June 10, 2018

The Day of Small Things

I had had my suspicions for a few weeks and sensed that all was not quite the usual. There were promises that didn't eventuate and other things that made me wonder. 

Eventually, it came - the email that I dreaded. The last two Express Publication Craft magazines (Australian Patchwork and Quilting and Handmade) would both be closing down in June 2018.

It's been 13 years since I took my first tentative step into designing original patchwork, quilting, and embroidery projects. I have been blessed to have an outlet for my designs over all those years with more than 200 designs published. Eight Australian magazines regularly published my work ... and they paid me enough to buy more fabric to make more projects!

[Pocket Notebook Trio - pattern available here.]

And now there are just two of those eight left. The six that closed down almost exclusively used Australian designers. Of the two remaining, one seeks designers from all around the world, and the other only publishes six times a year. 

In other words, my outlet has shrunk to almost zero.  There is one other magazine which also has limited space for an Australian designer and also only publishes six times a year, which I will try at some stage, but you get the picture - an era has ended! 

So where am I at? I can't stop creating!!! I can, however, stop buying! I reckon I have enough fabric to last me for quite a few years! So number one decision has been to now buy nothing but basics - things like threads, batting and freezer paper.

[Cherished Letters Coin Purse - pattern available here.]

Number two decision is that I will continue to design and write up patterns and offer them for sale in my Craftsy Store. Every little bit helps and the small income I receive from pattern sales helps augment our not very large Age Pension.

Number three decision is that, for a while, it will be the Day of Small Things, rather than large quilts. I have been asked to share a table at a Boutique Craft market at the end of the year, so with that in mind I have been making items that might sell there.

The first five photos above are of pocket notebook covers which I think are cute and they are quick to make and very practical. A few pot stands have been added  and I plan to make more coin purses. 

I'll show you another time some of the other things that have come off the sewing machine.

[Hot Pad Trio pattern now available here.]

So life will be different. I am hopeful, of course, that some other door might open. Meanwhile, with four or five projects a week going into the "End of Year" box, I should always have a 'last minute gift' available ... and it could mean the family might be inundated with 'hand-mades' for Christmas!



Nanna Chel said...

That is a shame about the magazines closing down, Val. I guess so much is online now which has led to their demise. You do such lovely work and I hope you find a suitable outlet...other than your family who I am sure are very happy with your gifts.

Chantal Lecas said...

Je ne peux vous souhaiter que bonne chance pour trouver de nouveaux débouchés pour vos oeuvres que j'admire à chaque fois, bonne continuation et au plaisir de vous lire, amicalement

Rosemary said...

I love your work, Val, and I will continue to buy all that I can!! I also love your comments on future purchases. Live and sew with my older daughter and we have enough fabric stored to last for years. We are always saying NO MORE FABRIC but, darn, new fabric is so addicting. Going to try again and just buy basics. /sigh Your patterns, however, ARE a necessity and I always want more. Thank you for sharing.

Linda Janovitz said...

Hi Val,

God has blessed you so abundantly with your talent. I enjoy everything you make, so "YES" keep creating !!

Linda Janovitz

Shasta Matova said...

It is unfortunate that so many publications are shutting down. I think it was a matter of too much competition, With all the free patterns available for free on the internet, it is hard to charge people for it.

Susan said...

I really like the music design.

Brenda / Songbird Designs said...

Hang in there, Val - and always remember - handmade is ALWAYS the best!!

lvkwilt said...

I don't know if Cosy Project in Australia works the same as Craftsy (free to post your patterns), but it might be another option for you. The days of magazines are ending and it's a sad thing. Your talent, however, should be shared as long as you're willing to share it! Thanks for your talent and your inspiration!

Susan said...

I suppose I am not surprised that some of those magazines are shutting down - I think they have been mainly unexciting lately and so many people now source patterns from other places.
I still enjoy flipping through them though.
Certainly a shame for you - but I am sure you will make the most of etsy etc.
And keeping your blog going will help - are you on facebook?? That is a market for you too.

Angela said...

I'm so sorry to hear about those magazines ending. But I'm glad to hear that you're not going to let it stop you from continuing to be creative.

KaHolly said...

I haven’t been a visitor in a dog’s age, but I’m glad I stopped by today. I can’t believe Australian Patchwork and Quilting is closing down. It’s by far my favorite quilt magazine. Once upon a time, I could afford to subscribe to it from the US and I covet each and every issue to this day. Love your small things. I sincerely hope you are successful in finding other outlets for your creative talents.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

I think magazines of all sorts are going through a revolution...why aren't these continuing online say I wonder. Lovely little things- I will add you to my blog roll and I will make note of your Craftsy Store.