Okay, my heatgun-wielding, rotary-cutting lovelies, I have big news, but before I share, I want to tell a story:
Back in the day when I was in sixth grade, my art teacher plopped a pile of colored felt, a bag of needles, and skeins of DMC floss on the art table one afternoon. I picked up a needle with my monkey-bar-loving, blister-ridden hands and once I figured out how to thread it, proceeded to take those bits of colorful craft felt and floss and stitch a scene of ducks swimming in a pond. It was ... shall we say…the most abstracted little duck scene you'd ever scene: a whir of blues, browns, and greens with the occasional wonky, loose stitch placed haphazardly about. No one—not art teacher, not parent, not friend—knew what in the blazes it was supposed to be, but looking back, nothing my two hands had ever fashioned made me happier.
Becoming a professional needle artist, however, wasn't in The Grand Plan, so off I went to college on the east coast where I majored in English. (Hey, if I couldn't stitch a duck scene at least I could read all those Austen books where they featured duck scenes.) Then grad school to be a teacher (not of needle arts), and then—much to the shock of my family: One day I had the overwhelming urge to pick up the needle again.
And once I started to stitch, I just couldn't put the needle down. I quit school, quit teaching, took my money and set up a computer in my in-laws' sheep barn to put out a quilting magazine. I had no newsstand plans for it; I thought it would be a subscription-only magazine (but of exceptional quality, of course).
Then stores called asking what my wholesale terms were. (What in the heck were our wholesale terms?!) And my sister-in-law Sally (who had four young kids at the time) took pity on me and came over every afternoon to help me go to the post office and drop off boxes of issues.
And then my husband, who'd previously owned his own business, came on board as publisher.
And then we hired a couple of employees.
And then we thought we might need to move the business out of our house, so when a historic building downtown in need of renovations came on the market, we snapped it up.
And then we thought, "Hey! We have this fabulous old building…why not have a little retail store, too, and offer all the cool stuff we talk about in the magazines?"
And then we thought, "People! We get all this incredible mixed-media art for QUILTING ARTS, but some pieces aren't exactly quilts, so why don't we start a second magazine!?"
And then we thought—dream of all mother dreams—wouldn't it be fun to publish books!
And then we thought, "Hey! We love to stitch by the pool––needle in one hand, margarita in the other. Let's launch a stitching cruise!"
And then we thought, "We're not publishing enough! Let's go to a six-issue publication schedule! For both magazines! At the same time!"
And then and then and then…
Here we are on a beautiful (and eerily balmy) January afternoon and Quilting Arts LLC has taken another gigantic leap into the publishing frontier:
As of January 2, 2007, Quilting Arts LLC has joined the family at Interweave Press. Hopefully you know them––those talented, creative folks who publish FIBERARTS, PIECEWORK, BEADWORK, and INTERWEAVE KNITS among a host of other high quality publications and books. Both John and I are thrilled about aligning forces with such a passionate, innovative group of people.
The quality, the photography, design, etc. will all stay top-notch for both publications. In fact, in addition to both magazines going to a six-issue publishing schedule, we're looking forward to offering all of you even more ways to get the freshest, most cutting-edge, thought-provoking, and creative content.
John will remain as publisher for both QUILTING ARTS and CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS (and will be the Group Publisher for Interweave's Quilting and Paper division), and I get to do what I love: being editor-in-chief for both magazines, working closely with Interweave's book division, and having fun planning some special projects that are in the works. John, myself, all of our staff, and our offices, including our retail store, will remain in Stow, MA.
So there you have it. My news. Picture me overjoyed when I say:
We're so excited to be part of the Greatness of Interweave Press!
Above (left to right): John Bolton, Pokey Bolton, Clay Hall, and Marilyn Murphy