Thursday, 22 January 2009

Finally, I Can Breathe

I’ve held the peace long enough.

The gag order is officially removed.

On the eve of Issue No. 2, I’m outing myself: we publish Irish Quilting and I’m proud of this accomplishment.

You see, nine months ago, it was an idea. And then it grew. And grew and grew. Unfortunately, I was knee deep with a newish job. Quickly, I developed a second persona. With one, I was bubbly and exuberant with a new prospect. With the other, I was dredging along in a boring, but secure, job--all while struggling to conceal the other.

In November, we launched Irish Quilting, the magazine.

Behind the chaos of life, children, work (count 'em-2) and no play, I was miserable keeping secrets and my absences and inattention at work became noticeable and unacceptable. As my persona fought to hide so much, the charade continued with my resignation, clouded with shame, secrecy and unexplainable circumstances. Paranoia set in. Worried this blog might reveal all to a curious co-worker or worse, my boss, I envoked a gag order even after I quit my job.

I still worry my former boss or co workers might stumble upon my new life. The very same life that once interrupted my old life with them, but I move forward and I hope they would too.
Besides I can’t contain myself any longer!

I begin this saga by announcing a fully equipped website to go live in February for Irish Quilting. This post is simply to get you up to speed. Beginning next week, you can find more IQ tales on the IQ blog. Watch for its link on this blog!

So it began with a bunch of us gals wrangling over imported quilting magazines. We thought, what if we had a quilting magazine for Ireland? What if?

So we headed to the local Enterprise Board. Because we target the American market alongside our Irish quilters, Irish Quilting was deemed an innovative biz idea. We went on to win a feasibility grant. Money. Real, live money.

We went on to convince our bank manager to gamble on us. Of course, this was before the big R. We were approved. Money. Real, live money.

We went on from there. But not without a lot of help. Help from designers, quilters, friends, and family members. Folks, the real, live money only lasts so long and publication sales are very slow to trickle in. And advertising revenue? Well, say a prayer for us. Until then, bless everyone’s generous hearts and souls!!

We are appreciative as we are now a case study for our local enterprise board. Our sales increased 70% from Issue 1 to Issue 2. Our direct sales with Stonehouse Publications, our US/Canadian distributor grew by 50% and we just signed on with Honeysuckle Cottage for distributing in Australia and New Zealand. Tomorrow I hope to finalize details for Irish Quilting to appear in Eason stores all over Ireland.

For exciting content news:

Terri McNeill is an Irish designer who, without her, this magazine would not be what it is. She is unbelievable! I remember the day I met her, she was so humble as she mentioned she MIGHT have a quilt design suitable for the magazine. (ah-hem, pls see below and on pg 33 Vol1, Issue1, nothing short of spectacularly stunning!) Her talents and her heart stretch beyond imagination. She has given her personal (endless!) time for proofing patterns and advising. Watch for more of her fabulous creations. (On a personal note, my new persona now finds time and place for learning patchwork techniques and tomorrow I start a class, taught the very one and only Terri McNeill. I can’t wait!)

We are also blessed to host Pat Sloan each and every month. She is a very impressive quilter who quilts, speaks, visits among us like a close friend. If you get a chance to follow her blog, do. She’s great! And turn to our pages to converse with her—send us comments/questions for Pat.

We also signed on Janet Rowe of Wildcraft Farm (an Irish gal living Down Under), so we can all take part in her adorable stitchery projects. She’ll be with us every issue and sure to win our hearts with her finished projects. Watch for her in Issue No. 3.

For news of here, there, and everywhere:
Cover project for Issue No. 2 goes on the road with the Cotton-By-Post Quilt Shoppe, for promoting their The Third Annual Quilt Exhibition, featuring Ireland. Designed and made by Terri McNeill for our Quilting Getaway feature in Issue No. 2 we are excited to see it travel the globe. (FYI for you subscribers--if you're in Europe, we are a week ahead, issue 2 should be in your post boxes next week!)
We’ve been selected as one of ten Irish businesses nationally to meet with the representatives of the US and Canadian Enterprise committee. In this meeting we hope to discuss innovative business and commerce on a global level. What this means for Irish Quilting, is how can we deliver globally in a more timely manner—my number one concern at the moment!

So there you go, a taste of my once-hidden life and the sweetness to come!
Have a great day!


Marie said...

Sherry I am so happy for you and your new adventure, I am sure it will be very sucessful. Ireland is my favorite place to be except I am an American living in the USA and doesn't look like I will get to come back over for a long while, but I can dream and Blog with the girls. Hope we can get your magazine over here. Hugs, Marie

David said...

Sheery, it's great news that you have managed to break clear and may you and IQ continue to go from strength to strength. It definitly sounds promising and more of this positivity is needed, rgds David.

Anonymous said...

Well done Sherry. Sounds like you are going from strength to strength. Looking forward to meeting you next weekend ;-) !!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I was just thinking today that I thought you'd been I know why.

What you've achieved in such a short time is amazing. Keep it are doing us all proud!

The Quilting Pirate said...

Sherry, how do I get a yearly subscription? There's that ad in the first issue that saids save money now and do it kinda thing, but when I go to the QI website I don't see the option.

I would love to purchase the second one now, do you that link?

We hope to start carrying QI at my LQS by next issue!

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