The Modern Quilt Goes Mainstream

by Weeks on 03/02/2007

in Quilting

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I once heard an editor of a cooking magazine say that she was always debating in her mind whether her magazine should reflect the taste of their readership or lead it. It’s no secret that the image on the front of a magazine dramatically affects the sales of the magazine, so it was with nervous excitement that we waited to see the response to the latest issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.

On the cover of the just-released April issue is Spice Market, a contemporary quilt designed and made by us with our latest line of fabric. There is also a 5-page article on FunQuilts, which is the nicest piece anyone has ever written about us in the magazine. There are also beautiful pictures of our studio. When this came out last week, we wondered how APQ’s readership would respond. By putting a modern quilt on the cover of a magazine with a traditional base readership, was APQ reflecting its readership or leading it? Would it attract any new readers?

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APQ listed our phone number and website so readers could purchase the fabrics used to make the Spice Market quilt. This is especially helpful to readers because it is so hard to track down all 13 fabrics used in the quilt, especially if you are making a large quilt and need lots of yardage from the same bolt.

So far daily traffic to our website has tripled and the phone is ringing constantly. The big surprise is that the demographics of the callers is so different from what we expected. We’re getting calls from octogenarians and bloggers, wives whose husbands especially like the quilt, moms who are making the quilt for their college-bound children and young, beginning quilters who are attracted to the simple construction. In the US we’ve received calls from Washington State to Florida, with both urban and rural post office box mailing addresses. We also have received calls from Canada. Our website statistics show us that there are times when groups of people all from the same server are on our website at the same time. We envision co-workers on a break looking at our website.

What we’ve learned this week is that the divisions between traditional quilters and contemporary quilters aren’t as clear-cut as we thought.

Finally, the editors of American Patchwork & Quilting have agreed to let me interview them about their magazine, what’s new in quilting and any other questions whipup’s readers would like to submit. They really want to know what interests you, so post your questions here, I’ll forward as many as I can, and get you some answers.

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