In an email sent on Thursday, July 14 to contributors, Editorial Director Bill Gardner delivered some difficult news about the fate of the magazine Quilters Newsletter. “Quilters Newsletter has held a very special place in the hearts of quilting enthusiasts for 47 years, and has been a source of inspiration and learning for quilters around the world. However, the magazine will no longer be published after the October/November 2016 issue,” the email reads.
The announcement came in a week marked by a series of layoffs at F+W, the magazine’s parent company which included President Sara Domville, a 17 year veteran of the company, as well as many employees who worked remotely.
Quilters Newsletter was a beloved magazine with an impressive legacy. As Gardner noted in his email to contributors, “Quilters Newsletter began publication in September 1969 and was founded by Bonnie and George Leman. It was the first – and for many years the only – magazine devoted solely to the interests of quiltmakers. Bonnie composed the first issue on a manual typewriter at her kitchen table, and the day it was published was the same day she gave birth to the youngest of her seven children.”
Bonnie Leman talks about the first issue of the magazine and her vision for it in this 2002 video created by Quilt Treasures.
He went on to write, “That day marked the beginning of an international phenomenon. Many quilt historians agree that Bonnie almost single-handedly launched a quilting revival around the time of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 by researching and publishing information about a domestic pastime that had fallen out of vogue since the end of the Great Depression and the onset of World War II. No one can deny that she shaped and guided that revival during subsequent decades. Bonnie Leman and Quilters Newsletter will forever be linked to the history of quiltmaking in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a legacy that will never be forgotten.” Bonnie Leman passed away in 2010.
Of all the quilting magazines on the market today Quilters Newsletter stood out its ability to appeal to both the hobbyist and the academic. Its readership included collectors, dealers, designers, teachers, and historians. “QN is regarded as a leader, authority, and primary resource in the quilt field,” reads the magazine’s website.
Quilt collector and historian, Bill Volckening, was a frequent contributor to the magazine in recent years. He noted that it is sad to see it shuttered three years short of the 50th anniversary, describing the Quilters Newsletter as F+W’s “crown jewel.”
Gardner’s email ends with this statement by F+W about the future of their quilting publications and events. “F + W is committed to the quilt industry and will continue to serve the community by publishing magazines, creating videos, online education, books, in-person events, ecommerce products, and more under the brands of Fons & Porter, McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, Quilting Arts, Keepsake Quilting, and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. We will continue to evolve in order to serve a community with ever-changing habits and media preferences.”
Quilters Newsletter subscribers will receive Quilting Arts magazine beginning with the December/January 2017 issue.
Cathy Perlmutter says
This is absolutely horrifying!!! I can’t believe they would shut down this important magazine. To whom can we send protest letters?
Honestly I’m not sure.
Kelsey Ambyr Maynard says
Seriously!!! This is my favorite and only quilting magazine. It’s such a great magazine. There are so so many quilting magazines out there that are all the same and this one really stood apart from the rest. I’m really so so so sad to hear this magazine is no longer available. What a shame. I’d love to know if anything can be done to help save them.
Nancy Scott-Derringer says
I have made EVERY cover quilt and at least half of the other quilts. QN has been my #1 mag…it’s not just about crafts. It’s about 1 or 2 hours every now and then with a glass of wine and good music, spent perusing 3 or 4 issues, old or new, and going to my happy place and being inspired. Who the hell is F&W anyway? They know NOTHING about the quilting community. This is like killing my friends…taking color away from my eyes and leaving me in a black and white world! Quilting Arts SUCKS to traditional quilters and I’ve been one for 50 years. Shall we march on Washington or something? There’s got to be something we quilters can do. When I turn 70 in 4 days, I’m going to cry all day. You’ve taken one of my special, precious creative pleasures and poured them down a hole.
Barbara Dieges says
If you made every cover quilt, did you make the Snow Crystals quilt on the cover of the Jan 1999 issue. If you did I would love to see a picture. That was my quilt! Contact me through my website.
Carolyn Halem says
When I initially got the news I protested to anyone who would listen and some who would not. I had QNM going back to the first issues. Saved everyone, in pristine condition.. Then the unthinkable, I went through a divorce and while moving my quilting things my X took my treasured collection of QNM and burned them in the back yard. What a tragedy. I am now trying to recover my collection a piece at a time on ebay and at garage sales. Not an easy task. Then I look at the magazines we have available to us now and am sorely disappointed. the only other magazine that is reasonable is Fons & Porters Love of Quilting.
Martha Supnik says
The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA has a library that receives donations of used magazines all the time. We have many back issues of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine for sale in our continuous Yard Sale for $.25 each or 6 for $1. You can come visit and buy as many as you want. The museum website is http://nequiltmuseum.org/index.html
We also have a complete set and are happy to scan and e-mail articles to those who need something. We just ask for a donation to thank us for our labor.
Martha Supnik, Library Volunteer
New England Quilt Museum
Carolyn Halem says
Good to know, I have been purchasing on Ebay for an arm and a let to recover my collection. it is not an easy task. I wish I were closer to your museum to visit. I am in Eugene Oregon. sigh.
Martha Supnik says
If you know what issues you still need and e-mail me at Questions@NEQuiltMuseum.org we can create a bundle of issues for you and you’ll pay for them plus shipping for probably less than on e-bay.
Martha Supnik says
It’s now June 2019 and I just heard from a guild in Missouri that my comment in Nov 2017 helped them find the back issues they needed for their next raffle quilt. The New England Quilt Museum library has the largest and most accessible collection of quilting books, videos, magazines and ephemera in the country. Our newly designed website is at https://www.neqm.org/
For requests, please e-mail the library volunteer team at Questions@NEQuiltMuseum.org
Our trained volunteers are all experienced quilters and love to hear from you.
That’s great! I’m so glad to hear that people are finding one another and getting the back issues they want this way.
Dolly Raines says
I have most issues 170-417, they occupy 33 ” of book shelf. I don’t know how much shipping would cost from 44087 Ohio, but I’d be glad for them to have a new home–just for the cost of shipping. I’d send only the ones you don’t have.
Are they still available ?
Dolly Raines says
Yes, they’re still on my shelf.
Michelle Jozwiak says
Do you still have issues 318 to 322. I am looking for just those issues
Doly Raines says
Yes, still have all 5 issues 318-322. Where do I send them,
or are you close to Twinsburg OH?
Dolly Raines says
…all my quilter’s magazines are gone.
Past issues of Quilters Newsletter magazines are often advertised for sale on Sew Its For Sale, a Yahoo Group site for quilters. Reasonable prices and no fees.
Nancy Scott-Derringer says
Linnea, your X is guilty of abuse, emotional and physical. I hate him…I hated him before I was born! I’m sad for you girl. Is there some financial aid you need to re-acquire your collection? Beyond Bummer.
Protest letters????? The only letters that will help this situation are subscriptions!!
Joyce Penney Schroeder says
Well, I’m already a QNM subscriber, so I will surely be sending a “protest letter” — or fifty. I once read that every phone call or comment letter actually represents more than just one person. So, if all of us who are upset start to send letters, and continue to send letters, it MAY have some effect. If nothing else, it will let the publishers know that we ARE paying attention to what they are doing. And let’s face it, folks: if we aren’t happy with this decision, we can threaten to take our money elsewhere…. and then we should do just that!
I am not interested in Quilting Arts — if I were, I would subscribe to it already. My subscription doesn’t expire for almost 3 years, so I will be asking for a refund if that is my only option. I can use the money to increase my fabric stash.
Annick H. says
The very magazine that I dropped just recently. Grrr! There is nothing in Quilting Arts that interests me!
Barb Murdock says
They need to cancel Quilters Arts Magazine and keep the Quilters Newsletter
I’m afraid it’s too late for that.
Pam G says
I agreee – my subscription to Quilters Newsletter is paid through 2018! I, too, dropped Quilting Arts as it did not carry all the information QN did. This just makes me sick!
jean Kaufmann says
Me too! I just got my second Quilter’s Art and am calling to switch to one of the others. Not a great magazine. So sad.
Jo Antich says
I also am a subscriber and just paid $50 for two more years! The current issue arrived this past week and it says nothing about closing down. In fact, cards are enclosed to extend or subscribe. I think that’s wrong of them. If I were them, Quiltmaker should go before QNM. I also subscribe to that but it’s nothing compared to QNM.
Very unhappy. I have over 20 years of back issues, as I consider them the best by far.
Kelsey Ambyr Maynard says
Seriously! Wish they’d have sent out a survey to see who’d like them to stay or get this art one. And if they needed money or something I wish they’d of had a fund raiser or at least made a stink and let us know they were having a hard time. I’m truly saddened.
I think those efforts might have happened if the magazine were still independently owned. Once it’s part of a huge companies that owns dozens of magazines it becomes a question of profit margins and redundancies.
Carolyn Halem says
I had subscription prepaid and was told I would get Quilting Arts, asked for a refund. Quilting arts is an empty magazine. the industry should restart QNM they would really have tons of subscriptions.
I’m sorry you’re disappointed and I agree that the situation could have been handled much better than it was. Quilter’s Newsletter has a long and rich history and made a significant contribution to the quilting world and seeing it shut down was very sad. Although I know that Quilting Arts is not at all the same sort of magazine, I do want to say that it’s not empty, or at least not to me. I’ve written for Quilting Arts and I worked hard on my story and believe it conveyed useful and interesting information to readers.
Better than sending protest letters you can call Subscriber Services at 1 800 417 6089 and see what they can offer in exchange for your QN subscription.
I just spoke with Subscriber Services and the only option we are give (if that is our option, lol) is Quilting Arts. I told the nice lady at SS that we should at least be given a choice of which magazine we are to receive. She spoke with her supervisor who informed her that is the ONLY option. I requested they reconsider about the “option” and let the subscribers choose which one they want. She said she would pass my information forward. This is not a good way to conduct business and I question their ethics when they were offering “deals” on new/renewal subscriptions 2 months before they “shuttered” QN.
Debbie Thompson says
QUILT ARTS MAGAZINE is a far cry from QN. I already get McCalls, Quiltmaker, Keepsake Quilting and Fons and Porter. I’ve been reading QN since I was in high school long before rotary cutters, and the popular modern art craze took over. It makes me sad to discover traditional quilters are losing their voice in the world. Quilt Arts does forced one to see quilting in a new way, but I will truly miss the stories and hints and lessons from QN. I purposely did not choose Quilt Arts Magazine, but I will keep it until my subscription runs out.
Just to be clear, it’s Quilting Arts.
Alice Forkel says
I already subscribe to Quilting Arts and love it. Will they just extend my current subscription to Quilting Arts?
I’m not affiliated with F+W. You’ll need to contact them with questions about your subscription.
Kathleen Loder says
My heart is still breaking at the loss of the first, the best ,and most valuable quilt magazine. It is greatly missed! To shut it down so close to its 50th anniversay in Sept. 2019 made it all the more painful.
No other American quilt magazine comes close to the depth and breadth of coverage that graced the pages of QN. I’ve been a subscriber for 30 years and I learned so much from it. I do understand the economic realities that make magazine publishing difficult to sustain, but to see several pattern magazines survive while this one goes under is hard to take. And please don’t mistake me, I subscribe to a couple of pattern magazines–I enjoy them. But they don’t have the kind of news and in-depth articles that appeared in QN.
Thank you, Abby, for sharing the news.
Sheila Barnes says
Totally agree with all you’ve said here. I think I just renewed my subscription and already subscribe to Quilting Arts. So if QA will be the substitute to subscribers, that hardly works for me. And I am totally uninterested in the others staying in publication. As you say, they are merely pattern magazines and I am beyond that.
The magazine went down hill after the Lehmans left it. Bonnie Lehman , who carried it for 40 years, retired and her daughter tried gamely to continue with her mothers legacy but her heart wasn’t in it . After that the new editors brought in “progressive, avant guard contributors who left most subscribers cold. It started out as a hobby magazine to entertain and inform the woman who loved quilting. It ended up being an elite magazine that appealed to the very few who were into modern art and that appeals to a very few. They themselves ruined it for the masses who loved it.
Bill Volckening says
As a recent contributor who wrote on topics ranging from vintage quilts to today’s makers, I have to ask, “What magazine were you reading?”
I’ve worked with a bunch of magazines, and QNM was one of the best. The editors were excellent, receptive to new ideas, and I hope I’m lucky enough to work with them again when they settle in to their new jobs.
Rebecca Grace says
Wow — speechless!!! I thought this had to be a “gotcha” headline; now way it could be true! :-(. Although I must admit that I had my renewal notice on my desk and had been contemplating whether the magazine still had that much value to me. Although I loved the history articles, I was getting tired of reading about the same small handful of quilters over and over again month after month, and whereas I used to save multiple patterns from every issue 10-15 years ago, now many of the patterns are the same old make-a-quilt-to-promote-a-fabric-line that so many other sources are cranking out. Still sad to see them fold, especially as the industry as a whole continues to thrive.
I couldn’t agree more. . . Also a subscriber, I received a renewal and my subscription still has more than a year before it expires. . . I have been disappointed recently in content. I find I have no interest in reading their magazine more than once. It goes directly to the donation table at my monthly guild meeting. . . Now I will have more than a year of Quilting Arts to drop off at guild. I’ve purchased that magazine and the content does not appeal to me at all.
I wouldn’t pull a gotcha headline on you 🙂
I agree that the quality has diminished, I did quit my subscription for a while and I wrote an told them why. After the Leman family gave it up, it became a magazine of what I call McQuilts. Easy patterns using an entire fabric line, with little creativity. Still it was better than all the other magazines put together. I am very disappointed. I’ve been collecting all the old issues, so I’ll be browsing those for inspiration.
Teri Springer says
Hmmm….I just received a renewal notice from them….and my subscription still has a YEAR to run…..seems rather fraudulent….Sad to see it go. It’s one of the few I still really enjoy.
So I wonder what of their other publications they will force me to accept because I’m betting they are’t planning to refund any of my money….
As a subscriber of Quilters Newsletter, I have not received word of this change. . . How unfortunate, and worse that they choose Quilting Arts as a replacement? If I wanted Quilting Arts, I would subscribe to that magazine. . . Frankly, I’d prefer McCalls over QA. . . Not a happy quilter!!
Yes! I’ve been a subscriber for years, and cannot believe I’ve read about this on Facebook and blogs before ever receiving notice from QNM! IMO it’s the best quilting magazine out there. Why fold it and not one of their other titles??
I agree about receiving mail and email notifications about my subscription which was not up for renewal until 2017.
Did the Lehman family sell this magazine to this other company?
Yes, many years ago.
Susan Edelman says
a Treasure, Lost.
yes, there are many other quilt magazines out there – but none with the depth and variety of QNM. And far too many of them rely on the quick, slap it together, simple boring shapes patterns that have come to modern popularity with today’s quilt makers. QNM I will miss you!!
Nooooooooooooooo! I have subscribed for 32 years. The magazine provided inspiration and instruction. I am a better quilter for it. I am shocked and saddened by the news.
Martha Supnik says
I just called 1-800-477-6089. The subscription phone center hasn’t got official news of the closing but have heard the rumors. I told the guy who answered to send me McCall’s Quilting instead of Quilting Arts starting with the Dec/January issue to use up my recently renewed subscription.
Leah Kabaker says
Sorry to see it close. Almost 40 years ago I discovered it in a friends house in Israel. That is where I learned how to quilt, from that magazine. I subscribed for years but then stopped. I must confess, I have seen the magazine recently and it looked lovely, but it didn’t look like something I wanted. Times have changed, so many ways of getting information.
My QN collection goes back to the double-digit issues of the early 1970’s. I consider it the best all-around quilt magazine. It promotes quilts, quiltmaking, and quiltmakers (art, technique, people). I think this a bad decision for F&W. The other quilt magazines (even the “independent” (of F&W) AmP&Q) provide patterns to show off current fabric collections. It’s obvious where the money is.
Lisa Hawkes says
Thank you for keeping us informed on the industry news. I am not a quilter but a smocker, sewer, and knitter. Several years ago F & W media purchased Sew Beautiful magazine and the quality of the content decreased dramatically. They then shut down the magazine. I always have loved Interweave Knits, but since it has been purchased by F & W, again it isn’t what it was and I wonder if it is long for this world. I wonder if F & W is too diversified. They don’t seem to be able to maintain the quality once they purchase a magazine and in the end that kills it.
I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I was just saying the same thing about the formerly Interweave Press publication “Cloth, Paper, Scissors” and other of their publications.
Abby, do you know of any non-biased articles about F&W regarding their publishing history, current holdings, etc.? I would be interested in knowing more about them.
Karen Waggoner says
I guess I’m part of the problem. I let me subscription lapse 2 years ago because the magazine didn’t hold my interest any more. I started subscribing in 1973 and have all my issues. But when F&W took over, the content changed, and I realized I wasn’t even leafing through it. BUT it was still the best magazine on the market. To let the others continue publishing while QN goes under is a horror. They have no history, just a series of quilts that to look right require a particular line of fabric. I guess it’s cheaper to let a fabric line design your quilts than to have a staff designer or two.
RIP, QN. You will be missed.
Better they should get rid of the Fons and Porter brand since Liz Porter has gone.
It’s not just that Liz Porter is gone. Marianne Fons sold Fons and Porter to New Track Media in 2005. New Track was bought by F+W several years ago.
Such sad news for an almost 30 year subscriber. I’ve subscribed to others over the years but now it’s down to this one and American Quilter from AQS. Its content didn’t appeal quite as much as it used to but it was still the best.
Debby Kratovil says
Sadly, I’m not surprised. We saw two major quilting publishers shutter their doors this past year (and I worked for one of them for 14 years until 2007). But what I’m surprised at is that they didn’t shut down the Fons & Porter brands first. If you look through the pages, there are only a handful (and I mean 5 or less) of ads, with all others being F & W internal self-publishing ads. How can you make any $ if you are advertising in your own company’s magazine? Remember, QNM and any other business, however “worthy,” is really out to make money. If a product isn’t making money and is actually losing money, then they can’t continue making the product. Who works for free? Or worse, who works and pays the employer to keep the business going? QNM was the first magazine to put me on the road to quilting. It was fabulous. But they sold themselves multiple times and the current owner can’t keep it afloat. Or doesn’t want to. He does have a reputation for paring down his companies to a bare bones, skeleton staff. I guess more for him. Or maybe, less of a blood letting . . .
Rita Subrt says
This saddens me. Who’s going to lead the next generation of quilters?
Do we have an option of selecting a different quilting magazine, or is Quilting Arts the only option?
I think you need to consider that the “next generation of quilters” most likely don’t read magazines. With so much available online, magazines are really obsolete. Especially to a younger generation who has grown up with computer devices and prefers information online.
You just hit the nail on the head!
My point is that this magazine is better than the rest put together. Cancel them. Keep this one. And besides, if they decided to make this one online only, I could deal with that. But they aren’t, so your point is no consolation at all.
Sheila Barnes says
I can’t help but chime in again. I can’t tell you how tired I am of hearing that print media is obsolete. As quickly as digital formats change and become obsolete, and web pages disappear, electronic devices “upgrade” and no longer support or are able to play different types of digital media, I think it is fallacy to think we no longer need or will use print media. That does not even take into account that electronic devices can go dead from lack of charge or may not be able to connect to the internet at times, have screens that cannot be read outside, and can crash losing all your data. Well, give me a printed magazine or book anytime over that. PDFs appear to be about the only universal format that has remained in long-time use, but again, if your device isn’t charged or have the software to read it or the file become corrupted, you’re out of luck.
I agree. I save all my magazines, and if I find a pattern or something online that I may want to use later I print it and save it. Who knows how long a defunct magazine will keep up an online presence, or how long a website will maintain its archives?
Estelle McClurg says
Distressing news. Loved QN read and subscribed I don’t know how many years – from my 20 years I Honolulu to 16 in Wilmington. I will MISS this mag. Now I wish I hadn’t donated my back issues to the library – I don’t think they even wanted them!! Damn damn double dann!!!!!!
I am so disgusted by the company soliciting renewal subscriptions two months before they quit publishing QN. I think this is a black eye for F&W. And to be told they are substituting Quilting Art ad their choice. NO THANK YOU!! At least let us choose which one we want since your business policies are at best questionable!!!
I agree completely!
Maybe it was their last ditch effort to get enough subscriptions to stay in business? I wouldn’t automatically assume foul play.
In talking with several magazine publishers this week I’ve come to learn that it often isn’t subscriptions that keep a magazine afloat, it’s advertisers. It seems that the big companies that used to pay for print ads in sewing magazines (the sewing machine companies, fabric, thread, and notions companies) are now allocating their ad dollars differently (paying for Facebook ads, paying for Google search) and are reaching their audience directly through social media. Without their ad dollars it’s very difficult for magazines to stay afloat.
Wilene Smith says
Distressing news. Bonnie and George are surely turning over in their graves. They worked so hard for so many years and developed a magazine that was worth subscribing to. Now it will be gone in a few months.
Debbie Williams says
So sad this has happened. Unfortunately, when corporations purchase small companies this happens. I look at it as the making them all the same syndrome. Content suffers, long time subscribers leave, advertisers leave since the “numbers are down”. Corporate America running things to the ground.
Margaret M says
This is indeed sad news. But in this electronic age when magazines have dropped their print subscription fees significantly, quilting magazines remain a very expensive subscription. I have dropped them all except McCall’s quilting and almost didn’t renew that because of the cost. I prefer to have an actual magazine in my hand instead of having to read it on a computer or phone. Non quilting magazines that I still subscribe to range in cost from $6 to $12 a year. Quilting magazines are $20 to almost $30 a year. I wish the publishers would read these comments and wake up and smell the coffee. Thank you for sharing the information.
Melissa Thompson Maher says
Good quality magazines cost money, though. And if the readers truly get the value, they will pay the fee. For example, Uppercase is a magazine for designers and fans of design, and it’s got a healthy subscription rate (> $70, I believe). But its growing circulation indicates that readers find the value.
Then there’s the whole “good writers/art directors/quilt designers gotta make a living” thing. And paper, and printing and postage, etc. Expecting quilt magazine publishers to carve their newsstand and subscription prices below the red line is unrealistic.
Oddly enough, you might expect a magazine owned by a big corporation to be able to surf these rocky economic times, and conversely think the little indies will crumble at the first sign of tough times. Ain’t always so, to wit QNM.
Balancing value, costs, readers’ desires, market share…it’s enough to make a mag publisher go mad. If there’s a magazine you like–be it corporately owned or indie–then please support it.
Thank you for for sharing this really valuable perspective, Melissa.
I am not surprised at the magazine’s closure and expect more to follow. I have been quilting for 30+ years and the way I find inspiration and instructions has changed dramatically. I read blogs, follow designers on Instagram, listen to podcasts, buy patterns and books directly from the designer and occasionally utilize free tutorials on blogs.
I stopped subscribing to any quilting magazines several years ago as the content was no longer timely or as someone noted already, mostly focused on selling a particular line of fabric. We may not agree on whether this is the way we “should” be getting information but the world has changed. It no longer makes sense to get monthly articles and “news” that was written months before. The industry has to change to keep up with the times and the way many of us consume media. I am not sad to the see Quilter’s Newsletter close. It served a purpose in a pre-internet time but it is no longer relevant.
Susie Hamilton says
The phone number listed by an earlier commenter is incorrect. The correct phone number that is in the magazine is 800-477-6089. The person I talked to said that they have not been told that the magazine is being discontinued. Strange!
I JUST resubscribed, so recently that my first issue has not arrived. I had the invoice and was going to pay for 2-3 years, but now I’ve called to cancel; I have no interest in the other magazines. QNM was the best one out there by far, and the only one I was interested in buying. I’m so disappointed.
Has anyone seen the new German-made magazine, Our Quilting? I got the first issue and was impressed, so maybe it can start to fill the niche. It’s expensive, though, and I can’t find a way to subscribe–so far it’s only available for newsstand purchase in the US.
Joyce Penney Schroeder says
As a subscriber, I am not happy that I will now be receiving Quilting Arts in QNM’s place. That’s not what I call a 1-for-1 trade. The publisher says that it will contiinue to evolve, but QNM was DIFFERENT from all those other publications; why can’t QNM continue to evolve, too? This decision is heartbreaking for anyone who enjoys the magazine, or who appreciates all the hard work that goes into QNM, as it offers many features the other magazines do not — industry news, good articles about REAL quilters and their processes, education in how to plan a quilting pattern once the top is finished, or teaching us about color theory/pattern/design/fabric design. I find many of the other available magazines miss on some of these aspects, and while they are good magazines, they don’t go where QNM goes, which is why I subscribe — and why this magazine will be sorely missed. Bonnie Leman must be spinning like a lathe in her grave to know her “baby” will no longer be published. It’s a sad, sad day for quilters, that’s for sure.
Bill Volckening says
There are many wonderful magazines, but appearing in Quilters Newsletter was special, kind of like cementing a place in quilt history.
F&W has been an expansive and innovative company for a long time, and I’ve had the pleasure of being featured in a few of their publications over the years. I’m so sorry to hear about their employees and QNM, but am also concerned about Quilting Arts, my favorite of their magazines. Unfortunately, that’s just the way print media goes these days. It’s a whole new world online, obviously; after all, how did we hear this news? Here.
Bonnie would be turning over in her grave. This one magazine is better than the rest put together. Shame on you F&W!
I was shocked and saddened to heard Quilters Newsletter is closing., I can only echo what so many have said that it has been my go-to quilting magazine for years. It is doubling shocking as I recently noticed a magazine rack with a plethora of quilting and sewing magazines. I commented to my companion how many appeared to be new to me., but none with the quality of content I have found in QN. So sorry .
Sigh. What a loss.
While this is sad news, it is not a surprise. I know for me personally, I stopped subscribing to magazines a long time ago. There is so much inspiration online and most magazines just repeat the same information every year under a different looking article.
Pat Froelich says
So very sad to see this news, bought my first issue in 1971 and can trace my development as a quilter to this magazine. I do remember feeling this way when Ladies Circle Quilting magazine stopped publishing, they also had a talented staff- . I am a craftsperson, I hold fabric and needle, I hold print inspirations, I design on paper and with fabric held next to fabric. I confess I like holding and manipulating my materials. When you take a magazine online, there’s nothing there…. I’m happy I have my back issues of QMN, the successes of the Leman family, the journey from quilts made from leftover fabric, development of pattern companies , fabric made in 45″ width, sections of J. C. Penney devoted to fabric to quilt with, rotary cutting , and all the fabulous designers and quilt historians profiled. AND the pictures – that I can HOLD….
Yes, I am sad. A lot is lost when the only consideration to do something is money, or dare I even say, lots of money. I pray that the people that have lost jobs in this closing find satisfying work.
I find this very interesting. I’ll say it’s a shame that the publisher isn’t even trying to figure out why the magazine is doing poorly, and instead is just stopping it. But I might offer a different perspective. I am a young quilter and have only been in the game for a few years. I admit that I’ve never heard of this magazine, and based on the covers depicted above I would have steered clear from it. They do not represent the style that I desire to achieve and so it feels like I don’t belong in them. This problem is something I’ve seen in the quilting field at large as well, though that is a different discussion for another post.
I’m not trying to bash on the loss of this magazine, but to offer a perspective as to WHY new quilters aren’t subscribing (though it probably also explains why some long time readers dropped a subscription.) It hasn’t grown with the times and the younger quilters, like myself, don’t see our styles reflected in its pages.
I wondered how long it would take F + W Media to start shuttering duplicate magazines in the quilting category. While it is sad to see such a valuable resource end, it does leave an opportunity for another person or group to take parts of what made QNM so successful and remake it into a product more in tune with today’s tastes. As someone mentioned earlier, Sew Beautiful might be defunct, but if you look at the editorial page in Classic Sewing Magazine from Hoffman Media, you’ll see some familiar names associated with Martha Pullen.
Personally, I’d like to see the historical articles and related QNM features gifted to The Quilt Index, The International Quilt Study Center or even the National Quilt Museum in Paducah as I don’t think F + W Media has a historical archivist on staff.
There are other magazine publishers out there – Meredith, Hoffman and Stampington. come to mind. My local B&N also has a ton of British import quilting magazines on the shelf.. Mollie Makes and Homemaker are two that typically sell out quickly. If you are a fan of QNM, take a look at Today’s Quilter the next time you are at the newsstand or in Joann’s.
FYI – I am a school librarian at my day job, so I frequent bookstores to review books/magazines before I spend those precious library dollars on resources for my kids.
Perhaps Phyllis Hoffman is the one to pick up the slack. She done an excellent job with Classic Sewing Magazine. F&W burned a lot of bridges when they purchased Sew Beautiful from Hoffman. There is plenty of information regarding this on the Martha Pullen forum. It is just said to see another quality magazine get bought up and shut down by F&W.
I am horrified by this news – Quilters Newsletter taught me to quilt 30 years ago, and I have not only saved every issue, I ‘ve collected as many issues from before I started to subscribe as I can find. I have checked out Quilting Arts a few times, and have no interest in it. Wish they had ended Fons & Porter instead. I always found it boring.
brenna Biesbrouck says
You could make a digital magazine then you wouldn’t have printing cost and keep this one going
Martha Supnik says
Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine has been available online since the November 2011 issue. Subscribers to the print edition have access to the online version. Since I have been a subscriber for decades, I have downloaded all those back issues to my home computer. However, switching to a digital-only version would only save them printing and mailing costs, not the rest of the cost of creating the content and making it available on the internet. Clearly the publisher decided not to do that.
Debby Kratovil says
Martha, I was thinking just this thought myself this morning and went to the QNM site to verify. Wish I had thought of that more than once when my subscription was active. Smart woman!! But I do have the QuiltPro CD from 2000 (!!!) which has content from the QNM issues from 1995 to 1999, which I can actually still view. I also had downloaded dozens of free articles, patterns, etc. The cost of creating content is the lion’s share of production (ie, you have to pay those who develop it). I do hope they retain their digital presence for a good while (as does Quilt Magazine, as they were shuttered last Fall). Nothing new has been added but there are dozens and dozens of free patterns, articles, 16 Kaffe Fassett interviews, etc there: http://www.quiltmag.com (Side note: I worked for Quilt for 14 years and my editor, Jean Ann Wright, and I started the Quilt website in 1997. We never told the publisher for 2 years; we saw where the digital world was going and knew he would eventually get the picture. Boy, was he happy when we finally told him!)
Debby Kratovil says
Received an email this morning from American Quilter’s Society (my first book publisher) that they are no longer publishing books! Came from Meredith Schroeder, another legend in the quilting world. Be happy to forward this to you, Amy. Though I suspect you already know!
Carolyn Parks says
This is terrible news, and also another indication that F & W is painfully out of touch with its audience. They recently ceased publication of Interweave Stitch, as well; I received no notification of this, just mysteriously started receiving Sew News. Their response when I contacted them was very unhelpful. I agree that Quilting Arts is no substitute for QNM, just as the content and format of Sew News bears no resemblance to Stitch. F & W should be offering refunds, or at least choices, in these situations.
Judy P. says
I just called customer service, and they claimed to be unaware that Quilter’s Newsletter was folding. Don’t think I’ll renew my Quiltmaker. I have subscribed to both for 15-20 years. Great business model: piss off your customers so they won’t buy from you again.
Barb Murdock says
This really sucks, it is my favorite magazine and mine does not expire until 2020. I don’t want Quilting Arts, I would like a refund of my money. This is the only magazine that actually talks about news in the quilting world. I do not want a magazine with just patterns in it. I have plenty of patterns in my stash.
The Quilt Show Newsletter today reported that AQS will no longer publish books, among other things
We were warned several years ago that a drought in the southern portion of the US would cause Cotton prices to soar and they did
I’m not sure that the price of cotton is a big part of the decisions F+W made about which if their magazines to keep afloat or AQS made about closing their book publishing arm. I think that has more to do with advertising revenue in the case of the magazine and with how people are accessing information about quilting techniques in the case of the books.
it doesn’t but it does have to do with the price of fabric which the article I posted explains. It talks about how the quilting industry has bottomed out and to be sustainable it must make changes, apparently changes must also occur in our beloved magazines and books.
The article was written by Jake Finch, the co-founder and editor of Generation Q magazine. Jake has a lot of experience in the industry and I really respect her point of view, but I also think it is a point of view. It’s not based on industry data. Although the closure of a magazine, the book publishing arm of an organization, and a quilt show happening at the same time make it feel as though the industry is in a state of crisis or contraction, I’m not convinced that it is. I think it’s in a state of change, but I don’t think it has “bottomed out.”
Debby Kratovil says
The industry has NOT BOTTOMED OUT! I am a professional teacher and there is no letup to the bookings and classes are always full! Quilters still want to quilt, buy fabric, be inspired and get new ideas. It’s the endless possibilities of what they can get online versus a magazine. I do wish they had shuttered some of their other “boring” magazines. It has NOTHING to do with the price of cotton. People are still buying it. I’ve been in the industry for almost 25 years, earning my living from quilting. I’ve had to “remake” myself a few times. I no longer publish in magazines (which was my main income for 14 years) because the magazines would continue to publish my patterns online with no compensation (F&W the worst offender). QNM has always been a few notches above the rest (and I never published on their pages) and I truly am sorry to see them go. I have face to face contact with thousands of quilters each year and when I speak of magazines, most have said they no longer find what they want on those pages. And the advertisers realize their ROI (return on investment) is not on those pages, either.
Cindy A. says
While I hate to see this magazine axed, I can’t say as I’m surprised given that F&W Media owns it. After all, this is the same company that bought Martha Pullen’s “Sew Beautiful” magazine from Hoffman Media and then axed it shortly thereafter. Thankfully, Hoffman has started a new magazine for those of us who love heirloom and classic clothing in order to fill in the gap. I don’t know how long F&W has owned QN magazine but can’t help but think it is a strategic move to get rid of some of the competition. Then again, they’re a large entity and sometimes cutting the fat is what’s needed to stay alive and profitable. Maybe quilters will get lucky and someone else will step up, purchase QN magazine and continue its educational endeavours. Hopefully, a new owner would be able to interject some new energy, ideas, and information which would make the publication one worth continuing to purchase.
F+W would have to put Quilters Newsletter up for sale in order for that to happen, but they aren’t doing that. They’ve made it clear that the magazine will simply be shut down.
Barb Murdock says
I am hoping that something good will happen with the magazine too. If not I would like my money back, not another magazine that I don’t like. Has anyone heard any further information regarding getting a refund?
Jennifer Schifano Thomas says
I am shocked! I had no idea this was happening & I have a quilt and pattern coming out in this very last issue. Quilter’s Newsletter got me started down the quilting patch in the 1990’s. I feel like I’m finally coming full circle, as this is my first (and apparently last) pattern to appear in this stellar magazine. How sad!
Anne Frazor says
Why don’t you give people a chance before taking such severe measures? I have been looking through all the stores here in Arlington TX for Quilter’s Newsletter to purchase since I hadn’t seen one in a while, was thinking I would subscribe because I am not a beginner and want more intricate and innovative ideas. I imagine maybe if you prompted people you might have had a big bump in subscribers, instead of just stopping publications. Same thing for Sew Beautiful. What a huge waste of talent and enterprise. This type of leadership is what will be the end of you.
Just to be clear, I’m not affiliated with F+W, the publisher of Quilters Newsletter. I appreciate your suggestions, but it might be best to send them to the publisher directly.
I am shocked and saddened to hear this news. It is the only magazine that I subscribe to and I certainly have no interest in Quilting Arts magazine. This is a huge loss for all of us.
Rebecca Potts Baker says
I’ve been “stewing” on this since I first read the post. I would love to know the analytic F&W used to make this decision. The previous changes F&W made after taking over all of these publications/platforms have less than optimal for the large and diverse quilting and art community. No longer is there a “community” on the Quilting Arts website. The is a charge for the project information for each segment on Quilting Arts TV episodes. I subscribe to Quilting Arts both in print and digital. Most of my quilts are true art quilts; however I still enjoy making a traditional with my twist quilt and most of them include hand applique. QN is the only magazine among those “left standing” in F&W’s statement. None of the websites are as informative as they were before F&W and there has not been a common marketing theme between each of the product lines! Basically, Fons & Porter, McCall’s Quilting, and Quiltmaker can all be lumped together as one products line because the focus is basically the same in each of these and their digital platform. If you notice, when you are in a store – grocery store, big box store, drugstore and look in the magazine section you will see these three magazines grouped together. F&W does not distribute Quilting Arts, QN or Cloth Paper Scissors (which I consider to be a cross-over product as many quilters like to make mixed-media projects as well.) If F&W distributed these three magazines in the same places, QN would have been the one purchased by more people who aren’t subscribers. I would like to have seen a market test of that approach. I think Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors should be distributed in all places along with the above three. The pay for subscription QNN TV is not promoted in the LOGICAL market positions and Keepsake Quilting and Keepsake Needlearts do not carry products that cover all genres of quilting and handwork that F&W seems to focus on. I think the decision to stop publishing QN is a big mistake and I doubt that F&W will do any analysis after the shuttering. If an intellectual analysis would be done I am confident it would show the outcome as a bad one.
The content in QN is not compatible with the publications F&W will continue to publish. If, they had analyzed the actual quilting community they would not have made the decision to shutter QN.
Dianne Budney says
I know this is only “somewhat” related, but there were at least 15 shop employees laid off at Keepsake in Center Harbor just before Christmas 2017. I went there yesterday (Wednesday, Jan 24, 2017) and the store was CLOSED. The sign said that their winter hours were closed Tues, Wed, and Thurs.
If this is how F+W manages America’s largest quilting store, we are in trouble! Also, their website did not show store hours.
I don’t think F+W owns a quilt store. I think you might be mistaken?
Debby Kratovil says
F & W owns Keepsake Quilting. I am a contract worker for F & W (teaching at the Sewing Expo) and have watched all this go on for 11+ years. When I publish a pattern in Keepsake catalog, my paycheck is written on the F & W account! They own a LOT of quilting things out there, beyond the magazines. I also saw how they closed down the Fons & Porter offices in Iowa last November and laid off all the staff except one person who then moved out to Colorado. Many of those editors were in that office for 10+ years. I spoke with one in November and she was still totally shell shocked. I’m glad this sort of thing happened to me back in 2007 (I was an editor with Quilt Magazine) because I still had time to “reinvent” myself from just designing patterns and publishing to morphing into teaching. It is a changing quilt world and we cannot go back!
Barb Murdock says
so does that mean that Fons and Porter Magazine is now gone along with others? Competition can be cruel
Debby Kratovil says
As far as I know, not at this time are there plans to shutter Fons & Porter. They were just tightening up things (and in the process eliminating people’s livelihoods). Fons & Porter is still a strong brand (tho both Marianne Fons and Liz Porter are NOT allowed to use their names in conjunction with anything quilting – when they sold their company, they sold the rights to their name). These are business practices. A business doesn’t make a decision based on making people happy without any $$ in return. (I know; I have a business!) But let’s be realistic: the future of print media for quilting is on its way out. Magazines are dinosaurs (I love them but I’m 60+ years old and of a different generation). What I DON’T like is the roll out of “The Quilting Company”, the mother ship of all things F & W quilt. It short circuited Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 Blocks tour right in the middle of it (October). All the links were broken in the middle of the week. No one could find the designers’ blogs. Go ahead; do a search for The Quilting Company. You can’t find the individual magazines other than about 6 layers down. Sorry. I’m venting. I don’t work for them, but I know the editors and it was a terrible thing to do to something that had been planned for months.
Barb Murdock says
I for one, love the magazines and do not like to deal with online things. Sad for some of us. Thanks for your comments.
Debby, I totally agree about “The Quilting Company” website. I got an email about the new site when it went live and I think Abby noted here that F+W had plans to combine all of their divisions into one site. That website drives me crazy! Hopefully, they will get enough comments from past and present customers to change and make the site easier to navigate and to actually make it easy to get to the part of their conglomerate we have been used to using!
I wonder if you or others could look at the Quilting Company website and describe specifically the problems you’re seeing. I’m curious to hear everyone’s honest impressions.
Abby, I’ll be glad to. I’ll spend some time tomorrow morning (Sat. 1-26-2018) going through and making some notes. I’ve been a Quilting Arts subscriber, Quilter’s Newsletter, Fons & Porter, Cloth Paper Scissors and American Quilter (and probably others I didn’t think of right now:-) for 15 years . I know all of the changes in the “quilt world” over the past few years happen based on all of the metrics corporations use in their decision making. It’s just sad to see some of the changes that really have turned off a lot of quilters. I’ve heard a lot of comments in guilds. It’s important for companies to get feedback from their customers , so I’ll be happy to do this. Thanks!
That would be really interesting to read Becky. Thank you.
Dianne Budney says
The Keepsake Quilting website says “a F+W Media” company, plus the blog itself mentions Keepsake Quilting as being F+W owned.
I stand corrected. This shop is owned by F+W. I knew of Keepsake Quilting, but only as a catalog. I didn’t realize there was also a brick-and-mortar. Thank you!
Barb Murdock says
Just to let everyone know, there was a letter in the final issue of Quilters Newsletter that just came. I was able to get a refund for the 4 years I had left, not very much but better than nothing. I did not want any of the magazines that they offered me. This is a sad day for many of us.
Sandra Coleman says
I agree with all of the above. Perhaps the best way to protest is to refuse to purchase anything sold by F&W. I have noticed the downgrade in quality of product of Keepsake Quilting products along with Quilters Newsletter Magazine content since F&W took over. I have decided that I will no longer purchase fabric from Keepsake Quilting. It is a sad day in the quilting world.
Susan Johansom says
It is sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful publication. In the last couple of years the quilting industry has lost a number of inspiring magazines. A sign of the times and a struggling economy. For me personally, my two favorite magazines are gone and what is left does not fit my needs. My hope is that the future will see the return of Quilters Newsletter.
I’m not sure it’s a sign of a struggling economy. I think it’s a sign that people are accessing media in new ways.
Regina Tourville says
I have many years of QNM available. Most are pristine condition. If anyone is interested please post requests here.
I would be interested Regina, but I’d just like an issue here and there to complete my collection. If you have someone that wants all your collections, you’d probably make more money that way.
Elizabeth A Richardson says
I miss QNM greatly even now. Just today I paged through about 5 years of back issues looking for inspirations for my next quilt. When I moved to my current address (a retirement center) I disposed of most of my books and other publications and other stuff, but none of my 33 years worth of QNM issues (and none of my “stash”).
Thank you Debby. We subscribers are in the dark and your comments help us to digest the problems instead of just shaking our heads and getting annoyed. While I don’t agree with the publisher’s reasoning, it does help to hear something.