Saturday, August 29, 2015

Curses and Imprecations

I just read in The Needle in a Haystack's e-newsletter that the Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly is ceasing publication.  This is the only needlework magazine to which I subscribe, not having much use for JCS or any of the British magazines, with their rather lowest common denominator approach to publication.  The designs in JCS et al tend to be rather simple or oh so trendy with rarely a thought given to needle workers who want more challenging designs or articles that place the craft in historical context.  The reason for the demise of this lovely magazine is that it doesn't have a large enough audience.  Well, of course, it doesn't have a huge audience.  It has a niche audience: serious stitchers with a hunger to learn more about the craft as practiced through the centuries and throughout the world.   People who stitch more than teddy bears and Santas.

To say I am disappointed would be putting it mildly.  I have two years left in a three year subscription and no wish to be fobbed off with an inferior product like JCS which will no doubt be sent in its place.  I suppose I should comfort myself with the reminder that I have enjoyed SANQ for a decade or so.  I shall treasure my library of back issues and dip into the pages for projects for many years to come.

It always seems to work this way.  If I like a TV show,it's usually canceled after a season or two.  The authors I prefer never seem to make it to the shelves of the local library.  The movies I want to see seldom make the bill at the local cineplexes.  At the risk of sounding like a total snob, the discerning few always lose out to the common herd.   Damn! Damn!  Damn!

Addendum: I have been taken to task for the line 'people who stitch more than teddy bears and Santas'.  I can understand the appeal of an occasional Santa or mermaid or pumpkin [still don't get the teddy bears but that's just me] but let's admit that such things are stitching lite.  We all stitch things that are simple, quick and easy: seasonal fun stuff.  What I am complaining about is that with the demise of SANQ, all that's left in magazines is the light ephemeral stuff [unless one belongs to the guilds and gets their journals].  One of the most satisfying stitching experiences I have enjoyed recently is working on the English Band Sampler from SANQ 2012.   I bemoan the loss of a venue for such interesting and challenging charts, charts that expand one's skills and broaden one's stitching vocabulary. And somehow I don't expect to see articles about antique stitching implements, national styles of embroidery or museum collections in a magazine like JCS.  Why must the market always be skewed toward the lowest common denominator?   It's a fair question.

5 comments:

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

You are not the only one feeling aggrieved, there have been a lot of people complaining on FB. I also think switching people automatically to JCS is completely wrong. It is not at all a substitute manazine. I do get it and quite like it but the articles, what few there are, are very weak, not a patch on the articles and features in the UK magazines. Journalism seems to be about ten years behind in style!
There is certainly nothing of historical or educational content, unlike SANQ

Julie said...

What a shame.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

I completely agree, I am disappointed that SANQ is being cancelled. And I find it suspect since it is happening relatively shortly after a change in hands on the management end of the magazine. However, I'm quite sure that you would place me in the category of the "common herd" and not at all a member of the "discerning few".

Terri said...

I thought they were combining the two? Maybe I heard wrong. I will miss it too.

rosey175 said...

Probably because the discerning few do not make them money as the common herd does.

I haven't heard of SANQ; it's a shame that something educational is being cancelled. I like to learn about the history of and expand my skills (slowly, now) in needle working but would rather the challenges be implemented in somewhat modern (even nerdy) designs.