Let’s talk magazines

It’s time for another “Let’s Talk” discussion where you get to participate by using the comment section.  So today… Let’s talk magazines!

Let's Talk Button framedThe other day I retrieved my mail and found 3 quilting magazines in the stack!  That’s what I call happy mail!  And then two days later another magazine arrived.  Followed by an e-zine delivered to my iPad.  Does this sound familiar?

magazine discussions

I have always had a weakness for magazines. They bring me so much joy and I love sifting through the pages and discovering new ideas, not to mention tons of inspiration.

magazines in basket

And it’s so hard to throw away a good magazine.  I want to save them because there’s a recipe or a few projects or one idea that I know I’m going to want to refer back to later.

This is how my magazine-reading process usually goes:

Stage 1:  The first thing I do when I get a new magazine is a quick scan.  I thumb through it and look at the main projects.

Stage 2:  Then, when I have time for a more leisurely peruse, I read it from cover to cover.  I’ll dog-ear the pages that I want to go back to or save for later.

Stage 3:  This is where I get into trouble.  I let it sit for a month.  And then another magazine gets placed on top of it.  Then it becomes a stack of magazines.  And then I move my stack and add it to the other stack in my sewing room.  Then it becomes a mountain!

Stage 4:  Go through the most accessible stack and tear out the pages I want to save.  Put those pages in a box.  The rest of the magazine goes into the recycle bin.

magazine stages

Stage 5:  Truth be told, I never get to stage 5.  It should look something like this: file the magazine pages into binders or folders…. or just put them in the recycle bin and move on to the next project.

The best I can do is point you in the direction of someone else’s organizational skills.  Check out Laura at Make Life Lovely.  She has a great method for handling all of those saved magazine pages.



Or check out at what Kate at Centsational Girl did with all of her dog-eared magazine pages:

What to do with dog eared pages @ Centsational Girl
The Dog-Eared Pages @ Centsational Girl


Aimee at It’s Overflowing has a great file system for organizing her recipes that works for any subject matter:

It’s Overflowing


And for the tech savvy, check out how Claire at Claire K Creations uses Evernote to save her magazine clippings.  I use Evernote, but I haven’t tried scanning my magazine articles and then saving them there.  I love that idea, and I’m seriously thinking about getting a scanner and going for it!

Claire K Creations


Do you have a system that works for you?  Please tell us about it in the comment section!

And while you’re there (commenting that is), what’s your favorite quilting or diy magazine?  I know, it’s hard to pick just one.  How many do you subscribe to?  I’ll fess up and tell you that I’m currently getting 7 quilt magazines delivered to my mailbox (includes the 6 pictured below).

mail mags

quilter's mags


And then there are the special issues that come out occasionally that I can’t resist:

Specialty mags


And the ones that I find at the news stand that I have to read:

new mags


Including the more modern/new ones:

modern mags


I receive the digital issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting on my iPad:

digital magazine


And these magazines can only be found under my bed in the archives as they have become “extinct”:

old magazines


The sad (or wonderful) thing is that the magazines I’ve mentioned so far aren’t the only ones.  I know there are more out there, I just don’t own them (shocking, but true).  Australian Patchwork & Quilting and Quilting Arts are a few that come to mind.

I think my favorites of the bunch (at this precise moment) are Quilt Now and Love Patchwork & Quilting.  These are both published in the UK and feature a more contemporary style of patchwork.  I like the modern esthetic and the beautifully photographed projects they include.  If you’re in the US, Quilt Now can be ordered as a subscription through Pink Castle Fabrics.  You can also find digital subscriptions to both of these magazines (which is how I get LP&Q).

Speaking of digital magazines, I also love Fat Quarterly eZine.  This is a digital-only magazine and it is full of wonderful projects and inspiration.  I even contributed to one of their issues a few years ago.

I have to say, I’m enjoying the digital format much more than I thought I would.  I think I might convert most of my subscriptions to digital-only as they come up for renewal.  Maybe.  There’s still nothing like thumbing through that open magazine and really feeling those pages in your hand.  Something to think about!

Last, I wanted to mention a few magazines that come from Issuu.  This is an electronic publishing platform that allows you to follow your favorite publishers and companies as well as create your own magazines!  The great thing is some of these publications are free!  My favorite comes from Jacquelynne Steves and it’s called The Art of Home.  She puts her heart into this magazine and makes it available to everyone.  Another one to consider is from Moda Fabrics/United Notions.  This is another great source of inspiration!

So, am I the only one out there with this, ahem, “issue” of magazine love?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading and not judging me.

Julie(Just so you know, no affiliate links were used in this post).

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  1. Discovered your blog after seeing your tutorials on The Quilt Show and have enjoyed looking at your posts after looking for (what I now know is) the Peter Rabbit quilt that you showed in the “labels” episode.

    Had to comment on this one since it’s a topic dear to my heart. I always say that part of the reason I got into quilting is because it fed my addictions — magazines being one of them! I’m surprised you are able to resist the pull of Quiltmania! Love that one but try to limit buying only one or two issues a year because of the cost. My only print subscriptions right now are to QNM, Machine Quilting Unlimited and Primitive Quilts & Projects but only because they ran a full year super special that equaled the number of issues I usually buy in a year. I recently renewed a digital subscription to Quilters World which I let lapse for two years since they give you access to the back issues. I get American Quilter because of my AQS membership and used to get Easy Quilts when I had a QCA one (and they are the one set I’m thinking of giving away). I have “collected” all the QM 100 Blocks issues but may stop now that they are offering compilation editions. Everything else I’ll buy an issue here or there if there is at least three projects in them that I feel I must make, otherwise I can hope they’ll be available (cheap) on eBay if I discover a need for them later (and admit that has happened from time to time)!

    I find it hard to discard magazines since I have often “rediscovered” things on re-reading them that I knew I wasn’t interested in or passed over the first time around.

  2. I subscribe to Love of Quilting and will occasionally pick up Easy Quilts and Quilty while standing in line at the craft store. After reading them from cover to cover, I go online to the Fons and Porter website to download the digital patterns that I am interested in making. The ones that I am actually shopping for get printed out for a trip to the fabric store. I’ve only been quilting for 2 years so I only have a few magazines, but once I have a larger accumulation, I plan to donate them to my local library. Often, they will either bind them into a hardback volume or sell them to raise extra funds for the library.

  3. That is some magazine addiction! I love magazines too but sadly do not have the space or want to make space for them. And honestly, I don’t need any more projects added to my ever-growing list. What I have now will keep me busy for the next 30 thirty years. But it is hard to resist the lure since they are everywhere, even in the Joann checkout line, smack in-your-face! I just tell myself no, no, no. Then I walk out of there and pat myself on the back.

  4. This is a great post Julie!!!! When I get a magazine, I go through it and dog ear the pages I want to come back to. When I get back to it I tear out the pages for the items I want to keep. The pages I keep are organized in folders in a filing cabinet. When hubby and I do road trips, I often will grab a folder or two and go through them. It reminds me of what I have and I get rid of things I don’t like anymore. I subscribe to 7 magazines and don’t have a favorite. I just like them all…. :-)) It’s very fun and interesting to see what others do. Us quilters…we really are an interesting breed.

  5. Keep magazines… who me? We are moving next month and so I am reducing my magazine stash. Time to let that 1998 magazine go. I did save a few pages though. I am currently using the binder method because I have binders and sheet protectors. And I do love to look at real paper instead of always electronic pictures. But I’d love to explore the evernote idea since I do use it for other things. Maybe after the dust settles! Thanks for a great blog post!

  6. I have the perfect system. I hang onto the magazines for twenty years, pouring over them periodically, then I sort them into a keep pile and a give away pile to reduce the stack and start over again!

  7. When I bought my iPad I decided I would subscribe to everything on line, like most, my volumn was out of control, I subscribe via Internet for 8, I purchase the ones I can find that I don’t have and my favorite is QuiltMaker. Sad thing is, I was spring cleaning and organizing a few weeks ago, I boxed up over 200 magazines, some going back 10 years, tried to sell them for 1.25 each……no one interested! I simply don’t have the heart to recycle these, I will hold on to them until I can find them a home…….so to storage they go.

  8. Julie, it’s as if I was the one describing my magazine habits! That is EXACTLY how I ‘organize’, too! I’ve never left a comment on a website before, but I follow your blog, and after reading today’s entry about magazines, I couldn’t believe it! I’m honored to have that in common with you, since I have so much respect for your creativity and expertise. Please continue to share your beautiful artistry with us. I can only hope to accomplish a fraction of what you have. Thank you.

  9. Julie, Julie- I subscribe to 5 quilt magazines, almost the same ones as you. And I too can get to step 4. But I keep the whole magazine which I have sorted into magazine holders and keep in my bookcases. Instead of dog ears, I use sticky tabs to mark articles I like. I also use to subscribe to the same ones that stopped publishing. However, I have to confess that after reading your blog about Issu, I wanted to check it out and now subscribe to Moda. Oh well, at least I don’t have to file it anywhere. Thanks for letting us magazine-a-holics know we are not alone.

  10. HI Julie, first off I just want to let you know I enjoy your posts so much. Get so much great info and inspirations from them. My favorite magazine you didn’t mention is Quiltmania. It comes from France and always has a zillion projects in there I want to make. Thanks for all you do.

  11. APQ is my favorite. I’ve checked out others, but consistently they have the most patterns that catch my eye. That said…I usually just put them on the shelf in my sewing room.

  12. Wow – I thought I was the only one – I am comforted to know that there are others who collect magazines. I have gotten better and have actually gone through stages 1 – 4. I tear the pages out of the magazines and I put each article in a see through page protector. Most of my clippings have actually gone into binders which are grouped – I have about 20 binders!! I have yet to organize the pages in the binders. As I am working full time I find it difficult to find the time to do that. I only have 1 subscription to a quilt magazine now and try to avoid them in the stores – good luck with that, but I am getting better at it. Good luck with your endeavours.

  13. I truly enjoy following you along on your quilting journey through your blog thanks to The Quilt Show and your really good videos. I used to get a large number of quilting magazines but there is so much inspiration in them that overwhelms me that I decided to cut back. Currently I get New Zealand Quilter, Quiltmania, Machine Quilting Unlimited, American Quilter and the quarterly magazine from The Canadian Quilters Association. Magazines are one thing but blogs are also another wonderful source of inspiration. I try to clip and save magazine articles that inspire me and bookmark blog pages that do the same. Once a year I go through the saved materials to see if they still interest me otherwise it is the recycling bin.

  14. Thank you so much for your lovely blog. I love reading it when it pops into my inbox.I am so relieved that there are more or ‘me’ out there when it comes to magazines and that’s before i start looking at my spinning mags! Happy sorting 🙂

  15. Reading your post was thinking back and it was exactly me! I still have a few mags but yes, I cut them out and saved what I liked or thought I might try. I have them in a portable file box but I think scanning and putting onto my computer is a better idea. Good luck with your uncluttering!

  16. I have not organized my quilt magazines yet. I have been trying not to buy too many but it is hard to resist them. I used the notebook and plastic sleeve method to organize my cross stitch magazines several years ago, it took some time but is still works out great.

  17. I love mags too, and giving them up is hard. I finally solved my problem to a point. I belong to a sewing guild. Although, I am primarily a quilter or hand embroidery gal they do not hold it against me. LOL. We have two events each year for lunch and special program etc. one part is we can donate fabric in good condition, sewing notions, books and magazines! All items MUST be sewing related. The items are priced very reasonably. Magazines are usually a quarter a piece. Then all proceeds go to charity projects for people in need that our guild sponsors.This is a win win affair and we have tidied up our sewing studios. We have made over $1,000! We have fun to.

  18. I used to take a lot of magazines and loved them; I then moved abroad for over 10 years and it was too expensive to have them mailed so I tried magazines available locally. I found one I really liked and subscribed to that so I really, really savoured that when it arrived. It was such a treat. When I returned 2 years ago I bought all the different ones I could find to start all over but somehow they are all very disappointing to me. I haven’t started a single new subscription! I suppose this sounds really sad and pathetic but now I buy fabric instead of magazines and the occasional pattern from the quilt shop or download from fabric manufacturers.

  19. there are lots of apps to scan documents. Some are even free and work great with Evernote. All you need is a smart phone or tablet and off you go! Digital is the best way because you can add different tags and find one project useful for several events, people, occasions, etc. thanks for sharing.

  20. OMG, we have the same magazines and I often pick more up from the store that carries some that I don’t get in the mail. I guess it’s a form of addiction. I really need to organize just the stuff that is of real interest to me!

  21. Hi Julie, I too have a quilt magazine problem. It is just so hard to get rid of them. I like what Centsational Girl said she did. Only look at the dog eared pages when going back through the magazines. I get 4 magazines now, my goal is to get rid of 5 magazines for every one I get. I really hope I can do that.

  22. Oh my, this post definitely speaks to me and my magazine habits! I even go through the same stages 1 – 5! That 5th one is the hardest. Just last night I was filing quilting articles by subject into binders: Christmas, Art Quilts, Just Quilts, Inspiration, Small Gifts and Mini Quilts. So far, that is my system. It may grow into more binders. (I must say I do have more than one binder per category. Years of quilting magazines of all sorts, along with online tutorials I have downloaded.) And I still have stacks of magazines. Thinking I should just give them to the quilt guild members and forget going through all of them. Just how many projects can one hope to do in a lifetime, especially when one is over 70! LOL!

  23. I only wish that I could hide, er, I mean store, them under my bed. My box springs sets on the floor, because otherwise it and the mattress would be too high for me to get into!! I mostly do it your way, but never get to step 5. What is the hold these magazines have over us??? I am so weak when it comes to them. They call my name…..”Linnnnnda, Linnnnnda, you know you want me…..”

    xo Linda

  24. Loved your post, seems we are kindred spirits of sorts. I go through almost the same stages really. At the end though I have ring folders with 10 tabs. Each tab is the start of a new technique or type I recently collated all these tabs and re arranged the files so quilting is in one, applique techniques another and crafting yet another folder then broken down yet again into various areas. I keep my applique patterns in a metal table top 5 draw filing cabinet for ease of finding them. Have yet to decide on how to categorize these further. Thanks for your insights very thought provoking and loved reading what others do too. Now have no idea what I will do when I start adding embroidering to the mix also? Never ending are the reaches we crafty people aspire to! Kathy Western Australia

  25. I had so many quilt magazines saved for years. I was tired of moving all those boxes from home to home. so…..

    I went through them all and tore out all the quilts pages I liked whether for inspiration or to maybe make one day. I put the quilt and directions together and put 2 back to back in a plastic sleeve and into 3 ring binders.
    Right now they are semi-organized by categories. I had some magazines going back to 1979!! vintage. Those I kept separate and whole along with all issues of Quilting Arts.

    1. And I only subscribe to 2 magazines Quilting Arts and Amer. Q Society. I have become very selective if I buy any others.

  26. Thanks for the information on organization. I love having everything organized. My daughters say I love the organizing more that the sewing!

  27. I have used my phone lately to take a photo or two of newspaper recipes. If I enjoy the recipe it gets typed into my computer and filed there. If not good, it’s easily deleted.

    I too stack the magazines and then attack them in one big effort – tearing out pages, putting in a pile, or if I’m really getting to it putting them in page protectors and filing in loose leaf notebooks.
    But I’ve found if there’s a pattern that really speaks to me and I am serious about making it, then I should scan it into the computer and save online. They don’t get “misplaced” as easily then.

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