Okay, granted ... I've not quilted in about two years and two years IS a long time ... but I was surprised at how much things have changed since the last time I either bought a quilting mag or had a subscription. I've bought pretty much every quilt mag on the market (looking for new mags to subscribe to) and this is what I've found (NAYY - No affiliation, of course, yada, yada,):
American Patchwork & Quilting: In the beginning (about 6-7 years ago, give or take a few) I would have told beginning quilters that this was THEIR magazine - not the magazine for the advanced. But now, I'd have to change my tune ... it's got a great spectrum of articles, pattterns, and techniques to suit the first time quilter, the advanced quilter and just those who love "eye candy" (I even caught dear hubby leeafing through it's pages!).
They've got applique, strip piecing, paper-piecing, and the more traditional types of patchwork - they've managed not to leave any quilter out! And not only have they managed to cater to every level of quilting and quilting interest, they also have several "sister magazines" that cater to even more specific genres.
"Quilts & More" (brought to you by those who bring you AP&Q) adds in small projects for the quilter AND sewer ... ranging from stylish bags, dolls, and home decor accessories. It's a veritable buffet of quilting options - it shows you how to turn a quilt into ANYTHING! My only criticism? It's not yet available for a subscription. You have to go to your local bookstore or newsstand - which in my area, is rather thin. :(
Quiltmaker is another one of my old favorites. It seems to have run out of ideas for the most part as I've noticed that in recent issues, they're rehashing some old patterns (but then, no pattern is truly new), but they've managed to make those old patterns seem fresh and new with new color-ways, techniques, settings, etc. Still a great magazine!
Quilter's Newsletter was at one time, my favorite. It catered to the more advanced quilter, but seems to now be doing a better job at leaving no one out. Still heavy on the art quilts, applique and bios (backgrounds and spotlights on up-and-coming quilters - not just the ones who you've heard of again and again). But if you're a new quilter, you'll have a better time with AP&Q or, another vastly improved mag:
McCall's Quilting ... it's definitely improved over the years. Yes, I'm sure most of you remember Robert Callahan's series of "Grandma's Country Albums 1 & 2" and while those were gorgeous, they tended to be the most creative of the patterns/quilts featured. But as they say, it's come a long way, baby! Gone are the "THAT'S a featured quilt??" reactions that the typical quilter would have. It's now full of great patterns, interesting color-ways, nifty techniques, and interesting articles on everything from choosing the perfect machine to the greatest new notions we can acquire. Definite kudos to this mag! :)
Every "review" has to have a loser ... and that, in MHO, would be Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home. After passing it up on the stands and at my LQS, I decided to take a chance (it IS about quilting after all - or so I thought). How many patterns and/or quilts did it feature? THREE. And three sub-par ones who's patterns you could have found in any of the other mags I've mentioned. And how much self-serving, self-aggrandizing "Mark-isms?" Well, pretty much the rest of it. Very little on actual quilting ... mostly a celeb-tells all sort of magazine here, folks. Honestly, if it weren't for the ads that led me to new online quilt shops, I'd have asked for my money back.
I realize that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and most of you won't agree with my estimations of these mags (and I've in no way approached "reviewing" them all, of course - just sticking to the "big" ones). Some of you might eagerly look forward to your next copy of Quilter's Home ... and some of you might absolutely detest the ones I've given 5 stars to. And if that's the case, I'd love to hear YOUR reviews, opinions, and comments on the "reviews" I've given. I'm sure there's new quilters out there who'd love a little guidance in which mag is best for them to subscribe to. And who knows? Some of these they may not have even heard of yet! :)
Sooooo ... any comments? :)