What cross-stitch magazines or other publications (as opposed to blogs) do you read on a regular basis? What do you like about them? What do you not like? What would your perfect publication include?
This is a Question of the Week lifted from San's website http://angelsan.free.fr/blog.php.
My regular cross-stitch (XS) magazines are XS Gold and XS Collection - why? Consistent high quality, reasonable price, large charts that you can read without a magnifying glass and, no gimmicks ("freeby" kits are OK but they are very monotonous ... Winnie the Pooh, Popcorn, etc get very boring after so many of them).
X Stitcher, World of XS and XS Card Shop are the next level of magazine. Good quality, smaller projects that Gold and Collection, can normally rely on some "must-do" charts each issue. Freeby kits/give-aways feature strongly - its their selling point, but please can we have less folders, zip-up bags, plastic tape-measures and more cute buttons, embellishments. Also can't they think of different characters to Winnie the Pooh??!
XS Crazy or XS Quick do not inspire me normally - maybe there is one chart in each copy, but will I want to spend £3 just for 1 chart? They contain a high percentage of "trivia" and waffle. Hence the Readers' Letters page is normally irritating and patronising (in my humble opinion), whereas the good quality magazines print full letters, of which most are extremely interesting and informative. For example, XS Collection had a moving Letter from someone who described how her kidney transplant enabled her to get out more than before and meant that she could buy items for her cross stitch projects such as threads, fabric etc, which she had difficulty finding
My perfect publication would contain:
60% charts (different designers like Maria Diaz, Michael Powell, Lesley Teare, Helen Phillips and all the Kooler Design Studios folks)
20% technical aspects (tips, advice, creative ideas)
5% competitions - with craft prizes to be won
5% adverts (for LNS and web-stores - these are useful and we need to support those suppliers so that they continue to make beautiful high quality base-materials for our crafts!)
5% fiction/reading material - nice poetry, words, phrases, short story written by readers or talented writers.
2% templates/motifs - make your own cards, samplers, wall hangings
1% exchanges/swaps/Wanted adverts - very useful to source those items that may be in someone's attic :-)
1% letters - good quality only, including photos of people's projects
1% craft stories from Round the World - traditional crafts, unusual crafts etc