What a wonderful surprise to get the new Martingale/That Patchwork Place catalog in the mail and see a quilt from my new book gracing the cover! Don't you love the way it's displayed? The catalog contains all the new quilting books coming out soon and I know some of you will be excited to peek inside and see them.
Here's my rant about books and publishing first: It's a sad fact that some of our celebrated quilt book publishing companies are no longer in business. Perhaps you've noticed. The reason publishers go out of business? Quilters are choosing not to buy books the way they used to. Nowadays, everyone expects to get everything for free on the Internet. But the quilting industry suffers when people do this. Expenses are high when it comes to publishing and printing a book and paying a staff to design and market it - publishers sometimes barely break even when a book is finally published. Quilt designers are in this business to try and make a living through their noble efforts to inspire us to be creative.
So, take a look at the catalog. What is creative inspiration worth to you? To me, there is nothing quite like the feeling of buying a book by one of my favorite designers and holding it in my hands, flipping through the beautiful color pages again and again, dreaming sweet creative dreams. It's how I first became inspired to quilt and later dreamed of the notion of becoming an author myself. Here's my idea - do your favorite authors/designers a favor and this coming year support their efforts by buying a few more quilting books. Don't just look at the pictures you see on the Internet and say Oh, I don't need a book or pattern for that - I can copy it myself. If you care at all, support the person who gave you the inspiration.
I'm not just talking about myself here, trying to push my new book so I can make a buck off you. If it weren't for ALL of our industry's talented quilt designers, where would we get our inspiration to even make the quilts we make? They do it for US. It sure as heck isn't for the money, ha ha. Craft book authors make notoriously little money on book royalties. Here's the dirty little publishing secret - authors make about a dollar plus a handful of change for every book you buy. They have to buy their own books from the publisher just like you if they wish to sell them to the public when they teach or lecture. Books cost money regardless of who's buying them. Authors don't miraculously own or receive all of the books they wrote for free when they're published. When you buy a book on Amazon - authors get about 40 cents for each book because Amazon books are heavily discounted by publishers. Yet, here's the deal - because we love quilting with a passion and because we also love to inspire you, we still do it.
So, listen - next year, why not skip a couple of cups of Starbucks, make your kids wear hand-me-downs for a few months, save string, I don't care - eat Mac & Cheese for dinner, whatever. Make some room on your bookshelf by dropping off some of your old books at the local library. Then, treat yourself to some new inspiration - buy a quilting book (or maybe two or three) and support your passion.
But enough ranting. I feel better. I have to tell you that this cover quilt is really special to me and I'm so glad it's in the book. Seeing it on the catalog cover surprised me and stirred up some sentimental memories. The pinwheels quilt was started a few years ago when my beloved Wheaten Terrier Rigby became ill and we found out he needed multiple surgeries. He might have cancer they said.
When this happened, my head started spinning and I became scared. So I began making some spinning pinwheels to deal with the pain. I planned to turn the blocks into a pillow for him. We soon found out that he was misdiagnosed - there was actually no cancer. We were lucky to have had Rigby, Mr. Rigby, Big Rig, stay healthy for another 2 1/2 years before he finally passed away. The pinwheels quilt I'd started was put aside because working on it reminded me of that painful time and it hurt too much. I waited awhile and finally pulled it out last year and finished it, deciding it was too lovely to leave unfinished. I knew it would be a nice tribute to a companion who always sat near me and my quilts while I sewed.
When he first came to us as a puppy, he was Small and Scrappy!
If you're one of those people who loves family sagas involving dogs, make yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and read more about our silly Rigby here. And here. And don't forget here . . . . And oh, yes - here too.