When my chenille denim pot holder pattern was published in the summer issue of the Canadian magazine Quilter's Connection it reminded me of the fine tailored look that goes on behind any magazine cover page and content.
Heather McArthur as a publisher is something special.
She is open to new ideas, lives no stone unturned in her search for accuracy.
And I've spent a weekend with her and associates at a weekend retreat in 2010. She and her crew were so organized. We spent so much time laughing and enjoying great food, even for those of us with food challenges that it made me feel comfortable with sharing any of my patterns with a magazine.
Heather is incredibly easy to work with, she articulates herself well and smiles all the time. She encouraged me to take the step to get my pattern "Snow Town Folk" published and I'd love to see anyone's version of this quirky ice fishing portraits. And I asked if she would give me an interview with the following questions. Please enjoy and don't hesitate to submit any of your patterns.
What prompted you to start the magazine?
I was a subscriber of a small BC-based newsletter called Connections for Quilters for several years. One day in December of 2008, I opened the latest issue and saw a small ad that the publishers (Ray and Fran Helgeson) wanted to retire and were looking for someone to take over the newsletter. I had one of those "Ah-hah!" moments and the lightbulb went off. I had just finished a contract as a marketing and communications coordinator for a not-for-profit and was wondering what to do next. I decided to take over the newsletter, but create something bigger - a national magazine for quilters. By September 2009, the first issue of Quilter's Connection Magazine was published." and the rest is history.
What was your quilting history prior to starting the magazine?
I had been a quilter for over 20 years, and sewing since I was very young. Home Economics was my favourite subject in high school - and the only course I ever got straight A's in! My parents bought a toy sewing machine for me when I was about three (I still have it), and I upgraded to a 'real' sewing machine when I was seven (long gone). Although I've been quilting for that long, I still consider myself a beginner when I see the amazing work that other quilters do! There is always something to learn in the world of quilting, so I will always be a 'beginner'.
What are your favourite styles?
I consider myself pretty much a traditional (machine) quilter, and LOVES the look of scrappy log cabin quilts. The log cabin is my 'go-to' block whenever I need to make a quick quilt as a gift. Lately however, I have been delving into the world of artistic-style quilts. One of my next projects will be a landscape quilt. I have a photograph of a rickety old dock on the lake at my grandmother's cabin in northern Manitoba, and would love to see it done in fabric!"
What would you do on Canada Day?
Well, I feel guilty when I say I likely won't be quilting! My husband and I own a boat and try to get out on it as much as possible, so we will likely be away on the water somewhere. However, inspiration comes from everywhere and who knows what beautiful sunset I might capture on camera and try to re-create in fabric. I also always have some hand-work with me when we go out on the boat, so it is possible that I might be working on a Hawaiian hand-quilting block I started in a class a while ago.
Do you use quilting software?
I have EQ7 on my computer, which I use to create all the patterns for the magazine's monthly e-newsletter, Loose Threads. I cannot say I am proficient at EQ, but I can get by and love it that it makes it easy, and fun, to create quilts and projects!
I included this photo of my pattern in another modern version of "Snow Town Folk"
Quilters Connection website is full of free patterns, my favorite is the Portable Ironing pad.
Does your magazine pay your contributors?
We pay professional designers for new patterns and projects for the magazine, or will provide space for an advertisement for their business in exchange for a pattern. We do not normally pay for articles published in Quilter's Connection. Most contributors - whether professional or not - are quite happy to have their article published without payment, and we try to promote their business, or guild along with the article. Shameless self-promotion, we call it! Someday I hope that we can afford to start paying all of our contributors, but we're taking it one step at a time as the magazine grows and becomes more sustainable.
(This was done for me at the time my pattern was published and without knowing exactly where my clients for custom quilts comes from, its all good to promote your skills and talents.)
What does 'first rights' mean when a quilter is considering submitting a quilt pattern?
Quilter's Connection Magazine has limited exclusive copyright licence to any pattern or article published in one of our issues. Three months after publication, the publishing and user rights revert back to the designer/author.
Heather McArthur, Publisher of Quilters Connection magazine.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Heather and wishing you a wonderful cool day! Here in Northern B.C. its been really hot weather and we're not used to it.
Up next is my annouincement of what I'm doing with my UFO's.
Happy Quilting ,