Modern Quilts Illustrated: our new magazine!

“We’ve gotta have a great show, with a million laughs… and color… and a lot of lights to make it sparkle. And songs – wonderful songs. And after we get the people in that hall, we’ve gotta start em in laughing right away. Oh, can’t you just see it… ?”— Judy Garland, “Babes In Arms”, 1939.

This is kind of how it started. Bill and I have been dreaming for years about starting a magazine for modern quilters. There were always other things on our plates so it got pushed to the side. Finally this summer we decided to make it our top priority.

Like Judy Garland in “Babes in Arms,” we dreamed about how to make it captivating for you the reader. We wanted it to be a totally different reading experience. Most importantly, we wanted it to inspire you and make the process of quiltmaking easier and more fun.

Being visual people we thought about and discussed in great depth the mental process of reading a pattern and then trying to visualize the construction being described with words. What if we threw all of the standard formats for pattern writing out the window and developed a graphic approach unique to each pattern? What if you could look at a glance and see how many steps and how many blocks/pieces/units you needed to assemble the whole quilt? There would be no advertising in this magazine so rather than have to flip from page to page with ads in between, you could have one glorious spread after another. It didn’t need to be a huge magazine, we reasoned, but it had to be on nice quality paper so it would feel special. In 2012, we will offer digital downloads of each issue but for now, it will be in print.

And like Judy in “Babes in Arms,” we wanted it to sparkle. Pretty styled photography for each project, multiple color variations, fun graphics, lots of tips, three larger projects and one small one per issue. There’s a Palette Chasing column in each issue in which we feature a palette with specific fabric names and style numbers inspired by a beautiful destination.

Every fabric shown in each project is listed by manufacturer and style number so you can assemble your own kit if you want. We’ll also have a limited number of kits as well of every project in each issue. There will be projects with hand work and machine stitching in a variety of techniques. Still Life with Pears, a project in our first issue is a combination of hand and machine techniques, but we explain how you can adapt it to exclusively machine stitching if you prefer that. All patterns have been designed by us and tested by us.  Our first issue is 20 pages (18 + cover). Our guess is that future issues will be about that length as well.

Modern Quilts Illustrated will be published three times a year and the issues will be numbered not dated because a good project is just as good in April as it was in January. We will be printing in small runs with a fast turnaround time. So if a great new fabric line comes out in February, we can review it in the issue that comes out in March. Jim White, who did the photography in both Quilts Made Modern and Transparency Quilts did the styled shot photography for the first issue and we hope will continue to work with us on future issues.

I head to Houston to Quilt Market on October 27 to promote Modern Quilts Illustrated to quilt shop owners who might be interested in carrying it in their shops. Although we will be selling it through our website, we hope that shop owners will also carry individual issues as well. If you want your local shop to carry Modern Quilts Illustrated, let them know because it’s unlikely that our little indie publication will find its way onto a shelf at your local newsstand.

Each issue will retail for $14. If you would like to purchase it from us directly, you can either come to our launch party on December 4 (more details to follow) or you can give us a call and we’ll mail you a copy for $15 (which includes postage). If you would like a subscription for three issues for $30 (+ tax for subscribers in Illinois), please call us at (708) 445-1817 and we’ll get an account set up for you. Our first issue will ship the week of November 3. Issue #2 will ship in late March 2012 and #3 will be printed in July 2012.

This is a huge new adventure for us. We have worked nights and weekends for months to refine our vision and figure out the logistics of making this happen. We’d love your feedback and thoughts. We’re so proud of what we’ve put together and hope that it delights you.

52 responses to “Modern Quilts Illustrated: our new magazine!

  1. Did you hear my whoop all the way from Texas?! To tell you that I’m excited is a huge understatement. I can hardly wait!

    And just so you know, I prefer a printed rather than digital magazine. I like having digital editions for easy access but I much prefer a real magazine in my hands. The digital magazine reading experience isn’t the same to me. I’ve even stopped buying them on my Nookcolor.

  2. I love the look of the mag and am in love with one of the quilts already – pears are my favourite shape!! BUT I live in Australia – what are the chances of me getting your mag? Congratulations on what looks to be a wonderful new adventure for you.

  3. To our Australian fans – yes, we can ship to you. Once we get back from Market and have issues in our hands we’ll calculate the postage.

    @Jackie – Yes! I’ll be at Market in booth #2149. No schoolhouse this round but I will be there with wholesale info so please stop by!

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  5. I love it! I have sent the info on to my local quilt shop and if they carry it I will get it through them if not I will be calling. :-)

    CONGRATULATIONS!

  6. Looking forward to seeing the first issue! Any chance you’ll have any at Quilt Festival (after Quilt Market)? I will forward this onto our local quilt shop and hope they decide to carry it.

  7. How wonderful! Congratulations to you both. It looks like a really lovely magazine.

    Is there an international price for, say, Australians? I’d be very interested in subscribing but I know international postage can be a pain.

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  9. Wow! Very nice! I’m more of a traditional than modern quilter, but I’m going to buy this issue anyway; I love the format and presentation of the pattern.

  10. I am so impressed by the thoughtfulness and care you have put into the visual experience. From what I can see of the spreads it looks like a delight to view and I am looking forward to holding it in my hands to savor. I will be calling for a subscription(at what I hope is not the middle of the night.) Thanks for making this great contribution to modern quilting. (I also want a kit for the pear quilt you show there… gorgeous!)

  11. How terrific! Congratulations. The magazine looks marvelous and I love the visioning behind the whole thing including your thinking about the visual and tactile aspects. I can’t wait to get my hands on your first issue!

  12. I just received the first issue. It’s really great. You should feel very proud. Looking forward to the issues to follow.

  13. I received my copy, too, but haven’t had a chance to study it in detail yet (long days at work this week!) One thing I did glance at was the color palette article, and I particularly liked that you showed the palette using numbered Kona solid colors. That was awesome.

  14. I love your design. I’ve made several dozen quilts since beginning my quilting journey in 2008, but by far my favorites are those I made from your kits, (Raindrops, Party of Four and Leaves.) So, it goes without saying that “I’m in, baby” for the whole subscription, lock stock and barrel. Expect my call tomorrow morning!

  15. So excited about this! The quilt industry is totally in need of a fresh new approach to its quilt magazines. Enough with the same old stuff each month. I also LOVE that we wont be subjected to more advertising than quilt articles! Excited to see the first issue!

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  17. Hi there! I live in Dubai & am so thrilled to read about this new magazine of yours? Will you ship here? Can I get a subscription including for the first issue (Nov 2011)? Please tell me how to go about doing this? Thank you for always churning out great stuff !!!

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    • Hi Pauline,

      You may either call us or email us your name, address, phone, credit card number, expiration and 3-digit security code and we’ll get a subscription out to you. You may start with issues 1-3 if you like which would be $42. With the time difference, if you call us sometime after dinner your time, we should be in. If you want to email, break up the information into 2 emails for security. We expect to have an e-commerce plug-in to our website next month but in the meantime, phone and email are the best options.

      Thanks,

      Weeks

      Weeks Ringle co-owner and designer

      Modern Quilt Studio 719 Iowa Street Oak Park IL 60302 (708) 445-1817 http://www.modernquiltstudio.com http://www.craftnectar.com

  19. I registered for the digital subscription at the Houston festival. Bought books and kits, cannt wait to go home and work on these designs. I cannt wait for the magazine, when will I get the first issue?

    • Hi Sylvia,

      I’m afraid that you’re confused. There is no digital version of our magazine. If you purchased Modern Quilts Illustrated in Houston, you took them with you. Is it possible that what you’re thinking are books is actually the magazine? I have no record of you in our system, which suggests to me that you purchased a few magazines but didn’t set up a subscription to receive future issues. If you would like to receive future issues, we’ll need your shipping information and credit card. Please call us at the number below if you wish to set up a subscription. At this time we do not intend to offer a digital subscription as the preference for paper copies has been overwhelming.

      Best Wishes,

      Weeks

      Weeks Ringle co-owner and designer

      Modern Quilt Studio 719 Iowa Street Oak Park IL 60302 (708) 445-1817 http://www.modernquiltstudio.com http://www.craftnectar.com

  20. I just attended Weeks seminar at Pennington Quilt Works in Pennington, NJ today. It was AMAZING! I learned so much and am more confident with color. I also left with the fabrics, mostly from my stash, for 3 new quilt projects. So excited!! Thank you so much Weeks for sharing your knowledge with us and for helping us feel confident with color! Can’t wait to get started. Thanks!

  21. Just wondering if you are likely to make copies of this interesting-looking magazine available for download, please? I live in the UK and nowadays I try and download magazines whereve possible as it saves on huge postage costs!

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