Category Archives: Journey

Submitting to a Magazine

I have now been submitting patterns to quilting magazines/publications going on 3 years, with at least 4-6 publications a year. I have been very lucky and have had great experiences with those I have worked with. Have you every thought about submitting to a magazine but not sure how to do it? Here are some pointers based on my experiences.

Submission process

  1. First step pick up a couple of issues of the magazines that you want to submit to. Check out layout, content, aesthetic. Make sure your project falls into their aesthetic.
  2. Start by checking the submission guidelines for the magazine you want to submit to. If you can’t find them, reach out via email requesting them.
  3. Depending on the submission guidelines, you may be required to submit a finished quilt or just design/ideas. I like submitting a couple of designs and offer to change size and color to make it easier to fit with an upcoming issue.
  4. It is important to submit the designs/or quilts to only one magazine/publication at a time. Don’t submit the same design to multiple magazines.
  5. The submission response varies for each magazine. I have had everything from 1-4 weeks. Communication maybe across multiple emails deciding on dates, and aspects of the pattern.
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Quilt used for Best in Show, QuiltCon Magazine 2017

Contract process

  1. Once they say yes, they should send you a contract. Don’t agree to doing anything without a contract (I learned this lesson the hard way).
  2. If you can afford it, have a lawyer read through the contract and explain it to you.
  3. If you can’t afford a lawyer some of the key things you need to read are;
    • When do your rights get returned to you? It is common that this is 6-12 months for most magazines/publications.
    • What gets returned to you? Do you have the rights to re-publish? I like to get me rights back to then publish as my own pattern to sell. Rarely, but sometimes magazines will give you the rights to the images as well.
  4. Most magazines do not allow you to share on social media until the magazine//publication is on sale. When they are about to release, several publications will provide you with images to use. If they don’t ask if they can. You can ask if you can have the rights to those photos for your future use as well.
  5. Validate payments language and stipulations
    • Check when you receive the money, and the process of payment. Many will require you to submit invoice or purchase order. Others will need to receive the delivery before they pay. The other option I have seen is that payment will be made once the issue starts to ship.
    • How much are you being paid? This is typically negotiable, but if its your first publication you may want to balance experience and worth.
  6. Do they have terms in there for re-use? If yes, how much will they pay for re-use across other media and forms. Ask yourself if this is something you want. You may want to negotiate this.
  7. Terms and conditions are typically included on what happens if they choose not to use your project.
  8. Contracts may include and should include expectations on deliverables, timing and possibly shipping details.
  9. Shipping costs to the magazine, most will pay for the returning of the quilt, others may repay your shipping costs, you may need to pay it yourself. You will need to submit receipts for repayment.
  10. Some magazines have partnerships with fabric manufacturers and may be able to provide you fabric. I typically will use my own fabric for a submission but if this is something you are interested in, there is no harm in asking.
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Image Provided by Love Patchwork & Quilting

Delivery Process

  1. Make sure you understand what you need to deliver and when. It is important that you are on time with your deliverables. Life happens though, just communicate as early as you can and let them know the situation and most will work with you on any issues/delays etc. Communication is key.
  2. Most magazines will convey how they want the content delivered. They may provide you with templates and specific instructions. Make sure you follow the instructions.
  3. Mostly, I have written most of the patterns as part of the submission (see expectations for print) which is one of the deliverables. Some magazines may prefer to write it themselves. Check what your responsibilities are.
  4. I have seen that typically word is the preferred file format for the actual pattern  – if there is no template check out previous releases to get an understanding of what they are expecting.  You may want to include:
    • An introduction, quick blurb about your project.
    • Materials
    • Cutting instructions
    • Step-by-step pattern directions
    • Notes, Tips and acronym dictionary (if you used any, like WOF, RST etc. )
  5. For the instructional aspects, you may be asked for photos to illustrate your instructions. Make sure you check with the publishing body what backgrounds are OK, size of the file and make sure they are sharp and well lit.
  6. If you are asked to provide diagrams it maybe best to use illustrator and save the .ai files. Most magazines will have designers who are savvy in illustrator. They may require specific size work areas, file types and/or layers within illustrator.
  7. I will store all my soft copy deliverables in a google drive and share that link with the contact person to pick up. Keep an eye on your email in case something is incorrect or wrong with the delivery of the files.
  8. For the quilt, if you have agreed on techniques, color and size; if you decide to change any aspect you agreed upon communicate with your contact point and get mutual agreement on the change before moving forward with it.
  9. Make sure you know who is responsible for the photography of your quilt. Know when you have to ship it to get it there on time.  Understand how the quilt will be returned and ask for a tracking number so you know your quilt arrives on time.
  10. Ship your quilts following their instructions (if any are provided). Pack it in a plastic bag, include the invoice for the project, so they know which project it is for.
  11. You will likely need to also provide a headshot photo, and additional information about you like Instagram name, and blog.
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Image Provided by Love Patchwork & Quilting

Expectations for Print

  1. The publishing company will edit your pattern, both from a formatting perspective and actual content. They need to fit it within their allocated space for the design, don’t be shocked if they have made major changes to the document you sent them. It is likely that you will not have a chance to review it.
  2. The publishing company will also use a graphic designer/ illustrator to modify your diagrams etc to ensure it matches their formatting and may combine or separate them into one or more diagrams. They may add to your diagrams.
  3. Until the quilt is scheduled to be released you may not hear again from the publishing body. You may not know if your quilt lands up on the cover until they send you a social media package….its all a very exciting.
  4. To promote your quilt ask for the photos you want, if you would like additional pictures…sometimes they don’t send all of them to you. I always ask for the staged quilt photo and the full front view of the quilt.
  5. The company will typically ship back your quilt once issue if released and most will provide you with a copy of the issue.

If this is something you want to do, don’t be afraid. The worse case is they say no. Now this shouldn’t be taken poorly, your quilt just might not be right for that magazine/publication. Try it with another magazine that may fit better. Best case you will have a quilt in an upcoming publication.

Please note, that these tips are based my experiences, and others may have had different experiences. Feel free to leave a comment if you have experienced something different so others can learn, or if you have other questions and I will do my best to answer it.

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March {Plan}

Wow, it is March already. Where did February go?? Let’s get down to business, and plan out the rest of the month….lots to do on this end. I am happy with the progress I have made over the last two months….though not necessarily in all aspects (ie. the book is still moving but slowly). Some of the highlights include:

  • Business: Complete Teaching Plan and submitted to LQS + Classes are scheduled for Q1 + Q2, Supply lists sent
  • Book: Finished Project Plan
  • Book: Finished Border 2 for Art Deco Medallion
  • Deadline: Send finish quilt and pattern for magazine
  • Deadline: Wrote and sent article for MQG
  • Deadline: Sent quilt to Quiltcon
  • Deadline: Finish #mqgswap item
  • Attended QuiltCon

So, the latter 1/2 of this month I would like to focus on my book. Here are some of the key activities I would like or must accomplish.

Category Project/Activity Target Date (day/month) Action
Business Quickbooks  3/6  Purchase + add financials
Business Submit Taxes + Annual report 3/11 Pay someone to do this
Business Phased Circles Pattern for Class in April 3/16 Send to Graphic Designer for layout
Business Teach Improvisation Class 3/17 Preparation Complete
Deadline Interview|Article 3/5 Complete
Book Group Quilt  3/5 Sent for quilting – Complete
Book Manicured Garden Quilt 3/18 Send for quilting
Book Chapter: “Art Deco
Medallion”
3/31 Finalize Content for Chapter
Book Art Deco Medallion
Quilt
 3/31 Finish Border 3+4
Book Chapter: “Manicured Gardens” 3/31 Finalize Content for book
Fun Monthly “Favorite
Things” Giveaway
 3/5 Complete
Fun Traveling Stitches Blocks  3/5 Complete
Blog Month Plan  3/5 Complete
Blog Book Update  3/8 Planning your book
Blog Blog hop post 3/12 Complete
Blog MQGMiniSwap 3/17 Complete
Blog How to Submit to a Magazine 3/24 Write Post
Blog Traveling Stitches 2018 3/31 Write Post
Balance Health 3/31 Loose between 10 pounds. Increase vegetables; 8 glasses of water and exercise 3x a week by March end.

I am interested in those that are running a business or growing your quilting hobby, what do you plan out or do to keep track of everything?

January {Plan}

To stay on goal, I thought I would start a monthly plan to help keep things moving forward in various areas of my world. Each month should include any business activities, deadlines, book activities, and fun quilty projects (WiPs).

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Book Group Quilt Top

 

Category Project/Activity Target Date (day/month) Action
Business Quickbooks  6/1 Investigating for
purchase
Business Yearly Calendar
View
 7/1 In Process of
creating a yearly
view of main activities
Business Classes | Teaching  12/1 Updating Calendar
+ Classes ready for promotion
Book Planning  3/1 In progress – need to
move dates to fit 2018 new deadlines
Book Group Quilt  6/1 Complete Top &
send for quilting
Book Art Deco Medallion
Quilt
 8/1 Finish Border 2
Book Chapter: “Art Deco
Medallion” Project
31/1 Work on 2nd
Review + Graphics
Deadline San Francisco
Bustle
4/1 Add Sleeve, Label,
Send to QuiltCon
Deadline Article 31/1 Write and Submit
Content
Fun Monthly “Favorite
Things” Giveaway
 5/1 Photography + Post
to Instagram
Fun Hexie EPP Project  31/1 Finish Top
Fun Orange Creamsicle  31/1 Finish matchstick
quilting
Education InDesign  31/1 Take a few lessons
on InDesign.
Practice with
writing Phased
Circles Pattern
Blog Park Lamps Quilt  5/1 Finishing post about Park Lamps in LPQ #56
Blog Book Update  26/1 Decide on topic – Planning (??)
Blog A weekly Post  31/1 Work on having a weekly post of some relevant information
Balance Health 31/1 Loose between 5-10 pounds. 5 servings of vegetables; 8 glasses of water and exercise 3x a week by January end.

Sounds like a busy month, but nothing like starting off the year committed. Please note,  that this is my “guided” plan. Sometimes, life gets in the way, or something just takes longer…that’s ok, I will adjust and move on. I’ll share with you next month how things went.

What are your monthly goals? How are you working towards those?

Quilted Postcards

I had a goal for September to make 30 postcards in 30 days (#30daysofpostcards) and have been sharing over on Instagram. Well, I will have 30 but it will take me more like 60 days. It has been the greatest experiment to play with 4 x 6″ quilts. I love it as I get these ideas all the time, and this size allows me to play but not invest too much time, to see if it works or not.

Right now, I am at 29 postcards. I am sending around 17 of them off, as postcards, to people who wanted to receive one. They in turn will send one postcard to someone else. I love the idea of sending a traditional note, a piece of mail, with a little quilty inspiration.

The first postcard that kicked it off was inspired by my effort in finding balance. The line representing balance and the quilting about finding the positives. I had to use my wonder women stamps in this pic., it seemed fitting.

Balance_Postcard

I have a couple of other book project ideas rolling around in my head. I experimented with both ideas and will likely move forward with these as book projects.

The first is a project based on the plastic construction fences.
PlasticFence_Postcards

The second an improvisational triangle idea that is based on airplanes. ImprovTriangles_Postcard

With these next two postcard, I had vivid shapes pop into my head that I could not shake. The first being a Square with a cream border on one side, and one half made up of two triangles at various heights and dimensions. I played with the white and cream solids, stripes and black linen for interest.

Minimalism2_Postcard
The second shape was split across 4 postcards, where each had a corner of a square. One of the corners was a 1/4 circle instead. In my head this 1/4 circle was also the opposite in color combination. I had not envisioned a color combination but decided when making it to do it in a navy and bright yellow. This is my favorite combination and will likely become a much larger quilt at some stage.
Square_Circle_Postcard

For the longest time, I have admired Erin Wilson’s work (@erinwilsonquilts) who does amazing line work in her quilts. These last postcards were my study of lines. I still need to quilt these two.

LinesStudy_Postcard

I have loved playing with this size that I think I might do another round, but this next one will be a cohesive collection vs. random experiments. I am thinking of playing with minimalism or just with lines in a specific color-way. The idea is still forming.

PS. If you are living in the US, I was very surprised with some of the great stamp collections the USPS (US Postal Service) has at the moment. I went a little crazy in purchasing a few, so I am thinking my son can now collect stamps ;-).

PPS. In a couple of days, I will post a tutorial so that you too can make your own quilted postcards. I am just finishing editing the photos.

 

June project tracking

This is a little late, but I have finally got over my sewing mojo funk. Happy dance happening here!! I have come to realize that January through May are difficult months for me in terms of producing final products. I tend to get stuck on one project.  Great news, I rock the last 7 months though, and usually achieve my goal of 1 quilt a month by the end of the year (12 quilts).

The progress has been great so far this month!! I am super excited about moving forward. I finished a contract project a week early  (pictured, folded above), which was my second finished quilt of the year. I have another old WiP at the long-armer this month, it just needed a back. Lastly, the project that should have been finished in February will be done tonight – more on that one in another post.

Project Dates Current Status
 NY High Line  May June  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 1 (Secret)  June  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND COMPLETED!!
Medallion July TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 2 (Secret)  July  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 3 (Secret)  August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
Graveyard  August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Trellis  September  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Manicured Garden  September TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Triangle Quilt September Pattern Release
 Square Dance September  Pattern Release
Abstract Triangles II & III October Pattern Release
Phased Circles & Lunar Lines  October Pattern Release

What I have learned about myself, is I am much more productive with a fuller plate and deadlines that are not my own. Don’t get me wrong but I will still procrastinate until the last-minute.  So, how do you all get over quilters block?

Fun + May goals

Getting back in the zone of making is important for me, and I am making it a priority this month. After all, it is all May is about making. So, every day this month, I plan on sewing for 1 hour.  Hopefully, that will land up being more than just 1 hour.

I have some deadlines coming up, so to balance the must do projects one day a week should be dedicated to a fun project. I am thinking of items like finishing my makers tote, playing with a couple of ideas, throw in some improv. projects like this one:

Including this time for play, provides me an avenue to get the ideas in my head out. I tend to over think things and if I can’t release them then I start not sleeping and getting stressed. I am sure I am not the only one, right?

Here is my current active projects or known projects I am working on, not much has changed but all of them have moved forward.

Project Dates Current Status
 NY High Line  May  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT (Underway), BIND
 Medallion  June  TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 1 (Secret)  June  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 2 (Secret)  July  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 3 (Secret)  August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
Graveyard  August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Trellis  September  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Manicured Garden  September TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Triangle Quilt  July Pattern Release
 Square Dance  July  Pattern Release
Abstract Triangles II & III  August Pattern Release
Phased Circles & Lunar Lines  August Pattern Release

What are you all making in May? What are your goals? Do you all have those slumps and how to you get out of them?

March Madness {Hope not}

March is usually a crazy time of year, in my world (and not due to basketball). I am hoping it is not the same this year. It’s been a month since I blogged last….wow where did time go. I have been super busy with various projects…

QuiltCon 2017

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1. Sunday Best; 2. Rails; 3. Negative Crosswalks

QuiltCon 2017 happened last week. Three of my quilts were accepted, which was so great to see in the show. Sunday Best (first quilt on the left) was also in the QuiltCon Magazine and was the feature quilt for the section introduction of “Quilts of the Show”. I was thrilled.

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I also organized a showcase for Quilt Design a Day that had some amazing quilts from amazing people.

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The whole weekend was so amazing, as I got to meet old friends and make new friends and got to try hand quilting for the first time. Overall, a fantastic and memorable weekend.

Other News..

I published my second article for the MQG  (you need to be a member to view the link) on Improvisation: Shapes and Lines.

Also, the other big news item, is….I am self-publishing my own book (with help from a great technical editor and graphic designer). The book will be on the process of Quilt Designing. I hope to have it for sale late Q1/ early Q2 2018. I am so excited and can’t wait to share more.

I hope to be blogging a little more this month (shouldn’t be hard to improve from 0 posts in February ;-)).

 

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