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6 Jan 2007

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

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Jane LaFazio wrote
on 6 Jan 2007 10:59 AM
Congrats dear Pokey! You've followed you passion and it's paid off indeed... and when you're ready to do that book on felt quilts, I'm your girl! Continued success, oh brave girl.
Jeri Riggs wrote
on 6 Jan 2007 11:55 AM
What fantastic news, Pokey and John! I'm overjoyed to hear of your success and your partnership with Interweave. You will definitely be an amazing addition to their fold, enriching both. And hopefully having more time for what you love with less personal stress. Your story is so inspiring and shows what can happen by following your dream.I'm so proud to know you and to count you as one of my personal Goddesses... Happy New Year! Love, Jeri
claudine hellmuth wrote
on 6 Jan 2007 12:49 PM
yay! that is wonderful and exciting news!! xxxox claudine
Natalya wrote
on 6 Jan 2007 1:11 PM
Congratulations! You are quite an inspiration!
Kim wrote
on 7 Jan 2007 12:29 AM
Ahh! It's so fantastic to read a blog post so similar in inspiration to one I wrote just last week. It's so exciting to be joining Interweave Press at the same time as you!
Maggie wrote
on 7 Jan 2007 9:45 AM
Congratulations Pokey & John on this next big step. I received both Creative Quilting and Beryl Taylor's book this week as late Christmas presents to myself. The books are magnificent. I look forward to you next project. Maggie PS thanks for sharing your story Pokey. I'm glad all your ducks are lining up!
Dianne Marcoux wrote
on 7 Jan 2007 11:03 AM
Congratulations to you both, you have earned it, and you are an inspiration to us all, follow your dream and it can come true. Thanks for all the hard work you do...
Sandy Jandik wrote
on 7 Jan 2007 1:26 PM
Congratulations! You've come a long way-still my 2 favorite magazines. Sandy in La Center
Taylor Hanna wrote
on 7 Jan 2007 5:10 PM
Wow....what news! I've been an avid reader since your inception and wondered when its secret would get out! I wish you all the luck. I'm hoping the publication will continue with such wonderful articles. Such a wealth of information and inspiration. Please keep up the good work.
Julie Neu wrote
on 8 Jan 2007 9:31 AM
Congratulations! I was also very interested to read about your career path because I think that I am probably going to take a similar one (except that my BA's in Middle Eastern Studies and my MA in Islamic Studies and I decided to forego teaching because spending 10 years working on a PhD when what I really want to be doing is quilting just seemed foolish). I'd love to pick your brain some time.
Kelly wrote
on 8 Jan 2007 2:01 PM
That is wonderful wonderful news!! Huge congrats to all of you :) I have yet to be disappointed in your publications. I treasure all of my issues of QA and CPS!!! Happy 2007!
Patricia Jesch wrote
on 8 Jan 2007 9:53 PM
Dear Pokey - you and my dear 8-yr.old Blue-fronted Amazon parrot bear the same name! Such an unusual name, no others in my experience. I am an artist; an Oct. copy of ClothPaperScissors came to me from an artist friend -we ooohed and ahhed at the colors and projects. Found you on the web and love your website, too. Your publication success is wonderful. I look forward to more good stuff.
BJ Reed wrote
on 11 Jan 2007 8:17 AM
Congratulations! I've been a subscriber from day one. Now that this is well on it's way, I am waiting for someone to start a contemporary art quilting festival in USA, such as the UK Festival of Quilts. I'll be looking for the Bolton's name as contemporary show managers, well one can hope.
Sandra wrote
on 11 Jan 2007 4:01 PM
Congratulations! This is exciting & grand news; your group deserve every good wishes. If this keeps up, I'll just have to sign over my paycheck to Interweave every January - lol.
Diane Dainis wrote
on 11 Jan 2007 5:15 PM
Thrilled your going to 6 issues!!!! Diane
Lena Bolton wrote
on 12 Jan 2007 11:47 AM
The foothills of Mt Cardigan are filled with sounds of jubilation for you, John and the staff at Quilting Arts LLC - - Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your CAN DO story -, they will come or publish great, exceptional, inspiring magazines, they will buy.
Art Tea Life wrote
on 12 Jan 2007 7:02 PM
Congratulations on your latest "LEAP" and it sounds exciting to be a part of the Interweave Family. Speaking of your idea to publish books....I was wondering about the ATC book that was planned when we entered our MAke-it U ATC's. I did receive paperwork release forms and sent them in , but have heard nothing since. Is the book due out soon ? Best Regards
Patricia Bolton wrote
on 13 Jan 2007 12:58 PM
Dear Art Tea Life (love the screen name!), Yes, the book is coming out this spring, but not until April. I'll be posting more details about it when we get closer to the on-sale date.
Lisa Walton wrote
on 13 Jan 2007 8:34 PM
What amazing news - congratulations. May you both continue to inspire us regards
Jo Grooms wrote
on 13 Jan 2007 8:58 PM
What great news Pokey! I am excited for you both. It's great to see your hard work and dedication pay off. My best wishes.
Gerrie wrote
on 13 Jan 2007 9:00 PM
Congratulations. I'm happy, happy for you. As long as you keep your fingers in the pie or your needle threaded or the glue stick hot - this is a wonderful fit for you.
Marilyn Gillis wrote
on 14 Jan 2007 1:58 PM
Congratulations! This coudln't have happened to two more hard-working and creative persons than you and John. When I first read that Quilting Arts might be sold, I had great trepidation, but this sounds like a winning deal for everyone and those of us who have subscribed from the beginning need not worry. I hope you both have less stress in your lives and more creative time and energy as a result. Marilyn
Corinne Appleton wrote
on 25 Jan 2007 5:06 PM
my nerves did a little dance when i heard that QA might be sold but oh! what good hands you've put yourselves into and better yet ***you're publishing six times a year***!! wowser! i am soooo impressed. and so looking forward to my mail :-) cheers, Corinne Appleton
alice anjo wrote
on 29 Jan 2007 9:39 PM
At Make it University in Houston I sat across the aisle from John Hall of Interweave and wondered when you would get together... His sense of humor and creativity seem very compatable with the QA and CPS crew - CONGRATULATIONS!
Rosina Lippi wrote
on 5 Mar 2007 6:45 PM
This is indeed a wonderful story with a great new chapter opening... somehow though you forgot to mention it was me who prompted you to pick up that needle again. sniff.
JL wrote
on 13 Apr 2007 1:17 AM
I hope that Interweave Press doesn't influence too many changes to the QA and CPS magazines. I don't like changes they made at Piecework, which was such a lovely history magazine. I am sorry I didn't know about the change before I renewed my subscription, so I could have made a more informed decision. I do appreciate your hard work in getting an art quilt magazine going. I am sure it will be good for you - more stability - and wish you the best.