Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fons & Porter's VENT

OK - be prepared because I am going to VENT about this issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. First off, it was wrapped in a plastic bag, so I couldn't flip through it before purchasing, but since I adore the cover quilt AND the cover page promises 11 GREAT QUILTS TO MAKE - I bought it. While there are 11 projects, I wouldn't consider calling it 11 quilts, as some of the sizes are: 30"X18", 17"X13", 36" X 23.5" and 27"X20.5". Right off the top - minus four "quilt" patterns from the list. I think I can live with that in this particular case though because some of the smaller stuff is cute AND like I said - I like the cover quilt.

But the thing that I thought was in VERY BAD TASTE for a quilt magazine that has promoted learning how to quilt for years, plus machine quilting - is a short story called "The Longarm of the Law" by Marily Marks, illustrations by Hannah Fons. Without copying the entire thing, the gist of this story is that a longarm quilter brings a customer to court because the top she brought in to be quilted had "issues". And, the judge handed down a harsh sentence of""6 months of picking out stitches under inadequate lighting with a dull seam ripper" among other penalties.

I know that perhaps the story was intended to be good fun, but I think it just made professional long-arm quilters look like - well, witches with a capital B and would make any potential customer with an old quilt needing to be long-arm quilted to have serious second thoughts about getting it quilted - with such a story as this in mind, I think if I had such a quilt top and didn't know much about quilting - I would throw the top away! Seriously! How could such a story possibly benefit long-arm quilters or the people who are their customers??? I can't see why Fons & Porter's felt the story would be appropriate.

Long-arm quilters certainly have the choice to turn away business that they don't want - it is their business, their choice. And there are many, many long-arm quilters out there that take in all kinds of charity quilts, help piece comfort quilts, help terminally ill people make quilts from their stash to leave as memory quilts, square up crooked quilts, quilt through 70's wool and poly blends with a smile... the list of the generosity of long-arm quilters is long! I just find it shocking that Fons & Porter's would even publish such a story (and it takes up 1 full page and 2 half pages of space). I thought it was insulting, making long-arm quilters out to be overly picky and vendictive to boot (after taking in the top with "issues", the long-arm quilter in the story quilted the top with a very inappropriate pattern for some form of self-therapy!). And one can not help but feel sorry for the poor lady who was dragged into court just because she wanted to get a quilt finished. Gosh, she could have been my very own Nana, spending precious money to have a long ago pieced top quilted to give to one of her grandchildren.

I LOVE my long-arm quilters. They are the very nicest people and they never insult my hard work, even though I am sure they have seen 100X better. If you have a long-arm quilter like the one in this story - I would recommend that you don't throw in the towel on all long-arm quilters - find another long-arm quilter - one who loves what she does instead of complaining about every mis-matched seam. There - I'm done venting. Not sure if I feel better or not, but really - I just felt like I had to stand up for all the 100's of people this story seemed to represent in such a bad light.

Note - the photo won't load, but it is the Oct. 2006 issue with a sunflower/basket quilt on the cover - I will try to put the picture up later...

16 comments:

quiltpixie said...

hummmm I'll have to think twice before I pick up an issue... Though I would say F&P fulfilled thier statment of 11 quilts since to me a quilt is three lays held together with stitching, not only a blanket-like covering :-) The story does sound herendous though...

Nadine said...

You're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and I fully understand your reaction !

I'm living in a small village in Belgium and unfortunately I don't know any long-arm machine quilter. I wish I did ! Those ladies get my sincere admiration : they work hard on someone else's work, they often enhance the beauty of this work, and they rarely get the compliments... I'm a hand-quilter and I do LOVE it, but I would be soooo happy to let some of my tops being prof.machine quilted and see my UFO's pile getting down...

I don't know this magazine and this doesn't make me wish to. I have a subscription to Australian Patchwork & Quilting for 5 years now and I'm VERY pleased with it, though I'd like to subscribe to American P&Q too (I'll note it on my letter to Santa Claus...)

Kind regards, keep smiling you're doing such a GREAT job !

joyce said...

I saw that magazine and didn't buy it because of the plastic wrapper. I want to see what I am buying. I don't do appliquea and want to see if there are a lot of applique patterns that I probably won't ever use. Now I am glad I didn't get it. I would not have enjoyed that story either.

Hedgehog said...

I hope you wrote to complain! And a plastic bag?! What is this, quilt porn?! The cover quilt is very pretty, though.

ForestJane said...

I think you need to write a companion short story where the rebuffed quilter takes her quilt top to another longarm gal who rescues her from the quilt snob longarm ... who does a pattern on the quilt that the customer wants and doesn't turn into the quilt police over every little flaw she finds. :)

Bonnie said...

ForestJane has a good solution. I am a subscriber to the magazine and I read the story. I was not as upset as you, but I do remember thinking it was a very poor story. There are so many good writers that could write such good quilting stories - why publish such a weird story?

Shirley said...

I have a short arm quilting machine but only quilt my things. But I read a long arm digest. I don't disagree with you only say that maybe its something that only machine quilters understood. I lol while reading it. Also I agree that maybe it is not something to be published. I also love the cover quilt. I subscribe to only this magizine.

Sweet P said...

I subscribe to the magazine, but I didn't like that story either. I think you expressed my thoughts well. You should write a letter to the editor and complain.

Vicky said...

I read it last night and was thinking, "Huh? I can't believe this is in F&P." But more because I just thought it was silly and wasted perfectly good pages.

I agree that you need to write them a letter. That's the way only they'll know what we want and don't want to see in the magazine.

((Hugs))

Pam said...

Don't get the magazine so didn't read it, but sounds like it hit a rotten cord with you. Write them a letter and refuse to read anything you can't preview.

I am with you, changing the size of a quilt does not mean you can count each size as a separate quilt...tacky!

Marcie said...

I read that article too and thought maybe they are getting desperate for material. I also am disappointed that they are promoting their own line of plastic rulers at a much greater cost than the same existing ruler goes for by a different manufacturer. Does their name make it more valuable? I don't think so! They have made great contributions to the quilt world in the past, I will grant them that. The competition is pretty stiff these days.

Shelina said...

There are so many magazines out there - and a recent one that started has more articles of interest in the quilting world - and maybe that is why they were trying this attempt at humor. I too like ForestJane's idea about writing a story from a different viewpoint.

Darcie said...

I appreciate your venting, Evelyn. This is your blog...if someone does not like it...there's always a scroll feature or a delete button. ;-)

I used to be a subscriber of the spoken mag...but have let that lapse for no specific reason. If you had not vented, many of us would know nothing of the article.

I do feel that they probably should have taken much more consideration into just who their readers are. Most longarmers would probably see some humor in this. But an article like this could have been published in one of those *just-for-longarmers* magazines.

It is hurtful. And totally gives many others an unprofessional view of us longarmers. I'm not saying that I've never delt with undesirable workmanship. But I do feel that I am a professional...those that I work with are *clients,* not customers. I have a relationship with them...and it's up to me to help better their quality of work and the quality of the quilt's finished result. Whether that be through my machine quilting, or through education to better the client's workmanship habits, or a little of both.

Thanks for sharing, Starfishy! Hugs to you and Little Poser!

;-)

Mary said...

There have been other articles in the past that they've done trying to be cute which I thought have fallen short too - they should just give up on the comedy and focus on quilting.

Linda_J said...

Marily Marks almost sounds like a pseudonym, doesn't it? Illustrated by one of the Porters--well that has to be one of LIz' daughter's, nieces or something. I subscribe to the magazine and just thought it was written tongue in cheek--kinda of like someone saying 30 lashes with a wet fat quarter or something.

Actually I didn't object to that as much as the new Quilter's Home with the guy constantly harping about the size of his backside.

To each their own, I guess. Not all articles are going to be right on the mark nor are all the quilts going to appeal to every reader either.

Kathleen said...

I also found the article to be a bit distasteful. I'm sure it was intended to be funny.

As a professional machine quilter, I quilt for clients with many different skill levels. I feel that as a professional, it is my priviledge to teach my clients what works best for me. It isn't my job to judge or criticize their work. I have always found my clients to be very welcoming to suggestions in bettering their quilting skills. I've also learned many great things from them.

I realize that they wrap in plastic to add extra booklets sometimes, but I agree with others, I like to see what's in the magazine before purchasing.