Tuesday, April 27, 2010

After ten years together, it's finally over

A long and fruitful relationship has come to an end - I'm not renewing my subscription to Australian Patchwork and Quilting and my last issue has arrived. I used to really love this magazine - it was straightforward, practical with a good mix of easy / difficult and modern / traditional.

But to me it seems to have gone downmarket, although it's hard to put my finger on exactly how. You know how you get an idea in your head when you read a magazine of who they think their reader is? AP&Q used to give me the picture of a woman of a certain age; who was interested in family and community but who also travelled a bit, enjoyed a laugh and probably some red wine as well. Now when I read I get a picture of a woman of a certain age who should get out more, doesn't have enough money to do what she wants and is annoyed by the way her daughters-in-law are raising the grandchildren.

Perhaps this is an unfair generalisation, but I've been getting that vibe for a year or two now. And, just to continue whinging a few paragraphs more, it drives me INSANE that they put the interests of the advertisers over that of the readers. My head knows that that is the commercial reality and magazines get their money from the ads not the cover price; but the rest of me really wants to believe the magazine is for my delectation and enjoyment, and not just to get me to buy more stuff.

The reality of quilting in Australia is that the fabric from the local shops is three or four times the price you can get it from ANY shop in the USA, even allowing for the exchange rate and postage. And don't start me on the sales!!! So exhortations to "support my local quilt shop or else it might go out of business" just drive me nuts. Either it offers something enough people want to buy or it goes under. I don't mind paying more for value-adding, but I refuse to do it as a "moral" good, and that seems to be the line AP&Q are pushing.

Ooof, enough already. Can you tell that 22 yards arrived from Hancocks today? For the princely sum of 103 Australian dollars. Un-freaking-believable.

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