We have air conditioning friends! We have air conditioning. Kudos to the hvac company for doing their work so well when it’s so hard to get parts right now. Now I can quilt and all the related things. More on some of this in a paragraph or two.
I listened to the full Quilt & Tell Podcast this morning, knowing part of what was in it, and I’ll get to that in a moment. Tracy, Lori and Ginger have a great conversation with Michelle Freedman. While Tracy, Michelle and I worked together on Generation Q Magazine I learned so much about Michelle in this conversation.
When Michelle worked on the ice dying I was, in typical fashion, swooning over the uniqueness of both the color stories, but also the individuality of the pieces. When I knew these would be made into a fabric line, Fire & Ice, well swoon! When Michelle asked me to quilt for her I must admit to being a bit giddy, partly because Michelle asked me to just do what I do and that dear friends is exhilarating!
At the end of the podcast Tracy, Ginger and Lori talk about something really hard to address because in some ways it’s a business thing and in some ways it’s a personal thing. Hang in with me friends. Behind the scenes at any quilt related business are people who are passionate about what they do, quilt. Each person has a willingness to share that skill set with you in a variety of ways from publishing and all that goes with that to well, writing books and teaching, or sharing their skills and entering shows. Way back when I lived in New York and was something of a younger quilter I remember studying the best of show and seeing a couple of mistakes in the quilt. What this allowed me to do was start entering shows because while this quilt was/is stunningly beautiful it was not perfect. My book does have a repeated sentence/thought. I know where it is, like me, it’s not perfect. It does, much like me, have character though.
Tracy talks about being the editor of two separate, and (my words) very different, publications. While there are several sets of eyes that look over every pattern sometimes something slips through the cracks and mistakes appear in the pages. Tracy also mentions, and this is key here, there are fewer people working on the pages of any given magazine as the publishing industry is changing. Staffs are much smaller, while twenty years ago there was a team of people working on one magazine there are now 5 people working on two, and a couple of those people might be working on four. I knew about the social media post that prompted Tracy’s PSA at the end of the Quilt & Tell Podcast and I’m not sure I ever saw that specific post, however I’ve seen other posts like it. One person isn’t happy because of something they don’t like and they share it, then so many other people chime in saying how awful this thing is and why they don’t like it and how _insert whatever content here_ is not written well, or there’s a mistake.
Friends please take a moment to write to customer service first please. With smaller teams *something* may have fallen through the in place systems. It happens AND they want to know. Give them time to respond as yours might be the first email they receive and there is need to check the pattern and make corrections or respond with a clarification. There are many different styles of pattern writing and the patterns might not be written in a style that is really clear for you, however they are for someone else and that’s perfectly okay. It’s much like books some people like romance, some like history, some like sci-fi (while I haven’t read in a while I really enjoyed Asimov back in the day), some like quilt fiction, some like bodice rippers, some like how particular authors write.
The other component to all of this is that once one person said their thing other people chimed in both echoing the sentiment and adding to the negative discussion. No one defended, offered any kind of explanation, or support for Tracy and the crew at the magazine. This kind of experience is lonely and rather painful, and quite frankly it hurts deeply. In the PSA Tracy does touch on the “value for money” with the number of patterns and the price per issue either as a stand alone purchase or by subscription and while this matters in as much as the cost either way is less than $1 per pattern it doesn’t matter at all. Behind the scenes there are hardworking people who deserve to be treated with the same kind of respect we would want. Period. Tracy also speaks to quilters who are offering free patterns on the internet and designers who are selling patterns who may have a cohort of pattern testers behind them helping problem solve along the way. Tracy and I both wanted Laura Boehnke’s job, not only did she test the pattern but offered another color option. That simply isn’t available at this point in the publishing world.
I could go on, however I will finish this part with the simple reminder (this is for me too) that kindness matters, if there is a question or problem reach out to the publisher first or designer first.
Now for some fun!
Yesterday I got to join Michele Muska and Leslie Tucker Jenison on Instagram. I’m not sure either IGTV was saved. I’ll join them again at some point. Also did you see the IG interview with Brandy Maslowski of Quilter on Fire? We had a great chat and I’m looking forward to the podcast releasing on September 14.