May is for Makers
Support independent designers
Originally posted on April 29, 2016 by Amanda Leins
An initiative from Lindsey Rhodes at LR Stitched.
Modern Quilts Unlimited is an independent magazine, supported by designers who submit projects and subscribers who appreciate that we provide quality projects and a wide variety of resources. Supporting independent designers is important to us, and today I’d love to share with you an initiative I came across that will kick off in May: “May Is for Makers“, the brainchild of Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched. As Lindsey says,
“For the month of May, I am committing to support a different pattern maker each week. I am choosing to skip lunch at Chick-fil-a to instead invest in a person.
I will purchase 5 patterns over the course of the 5 weeks and with each purchase I make, I will tell a pattern maker that their work matters. My purchase will tell them that I am grateful for the time, effort and passion they put into their brand.” Validation.
But what I really applaud is Lindsey’s reason for starting this initiative. She says:
“We have all gotten spoiled by the amount of free on the internet and I worry about how much longer our community of independent designers can sustain that.”
And I can’t help but agree. Quilters and Makers of all sorts can sometimes have a hard time resisting the urge to get patterns for free, patterns that have been designed and published for purchase. There is so much free stuff of varying quality (much of it untested and untried) available out there as people try to gain likes and grow followers that we can sometimes lose sight of paid-for patterns being a part of someone’s livelihood, a way to support themselves and their families. We sometimes overlook that the guild getting copies of a pattern bought by one person is wrong, that emailing PDF copies we’ve purchased to another friend is breaking a contract between us and the designer, and that our failure to pay for their hard work (and it is hard work) means over time that fewer and fewer designers of quality will be able to survive as a business.
What Lindsey is doing supports these small businesses and designers, and also raises awareness for a pretty big issue in our community. Read Lindsey’s post “May is for Makers” and think about joining in. I know I have my first patterns picked out, and will be joining in. What will your patterns be?
Mandy Leins is an author with Stash Books, quilting and piecing teacher, and longarm quilter. You can find her at Mandalei Quilts.