s really not much in them that interests me these days. I’d rather buy books.

  32. 33

    says

    The problem that I find with magazines is they are mostly geared towards certain fabric lines, and they aren’t publishing as many scrap quilts. I am really a very traditional quilter that likes very old fashioned style quilts, and there just isn’t a magazine that is designed towards that idea in mind. However, I do pick up every now and then American Patchwork and Quilting.

  33. 34

    says

    Oh you US/Canadian ladies are just so lucky that you have a choice! Over in Europe there are pretty much never quilting magazines on the newsstands. I’m a lifelong quilter and couldn’t name a European magazine 🙁 I subscribe to Quilters Newsletter – which as you can imagine costs a fortune with postage – but since the change of ownership I think it has gone downhill and I probably won’t renew it.

  34. 35

    Karen says

    I let my subscriptions lapse a couple of years ago when I ran out of storage space! I was keeping them all. Then I went thru each magazine, tore out the patterns and/or tips that I was interested in trying and gave the rest to a friend. That freed up a lot of shelf space! Now I find myself buying the magazines at the bookstore – I usually page thru them and buy the ones that have something that interests me.

  35. 36

    ida lively says

    Thank you to those who listed MQU as a magazine. They have a blog …. and I have a new subscription!

    Blessings!

  36. 37

    says

    I love the Quilt Art magazine, which is funny as I love traditional quilts. But I think I have many lovely books on traditional quilts and the online community, so I tend to look at something new. I am going to let my other subscriptions run out, none of them really grab me anymore. There is also a German quarterly magazine, Patchwork Professional, that I like for much the same reasons.

  37. 38

    says

    I currently subscribe to Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilter’s Home and Machine Quilting Unlimited. MQU is my favourite as I learn something new with every issue. As soon as the other 2 subscriptions run out, I won’t be renewing them as I don’t like them as much as I used to. I also pick up others at the newstand if there is something that catches my eye in them.

  38. 39

    Judy in Michigan says

    Which magazine do you have an article in? You said American Quilt which I assumed was American Patchwork and Quilting but that’s not it (nothing in the new issue has your name on it). I get about 4 magazines (F&P, AP&Q, McCalls, Quilters Newsletter) but often they get looked at and then put in a pile. I did see 3 quilts in the last AP&Q that I really liked – amazing! Nothing in F&P but I like the articles in QNewsletter. If I don’t subscribe, I feel like I might have missed something so those are the 4 I keep. Good gifts from people when they say “What do you want for Christmas?” When I’m in a store, I always look at the mags I don’t get in case there is something I really like. I do like Quiltermakers alot but no subscription.

    So, where is your article???? I surely don’t want to miss your words of wisdom (LOL). Thanks!!

  39. 40

    Nan says

    I’ve gotten a lot of magazines over the years – Quilters Newsletter, Fins & Porter, American Quilter, Quilting Arts, etc. The only one I currently receive is American Patchwork & Quilting, which I have never let lapse. The patterns are pretty, they aren’t too simple, and are mostly traditional. I’m not really interested in art quilting, (sewing through metal foil, painting my own fabric, etc. ) And I’d like a little challenge in a pattern. I decided that this year, instead of subscribing to another magazine, I would subscribe to The Quilt Show online. I’m enjoying it a lot more than a magazine!

  40. 41

    Sue Phillips says

    Hi, I live in the U.K. so I have little choice in what I read, although l do have a large!!! pile of American magazines. My favourite is Quiltmaker which I can usually get or I like American Patchwork & Quilting which I order from the U.S.A which is expensive due to shipping, I like to see what my favourite bloggers are reading or reccommending before I buy,
    Sue….

    • 41.1

      Jenni says

      I live in Australia, and rarely buy a local mag. I like BHG American Patchwork and Quilting best. I like the antique quilts and classic blocks. I used to subscribe to F & P but let it run out. I also like the Japanese mags but very expensive to get hold of here as are US mags, but they can be quite affordable if you subscribe.
      The Australian magazines are all very the same and do recycle. I look for “X NEW designs” on the front rather than “X exciting designs etc” as you can bet you’ve seen them before.