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Sunday, July 17, 2016

The bobbin runs out for Quilters Newsletter

 This news appeared in my Facebook feed today:  


Oldest (issue #8) to the newest (arrived last week)
I was shocked. Now I'm sad.  I consider QN to be the best quilt magazine. It covers quilts, quiltmaking, and quiltmakers -- the art, the technique, and the people/industry.  QN was not the first quilt magazine I purchased (that honor goes to three McCall's special interest publications from the 1976 quilt revival) nor was it the first one I subscribed to (that was American Patchwork & Quilting).  But over the years I managed to acquire a near-complete run of QN. My collection goes back to the single-digit issues of the early 70's. 
Two shelves of QN

I liked the "family" feeling of QN when Bonnie Leman was the editor. Remember the September anniversary issues with youngest son Matthew on the cover? He was born as the first issue was going to press. Daughter Mary Leman Austin succeeded her mother as editor-in-chief.  The family sold the magazines (QN and Quiltmaker) to a media company. After a a couple of mergers the F+W group purchased QN and QM -- as well as the Fons & Porter and the McCall's quilt groups. (And Keepsake Quilting, too.) I read mastheads in magazines (that's the list of the editorial staff) and note that editors are now "content directors" and that they rotate from QN/QM to F&P to McC.  

I loved Helen Kelley's "Loose Threads" columns.  Before her there was Theo Eson with her stories about Grandma. After Helen there was, for a short time, "Off the Bolt" by Alison Bolt. More recently I've enjoyed the modern quilts column by Pam Rocco.

Follow the money, they say. The money comes from the fabric companies.  Patterns in the magazines are designed to show off current collections.  Sorry,  folks. I'm going to buy what I like and make scrappy quilts. That's my style and I'm sticking to it. 


  1. Stunning news, Nann. I've given up all my subscriptions, but as I was pulling articles and patterns to save recently, I realized how great QN is/was. It was the first quilt mag my mother subscribed to in the '70s and I have a couple of those black and white issues.

  2. I adored QN. I read it cover to cover (ads, too) since the early 70s, but it started to be so editorial, and really after Bonnie wasn't the editor I lost interest. QM caught me then... lots of quilt patterns and luscious quilts shown.
    Now I get my fix from the blogs. So sorry to hear the magazine is being scrapped. Thanks for letting us know.


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