Here’s the scoop. I’m very sad to report that Jo-Ann Fabric and
has made the decision not to carry the March issue of Mark
Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home
magazine due to an article on “Shocking
Quilts and Controversial Patchwork: How Far is too Far
?”  an article by Jake Finch which explores the ongoing debate as to whether art quilts have a place in
quilt shows, and if so, who makes the choice as to what is
appropriate or not. Of course, you must see the irony in this.

The quilts involved are:

The L Word by Diane Johns
God of OUr Silent Tears I by Gwendolyn Magee
Southern Heritage/Southern Shame by Gwendolyn Magee
I Remain by Randall Cook
Uncertainty by Galye McKay
Jesus Get Your Gun by Shawn Quinlin
Helping Hand by Mary Beth Bellah

In the article are photos of 7 art quilts that have either caused
controversy, raised an eyebrow, or have been banned in art exhibits
and/or quilt shows at one time or another (most, if not all, of these
quilts have been hung in public shows without incident at some
point) — and they range from political, social, religious, and
sexual (heterosexual and homosexual)issues. Nothing could be rated
more than PG-13, if that. That said, to be sure that all appropriate
precautions were taken; I had the magazine that are sold on the
newsstand wrapped in a clear plastic bag so to protect anyone who
might find it objectionable (which, of course, is the point of the

However, the issue has been still been banned, which I find
personally upsetting because I think it’s a good article, but also
upsetting as part of the press being censored, art being censored,
and as a quilter who is one who doesn’t believe that a quilt is only
for use on a bed, that women/quilters can make their own decisions
about what they’d like to read/see, and more, that it pains me that
the industry at large is still so seemingly out of touch with who the
2009 woman/man/quilter is, as we continue to fight the stereotype
that we are all not little old boring subservient church ladies .

I’m really upset over it. This is a valid topic for a quilting
magazine and to me; it feels like someone painting the clothes over
Michelangelo’s paintings (which had been done).

Oh well, that’s the news. Please, support the magazine this month.
If you normally buy QH at Jo-Ann please know that you can find this
issue at Sam’s Club, instead. Also, don’t forget to buy it from and other online shops and TOTALLY your local quilt
shops! You can also find it at Barnes & Noble and Borders, etc.

Thanks! I’m sorry about all of this,and am really crushed and
confused, but please pass the information around so other quilters
know where they can find this issue.

I hope you’ll be able to find the next issue at Jo-Ann’s as normal.  By the way, I love shopping at my local Jo-Ann Fabrics in Ledgewood, NJ   


P.S.   Just for the record, Jo-Ann has simply decided not to carry this ONE issue.
It’s disappointing but, as others have mentioned and I believe, they
have every right not to sell anything they do not feel comfortable
with. I take both their concerns, and that of art quilters very
seriously. I can see both sides, that’s why I put it in a plastic bag.

This is not a First Ammendmendment violation from where I stand, nobody
said I couldn’t publish the article.

The bigger issue here is quilts and their form of expression. The
points have been made in this issue of Quilter’s Home and it has, at
the very least kept, the debate on the table and out in the open. So,
on many levels, this thing with Jo-Ann’s has been a good thing for

By the way, I love my Jo-Ann staff at the Ledgewood Mall in NJ. Any
kind of boycott of this company is ridiculous.

This was just an FYI as to where you could find a copy if Jo-Ann was
the place you bought it.

Yes I’m sad and hurt by their decision, but again, my job for this
particular title is to raise quilting awareness and to break the stereotype.


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99 Comments on “”

  1. Sandy
    January 30, 2009 at 6:36 PM #

    Looks like JoAnn’s may have gotten themselves in quite a “pickle” over this decision. Mark, you have to be exceptional, how many other magazines has JoAnn’s opted to ban. (Not just cease carrying because they weren’t selling – but to BAN)? But, we all knew you were special.


  2. January 30, 2009 at 6:47 PM #

    Pffft on JoAnn’s. You’ve stated the case well. Censorship is just unacceptable. Don’t let them get you down Mark. Obviously, QH is giving a new generation of quilters what they want. Keep on keeping on, Bro.


  3. January 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM #

    The quilts are not offensive. Joann’s small minded censorship is. Disappointing but not surprising. But the word is out! I think lots of art quilters are going to pass this around and we’ll see if anything comes of it.


  4. January 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM #

    There is a reason I read your magazine cover to cover! It is up to date with great content. I can’t say there are any other magazines that I actually read cover to cover. Phooey on them for being narrow minded. I love what you do and hope you don’t get too down from this.


  5. January 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM #

    Good grief! What year is this??? Since when did JoAnn Fabrics become the arbiter of MY morals? I’ll go to church for that, thanks anyway; and when I want styrofoam chickens I’ll go to JoAnn’s. Or maybe not anymore. No value judgements for me, please. Here’s one more reason to subscribe, which I do!


  6. sue
    January 30, 2009 at 8:26 PM #

    Hi Mark – thanks for the heads up about the latest issue! I have sent off an e-mail to Joann’s to complain. Maybe it they get enough grief they will change their policy. On the other hand, grocery stores carry r-rated magazines and not a word of protest is heard on either side! Love the magazine, don’t change a thing.


  7. January 30, 2009 at 8:27 PM #

    As a loyal subscriber who loves your magazine, this makes me really sad (and upset too). Just thinking of all those quilters who will miss out on this month’s issue is a big bummer. Because, selfishly, I really want the magazine to be a success and to continue publishing, duh! JoAnn’s is really blowing it with this decision. I’m writing to them to express my disappointment with their narrow-mindedness on which magazine to carry. Especially since you went to the trouble to plastic wrap the magazine, sheesh!


  8. January 30, 2009 at 9:08 PM #

    I just got that issue and thought it was one of the best yet. I don’t shop at JoAnn’s anyway but now I know I never will!


  9. January 30, 2009 at 10:25 PM #

    Wait a minute…I can buy it at SAM’S CLUB?! Seriously?

    Love you, friend. I’m sorry JoAnn’s upset you over this. At least it is only one issue and not “we’re not going to carry the magazine any more at all.” Though, honestly, well…never mind…what’s done is done. Hate it for them and for the peeps who buy their QH there!


  10. Ruth
    January 31, 2009 at 1:37 AM #

    Oh….now I can’t wait to get my issue. I’m a subscriber so this “hot” issue will be in my mailbox. Love, love, love your magazine, own every issue and will always own every issue. Keep up the great work and know that you are loved by your loyal fans!


  11. quiltingcindy
    January 31, 2009 at 2:26 AM #

    Joann’s needs to get the knot out of their knickers. Easily solved, if someone is offended by the article or (gasp) one of the photos, turn the page.


  12. Jami
    January 31, 2009 at 2:33 AM #

    This makes me mad! I shop my local JoAnn’s & purchase your magazine there monthly.
    Guess I’ll have to hit Barnes & Noble…nobody else carries it around here…they don’t know what they are missing! 🙂


  13. January 31, 2009 at 2:51 AM #

    I actually just got an ad telling me about your (new?) magazine and couldn’t get the “yes” reply in the mail fast enough. I can’t wait to see something fresh and new! I work at a local quilt shop and am going to talk to the owner about carrying your magazine as well. Keep up the Great work! It is Jo-Ann’s loss, afterall.


  14. January 31, 2009 at 3:21 AM #

    I think this is a mistake on JoAnn’s part, but I suppose it isn’t surprising. It does make me wonder how thoroughly they’ve read any of the magazines, period. It’s unfortunate that the corporate stance is to recoil from a magazine having a discussion of a serious topic.

    Regardless, this too shall pass.


  15. Daryl
    January 31, 2009 at 3:45 AM #

    I was wondering why this issue was covered in plastic. I haven’t opened it yet. It makes me mad that you had to go to this extreme and still they wouldn’t sell this issue. I love the magazine. Keep up the good work.


  16. Mary Ann Scanlon
    January 31, 2009 at 3:54 AM #

    I love your magazine and certainly will search it out at my LQS on online. I’m so glad you spoke up! Expression is about how we feel and its not always warm and fuzzy.


  17. Dianne
    January 31, 2009 at 4:00 AM #

    If there’s anything that Jo’Anns should refuse to carry, it’s all the pre-made seasonal garbage that ends up going on clearance for 75% off the day after the holidays. Your magazine doesn’t offend me one bit and I will continue to subscribe so I don’t have to worry about some corporation trying to determine what I should and shouldn’t read. Thank you Mark!


  18. January 31, 2009 at 4:03 AM #

    As one of the artists in the article, I was a little surprised about the controversy. But more importantly, it was an honor to be included in an article that intelligently explores choices we all make as artists and viewers.

    Because I didnt renew my subscription in time to get this issue, I would typically buy it at JoAnn’s. I live in a very rural area, so that is one of the only places to get it. This time I have friends from across the country buying me an issue and sending it to me. I still havent seen the article, but look forward to getting my hands on this issue soon.

    Gayle McKay


  19. Nancy H
    January 31, 2009 at 4:47 AM #

    I can never find Quilters Home at my local Joann’s anyway. I rather subscribe direct. Thank God your articles include something interesting, fresh, that stir thought & discussion in what can at times be a not so exciting genre to otherwise read.


  20. Bethany
    January 31, 2009 at 6:22 AM #

    I’ve been buying Interweave Crochet since I started crocheting two years ago, and in that time, more than once it has featured articles on ‘subversive’ crochet… and I’ve never known Joann’s to not carry it. In fact, the current issue (Winter 2008) has an article entitled ‘the Politics of Crochet.’ It doesn’t have any particularly scandalous pictures, but I think in the past there have been longer articles on the topic, w/ more pictures. I buy as little at Joann’s as possible as I’d rather support my LYS (plus I think Joann’s coupon policy borders on unethical), so I didn’t buy it there, but I can’t imagine their not having it. I’m not sure how this situation is really any different…


  21. January 31, 2009 at 2:14 PM #

    I just filled out a subscription to your magazine this week. I’m sure I won’t be getting this issue since I just subscribed, but I’m heading to Sam’s to buy a copy. And congratulations to my friend Gayle for having her piece shown in the magazine.


  22. January 31, 2009 at 3:35 PM #

    Hey Mark…Agree with you. too,totally. Don’t they realize they just did 2 things VERY effectively…..they forced people to shop elsewhere (to buy the issue, plus whatever else they will see while somewhere else)…and they probably DOUBLED your subscription and/or counter demand! Is there a thinking mind in Jo-Ann’s marketing office?


  23. Jody
    January 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM #

    No big deal, your fans will follow you everywhere Mark and this just gives us one more reason NOT to frequent JoAnns nor give up any of our hard earned cash to them. THEY ARE the losers and I am now going to their corporate website to tell them so.


  24. January 31, 2009 at 6:39 PM #

    I bought the magazine at Hastings Bookstore and powered through the pages. I really enjoyed the article in question, because- yes, I don’t think anyone has brought attention to that topic in such a public manner. I do find it quite ironic that the very banning you highlight is what JoAnn’s is implementing. Maybe they didn’t read the article. I am glad that there are other outlets to purchse QH. Keep it up!


  25. Ann
    January 31, 2009 at 9:41 PM #

    Mark. Don’t change a thing. I love to get your magazine in the mailbox! The writing is great and refreshing. Finally there is a magazine out there that isnt a newsletter or full of patterns that I’m just not interested in! I’ll be a subscriber for as long as you keep making them for us! Looking forward to the March issue!


  26. February 1, 2009 at 12:25 AM #

    Wow! that is a drag. but you win some and you lose some. Being PC is still a top priority for some.

    btw, i notice you haven’t posted to your blog since SEPTEMBER!!!!! and I thought I was bad with a gap of 30 days!!!

    I love your mag and enjoyed meeting you in Houston this past October. You are great !


  27. paramjeet
    February 1, 2009 at 6:53 AM #

    that is ridiculous i have loved Randall’s work and i hope this dose not deter you and never found anything objectionable about it i have to ask my friends in US to buy two for me


  28. MrsFins
    February 1, 2009 at 7:16 AM #

    Please do not let this upset you. QHM is fantastic! I was so bored with all the other ‘quilt’ magazines. Please continue bringing us the off-beat and thought provoking articles. I’d bet this issue will actually bring you greater readership. As for me, this is just another reason on a long list to not shop at Jo-Ann’s. I cannot wait for my new issue to arrive in the mail!


  29. Tom Pryor
    February 1, 2009 at 4:06 PM #

    Boycott? I will never shop there again….there are other, better stores to shop at. In fact, I might go picket my Santa Monica location today, as I know a lot of shoppers here would not shop there if they knew this was going on.


  30. February 1, 2009 at 5:02 PM #

    Hi Mark, just letting you know that I agree with your comments on your featured story in this issue and it will be Joann’s loss for banning that issue. I’m sure it will be a best seller as I know that some shows/displays are handled this way and that is a SHAME. Keep up the great work!


  31. Kevin Britton
    February 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM #

    Ah, yet another reason to keep up with a subscription. Their loss.


  32. February 1, 2009 at 6:05 PM #

    What ever happened to live and let live? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep up the good work!


  33. BCQuilter
    February 1, 2009 at 6:15 PM #

    I wasn’t sure where I sat on this one. I read your post on the Pickle Group, and all the feedback from it. I’ve read the comments here.

    Jo-Ann’s made the decision, it is their right to do so. It is also QH’s right to publish articles as they see fit. There will always be clashes.

    I didn’t know there was such controversy on quilts, but as any art form, I suppose it was bound to happen.

    The issue here, is not Jo-Ann’s decision, but the quilts in question. I believe that we shouldn’t be thinking of what we can do (or not do) to Jo-Anns, but what can we do to bring to light the quilts in question. How can we stop the controversy, the eyebrow raising, banning, censorship, etc!

    My first thought was to create a quilt covering that. I have not created an art quilt myself, but this may be my jumping off point.

    Mark – keep doing what you do. I’m sure this will have a silver lining in it, it just may take a bit to find it!



  34. February 1, 2009 at 11:13 PM #

    As a subscriber, I’m disappointed that the magazine arrived in my local store before it did in my mailbox. I’ll have to wait to see what all the controversy is about. Now, I understand the plastic bags at least. 😉

    Keep doing what you do Mark. We love it.



  35. February 2, 2009 at 2:34 AM #

    I’m impressed. It would really take a lot to tread on someone’s toes in the quilting world (for good reason) and I suppose if anyone could do it it would be you!

    I’m assuming that JoAnn’s would be aware that in ‘censoring’ your magazine and this particular article they’re also drawing more attention to it – just like anything considered controversial that has been banned.

    Keep up the good work Mark, a bit of controversy never hurt anyone. 🙂


  36. Jackie
    February 2, 2009 at 3:27 AM #

    We’ve missed you on the blog Mark. Glad to hear from you, but sorry its for such a knucklehead reason. JoAnn’s loss.


  37. February 2, 2009 at 1:14 PM #

    Well it just makes me more eager to get my SUBSCRIPTION issue in the mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  38. Ronna Ross
    February 2, 2009 at 4:17 PM #

    The question of “what is art?” has been around for the ages. If you wanted to know how far was too far, I guess you found out. Although I will probably be one of the ones shocked at the quilts (just call me Ronna – Conservative, Nerdville, USA), I am sorry that this has happened. It is disappointing, especially since you have built your magazine on being different. I guess all there is left to do is to take me subscription copy and read it in the privacy of my bathroom, Oops I mean my library.


  39. February 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM #

    Slainte, the news has hit Ireland and there were several of us chuckling over your great mags, and we too were saddend that JoAnn chose against this time; but just know we all choose you over and over!
    Rock on!


  40. Gordi
    February 2, 2009 at 6:21 PM #

    Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to the new issue!


  41. ABB
    February 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM #

    I’m looking forward to getting mine in the mail. If it’s wrapped in plastic, maybe the mailman will think I’m getting risque magazines. I’ll have to see if he waggles his eyebrows at me next time I see him, heehee.


  42. Julie
    February 3, 2009 at 2:50 AM #

    As a quilt shop owner, I really don’t consider JoAnn’s to be very quilt supportive. In the northwest they are much more a craft, candy, chacka store, with old tired fabric and patterns for cheep quilts. Maybe your magazine doesn’t belong in such a place!


  43. February 3, 2009 at 12:39 PM #

    I’m boycotting JoAnns. Not that they were any good anyways.


  44. February 3, 2009 at 6:03 PM #

    It looks like a trip to Barnes & Noble is on the agenda today! Darn! 😉 I’m really looking forward to this article, as well as all of the others in your magazine! For the record, you’ve truly been missed in blogland!


  45. February 3, 2009 at 7:04 PM #

    How sad that in this day and age companies feel they should determine what is right and what is wrong. You were sensitive enough to have the issue put in plastic and that should have sufficed for JoAnns. Most buyers of your magazine are fans and wouldn’t be offended. The few who were, well probably a lot offends them. I won’t boycot JoAnns, although I don’t shop there often, but I will let them know how disappointed I am in them. As someone mentioned, this really backfired on them – they lost sales and it will bring this issue more into focus and word spreads. Art is just that – art. It might not be PC – it depends on the subject. As you say, Michelangelo’s paintings got “touch-ups”! Glad I have a subscription-don’t need to spend more than I have at Barnes & Noble! Glad to hear from you.


  46. Kimberly
    February 3, 2009 at 9:46 PM #

    Well, I just can’t believe JoAnns would choose to “censor” such a fabulous magazine. In the bigger picture, this is all so silly. There are plenty of other magazines and periodicals on the shelves everyday with much more questionable and/or objectionable material. Besides, if someone might be “offended” by the article in Quilter’s Home, then they just shouldn’t pick up the magazine and look. No one is holding a gun to their head to make them read it! Kudos to you, Mark, for putting the magazine in a plastic sleeve. Keep up doing what you do, breathing a breath of fresh air to quilters everywhere.


  47. Jorja
    February 4, 2009 at 7:14 AM #

    A pox on all Joann’s houses.

    Now, am I the only one seeing the similarity between this month’s QH cover and Gayle’s ‘Uncertainty’ quilt???


  48. February 4, 2009 at 3:48 PM #

    i’m agog…i always am at censorship like this. so sorry this had to happen. as long as they don’t censor my mailbox, i’m ok.


  49. Bridget
    February 4, 2009 at 4:33 PM #

    I am lazy and put things off big time, but I am finally going to subscribe to your mag because of this article. It was interesting and I absolutely appreciate being treated like a grown-up. I guess Jo-Ann’s has a lot of non grown-up grown-ups as customers and didn’t want to offend their sensibilities by having it on their racks. As it is, I rarely shop there because I prefer to shop the non-corporate places. You are right, Mark: we are not a bunch of old ladies and don’t want to be treated that way.


  50. February 4, 2009 at 5:15 PM #

    I haven’t gotten my magazine in the mail yet, I am so bummed. I have seen it on the shelves in the stores, but am patiently waiting. By the way, My family lives in Netcong.


  51. Marla
    February 4, 2009 at 7:18 PM #

    I don’t currently subscribe to your magazine but do pick up a copy whenever I get a chance as it is always a breath of fresh air. LOVE IT! Don’t change a thing. I will definitely find a copy somewhere this month. Don’t go to JoAnn’s much anyway as the nearest one to me is an hour away. I don’t get much there when I am there as think their material is not up to my standard.


  52. February 4, 2009 at 7:45 PM #

    Just as you have more than the right to print the stories that you deem worthy of printing, Joann’s has the same right as a retail establishment to carry what they want to and what they don’t want to. By saying that they they should carry the magazine that they feel is inappropriate is reverse cencorship. We have to realise that the peope we disagree with have the same rights that we have and want to have. I for one appreciate the stand that Joann’s has taken.

    So are you suggesting that I shouldn’t post your comment for the world to see, agree or disagree with, because it doesn’t agree with my opinion and because this is my blog?

    Is your unposted/deleted opinion then, less relevant or important or are you suggesting and support the idea that I should only allow comments to this blog that support me or that I agree with (meaning yours would be deleted without a second glance and no one would be the wiser, or able to make their own decisions — which doesn’t seem quite fair to me and against every fiber in my being)?

    While you have the right to your opinion, I find your appreciation for someone taking away your decision to purchase something or not, or even see it (based solely on an anonymous opinion) very strange coming from someone whose own blog is padded with the American flag. xoxom


  53. February 4, 2009 at 8:26 PM #

    Dear Mark, I just ran across your magazine last month for the first time. Hello, where have I been? I will get it at Barnes and Noble and then I’ll subscribe. I agree with so many of the comments above, and since they said it so well, enough said by me. My motto is Love is always the Answer and I send that to you! Pam in Chico


  54. Betsy
    February 4, 2009 at 9:51 PM #

    But Mark, you’ve just done the same thing as the other side. You called church ladies old, boring and subservient. Tsk. Tsk.


  55. Anne Wiens
    February 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM #

    I can understand why you’re upset that JoAnn’s has chosen not to sell your March issue, Mark. This is hardly a matter of censorship, however. JoAnn’s isn’t stopping the publication of Quilter’s Home, or even trying to prevent those who want it from getting it. They’ve just chosen not to sell it. Rejection hurts…ask any of the authors whose submissions you have turned down…but if you’re going to publish a magazine with an “in your face” attitude, now and again you’re going to take one on the chin. So suck it up, Big Boy, and get back to work on the next issue.


  56. February 5, 2009 at 1:27 AM #

    Found out about this via PamKittyMorning… so glad you have the bobbins to speak up. I’m not upset that JoAnn’s is using it’s right to refuse to sell this issue (capitalism in action). But it does sadden and sicken me that here, today, right now… we are still struggling with censorship.


  57. Rayette Andrews
    February 5, 2009 at 3:58 AM #

    Its Joannes loss as far as I’m concerned. Those who love you most subscribe so they never have to deal with the small minded out there. Stay strong & know you are loved.


  58. Kathie
    February 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM #

    Those of use who like your magazine will search it out, don’t worry. Keep up the good work!


  59. February 5, 2009 at 5:25 PM #

    Mark, first let me say that I have enjoyed your magazine and think that you are a gifted, talented, individual. I think you are producing a magazine that is like no other in the industry. I don’t always agree with everything in it, but that is my choice then whether or not I want to read it or even purchase it. While it is disappointing to have someone decide for whatever reason that they don’t like something that you have created (that is never easy for an artist) I have to agree with a few of the comments that I have read here. As a retailer myself, I don’t want to be told what I have to sell in my store. That is the freedom that we have in this great country that we live in. JoAnn’s has made a tough call and are no doubt taking heat from it. Was it a wise decision on their part? That remains to be seen. But either way, it was their decision to make. Most likely, they knew there would be some fall out when they made that choice. As a consumer, there are lots of things on the news stands that I find offensive, so I don’t buy them.

    At least, thanks for putting it in a plastic sleeve. This indicates to me the fact that you were at least somewhat prepared for some controversy, and shouldn’t be surprised that there might be opposition out there. And for the record, I am one of those “church ladies” and I am neither old, boring, or SUBSERVIENT! Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

    LOL What am I missing here? — “I am neither old, boring, or SUBSERVIENT!” — validates my point EXACTLY! xoxom


  60. Mary
    February 5, 2009 at 8:48 PM #

    With all the TV shows on the air that not too long ago would be considerate “inappropriate” for viewing, this is ridiculous! Don’t go to Jo-Ann’s anyway but am disappointed that in this day and age a corporation would do this. Can’t wait for my issue to arrive; every month I read it cover to cover and this month will be the same. How come shops, bookstores receive issues before subscribers? Really love the magazine so will continue to subscribe.


  61. Jodi
    February 5, 2009 at 9:06 PM #

    Can’t wait to read the article! Too bad JoAnne’s is making me go out of my way to pick up a copy of the magazine (I’ll subscribe directly, now) – so, I won’t be dropping a $$$ bundle when I run in to buy the magazine. Thanks for all your hard work, Mark. Love you.


  62. Vicki
    February 5, 2009 at 11:36 PM #

    well, now I HAVE to get that issue…Barnes and Noble here I come. I am not happy about the decision not to carry the issue. Let the customer decide!!!!! and I spend THOUSANDS at JoAnns every year…


  63. Shelley MacGregor
    February 6, 2009 at 1:45 AM #

    I have never bought your magazine before, but I will be heading to my local Border’s to get it tomorrow. Keep on keeping on!


  64. Tammy Tadd
    February 6, 2009 at 3:35 AM #

    , as we continue to fight the stereotype
    that we are all not little old boring subservient church ladies .

    Interesting that you find this so funny that someone might take offense to your comment. I know that you could be scrutinized on whatever you say unfairly, but perhaps it’s the way it was phrased? Sounds as if you are stereotyping all “church ladies” to me. But, hey it’s your blog you can say what ever you want.


  65. February 6, 2009 at 5:46 AM #

    It’s sad that Joann’s decided to do this with this particular issue, but as many agree, it’s their right, as it is your right to publish what you please in your magazine or blog. I love the magazine and from the first issue I read, I found myself immersed in the wonderful, witty and hillarious articles and quips, and I love some of the sarcastic humor I find intertwined throughout – it reminds me of home.

    I can’t wait to see the article when it arrives in the mail sometime soon.


  66. Sandy
    February 6, 2009 at 2:17 PM #

    I am really surprised at all the flap over this article. Maybe the quilt show need to have an “Enter at Your Own Risk” room at shows for the art quilts. They are becoming more and more popular and can be a psychological release for past issues just as many paintings are for the artist. I find some controversial and offensive but I also find a lot of very high priced art the same. It is my right to read or look at it as I choose. Gayle is a friend and my favorite long arm quilter and I find her piece tasteful and subtle for the challenge that was issued.
    There are MANY magazines on the newstand that should be in plastic just for the ads in them!!
    Keep up the good work. I too enjoy the magazine that has more than just patterns.


  67. Chris Clark
    February 6, 2009 at 2:47 PM #

    When I was working at our local high school, we used to have book sellers come and drop things off for the staff to buy at reduced rates. Some of the books were religious in nature. One of the history teachers decided this violated the separation of church and state issue and went to the board office and had them removed. Now, they weren’t selling to kids at all, only the adults. I probably wouldn’t have purchased any, but it really made me angry that anyone would be allowed to censor anthing. i should have had the choice if I wanted to buy or not. (My friend was really mad at me when I told him that was what he was doing.) Same thing that JoAnn’s is doing. You aren’t going to have a bunch of kids rushing out to buy Quilte’s Home, and although I understand JoAnn’s can make the decision about what they want to sell, as an adult, I think I should be allowed to make the decision about what I want to buy. If I think it is offensive, I should be the one to decide not to buy it.

    BTW – My daughter is an English teacher, and a very good one, but that girl did not inherit one ounce of interest in any kind of the “homemaker” type activities her mother enjoys. However, one day last summer we went off to the Iowa State Fair and I took along a couple QH magazines with me to read on the way. I forgot them in her car. For some reason, (who can imagine?), she started to read them. She read both those magazines from cover to cover! She loved the writing and the humor. Now add to that censorship…she is going to love this issue!


  68. February 6, 2009 at 8:40 PM #

    This is an interesting story for sure- somewhat less interesting because it is Joanne’s that’s on one end of it. Or more interesting because of that- I can’t decide. But none the less- I must admit to not having seen the article – but as I have read Mark’s blog entry and the comments above, I still can’t figure out if all the excitement is about images, thematic content (quilt shows bannings) or specific language or specific content (names or the like), or a combination of these things. Why do I feel like it was more between the lines than in the images? Was Joanne’s this forthcoming with their critique, Mark? If the reasons remain unknown how can we attempt to piss them off more, uh I mean appease them in the future? Soooo. . . . what the heck?


  69. February 6, 2009 at 9:18 PM #

    Thanks for explaining your side. I’ll just have to read the article to cast an opinion one way or the other.


  70. Patti
    February 7, 2009 at 7:54 PM #

    I thought it was going to be obscene pictures, the idea that Joann banned this issue, which is really political, makes me rethink shopping there. Okay, I’m lying since I boycott Walmart and can’t always shop at the expensive fabric store two towns over. However, this did make me want to subscribe. 🙂


  71. Lydia Plunk
    February 7, 2009 at 8:43 PM #

    Who knew quilts were controversial.
    It is good you included how other than this one issue, you have been happy with the store experience.
    It is difficult to fully critique the situation without seeing the actual article- but those of us who work in the arts sometimes are quick to shout censorship- when we take a risk and then are upset at the results. The provacative nature of the front headline gives me a good clue as to the why the issue was not displayed. A different slant would probably have not caused any problems.
    I understand your frustration, but I think we are all better off when we consider the other point of view. The retailer you mention- I don’t recall any other magazine which the publisher felt should be delivered in a plastic bag due to perceived content. Someone knew there was a risk in how the public would perceive the product- or else it would not have been sealed. As a writer, we have no right to customers.


  72. Penny Schmitt
    February 8, 2009 at 1:03 AM #

    OK, My issue arrived in my mailbox today and of course I hurried to take a look at the article. I suppose these quilts have the potential to ‘push buttons’ for some, though what I see displayed and trumpeted at any grocery checkout counter is less thoughtful and more crass than any of these images, which mostly do a splendid job of surfacing the internal discord of a lot of strange contradictions in common ways of thinking. I thought the conflation of images in “Jesus get your gun” was particularly brilliant, and entirely appropriate as a response to the maker’s experience of seeing a gun rights enthusiast waving a placard claiming Jesus’ support for guns. The ‘mental’ stash of wildly conflicting principals brought forth in these images is pretty powerful. Yeah, most of us think of quilts as a way to comfort the afflicted and everyone else . . . thanks for giving us an opportunity to see how quilt artists can also afflict the comfortable. Just as many saints wore hair shirts rather than soft robes, we can sometimes benefit from something that gets under our skin or in our faces. I probably wouldn’t choose to hang any of these quilts in my own home, but I appreciate the intensity of vision that brought them forth. They sure have something to say and show! Thanks


  73. Lynn Jones
    February 8, 2009 at 2:04 AM #

    I’ll stand up for little old subservient church ladies–they have a place in this world too. Mark you handled this very fairly–did ya have to call someone a name?


  74. Bobbi
    February 8, 2009 at 5:04 AM #

    This is all so exciting. I cannot wait to get my copy. This is such a hot item that our local Barnes and Noble had run out of copies and the one an hour away only had two left. So keep it up Mark apparently JoAnns decision did not interfere with today’s quilters desire to go outside the box and get our mag from a different source. Thanks for adding spice to our world.


  75. February 9, 2009 at 4:21 AM #

    Mark I loved reading your blog about the Jo-Ann problem. I enjoyed the range of your emotions and how well you handled the whole problem.

    I am so glad you listed the quilts included in the article as I looked at each one on-line. I can understand how the quilts may be offensive to some, but no more offensive then many of the television programs, bill boards or ads in magazines we see and hear everyday.

    I found each artist expressed a feeling or explored a technique that he or she needed to express or explore.

    I personally didn’t find any of these quilts offensive and can’t really understand all the hoopla.

    Keep up the great work of looking at the world of quilting outside of the “box” and beyond the “rules”.


  76. Jillian
    February 9, 2009 at 5:42 AM #

    I read about this on Pam Kitty Mornings blog and I bought a copy of the magazine because I figured if the magazine was something that bothered Joann’s, it’s something I might need. I will be subscribing–mama likes… I thought the article in question was interesting, not the focal point of the issue, but thought provoking and something I hadn’t read before. Keep up the good work, I found the magazine’s tone to be conversational and friendly and I will be showing it to all my quilting friends.


  77. Alice
    February 9, 2009 at 6:16 PM #

    I thought the article was very well written and thoughtful – makes me curious if it was just the very thought of the subject matter that caused JA to choose not to carry the article, or if someone in charge at least took the time to actually read the article before making the decision.

    When I come across a quilt that carries a serious message, it always give me pause, and make me try to imagine the process that a quilter goes through to bring such a work to fruition. Whether I agree with the message or not is not material – pardon my pun.

    Anyway, no matter what, those of us that eagerly look forward to and treasure what Quilter’s Home has to share with the world, will seek it out where ever it is carried. Heck, if I had been looking and didn’t see the magazine at JA’s, I probably would have figured it already sold out. So there!


  78. February 10, 2009 at 2:00 AM #

    A kerfuffle over a quilting magazine??? LOL. Love QH, keep up the good work. Look at it this way, if you got banned, you must be doing something right! I’m heading to Sam’s Club tomorrow, thanks for the tip. Love you Mark!


  79. Kim
    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 AM #

    Mark, first, I love your magazine. I love your take on quilty things and things surrounding quilty things.

    I’ve been putting off subscribing but the Joann’s decision NOT to carry your latest issue means I most definitely WILL be subscribing! It is available at Barnes & Noble so I will purchase it there so I can get my hands on a copy before they run out!


  80. Mary E.
    February 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

    Got my copy of the March issue of QH this morning. I immediately went to the article to see what all the fuss is about. I still don’t know what all the fuss is about. But I can say I’ve read the article, a good one at that.

    Here’s what I can’t figure out, is JoAnn’s issue with this issue of QH over the pictures of the controversial quilts in the magazine, or is it with the subject of the article? Neither one seemed to be more controversial than the other to me.


  81. February 10, 2009 at 5:11 PM #

    Mark: What I am saying is that it is your right to publish what you wish in your magazine, it is your right to post or delete comments in your blog. It is my right to say what I want in my blog and to post or delete comments in my blog. I don’t delete comments that I don’t agree with and neither do you. Both of us realise that not everyone agrees with what we say or believe in. That’s not to say that if someone does have a blog they shouldn’t be allowed to delete comments that disagree with what they say. That is up to them, not you or I.

    If you want to put an article, any article, in your magazine it is your right. It is YOUR magazine, whether I or any one else agrees with it or not. I do not have to read your magazine or purchase it if I feel it carries inappropriate material. If Joann’s doesn’t want to carry your magazine, whether one issue, or all, it is their right. Anyone can just go to Borders or Barnes and Noble or wherever else to purchase it. It’s about rights and choices. What would be scarry is if someONE would say, “Quilters Home is subversive and therefore can no longer be published.” Do you see the difference? I hope so.

    Yes, my blog is padded with the American flag. My son is an officer in the military. Many other bloggers have family in the military. These wonderful people are out there protecting our democracy just so I can say what I want in my blog, you can say what you want in your blog, a retail establishment can carry what they want, etc.. I know there are many people out there that don’t necessarily support what our government is doing as far as the war in Iraq is concerned. However, don’t let that cloud the fact that those that are there fighting still need our support and prayers. We do not want another Viet Nam where the citizens or this nation were so against the war that they turned their backs on our troops, who in some cases, had no choices to go and do what they did.

    Nuff said.


  82. TinaK.
    February 11, 2009 at 3:10 AM #

    great job. We need these kind of articles. Quilting is more then just pretty needlework. It is the way we quilter tell to world how we think and feel.
    Don’t you love the great publicity you get from Joanns? I’m sure you sell more then ever.
    Tina K.


  83. Laura
    February 11, 2009 at 10:42 AM #


    Got your magazine in the post yesterday. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. What happened to freedom of speech!!

    Keep up the good work

    Laura in Ireland


  84. February 11, 2009 at 5:09 PM #

    How sad. Good for you for keeping the debate, all debate, open.


  85. Siobhan Furgurson
    February 11, 2009 at 11:25 PM #

    Of course after hearing it was “banned at Joannes” I had to immediately go out and buy it! (I am from Boston after all….) But I don’t get it? What was the big deal? It was a good article but nothing that made me think I would have to hide the magazine when my cousin the priest comes to visit…

    On the other hand it has introduced me to your magazine. You have a fan!


  86. February 12, 2009 at 2:21 PM #

    how narrow minded – some people just don’t understand that if something is banned it will make people run out and get it somewhere else – I intend to 🙂


  87. leaf
    February 12, 2009 at 9:21 PM #

    Banned at Joannes! Tsk, tsk, naughty boy.

    While I don’t usually (tho I was *very* taken with “Jesus Get Your Gun”) care for quilts with a “message,” it certainly is anyone’s right to make (or like) (or publish an article about) one. Political art’s been around for a gazillion years, and there ain’ much difference if fabric is used instead of posterboard. And (as a few correspondents above have noted), banning something is a surefire way to get folks out buying and reading it!

    Now, how ’bout an article about where gay quilters congregate?

    Love your magazine — keep up the good work!

    There are gay quilters? xoxom


  88. February 13, 2009 at 1:53 AM #

    Dude…I just finished the magazine and the article. I gotta admit, I really liked the Jesus Get Your Gun quilt. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic, I guess. Reminds me of the time I got suspended from Catholic school for dressing up as a pregnant nun for Halloween. Ah, youth….


  89. Susan Schutz
    February 13, 2009 at 4:10 AM #

    Way to go Mark. I loved it! I believe that we all need to push the boundaries. I can still remember when the Beatles were considered radicals with their long hair and rock n roll was the devils music. We have come a long way and change is still good. Keep it up!


  90. February 13, 2009 at 3:06 PM #

    I’ve never seen your magazine, but now I can’t wait to buy a copy. Nothing sells like controversy!


  91. Trish Wallis Stone
    February 13, 2009 at 5:34 PM #

    Greetings Mark! I am totally amazed that in this time and age that JoAnn’s banned this issue. Did “they” even read the article????!
    While I am not crazy about the subject matter (sometimes we need a break from controversy), the article shows us that quilting is an expression of ideas and creativity. Keep on doing what you believe in!


  92. Cindalee
    February 13, 2009 at 5:57 PM #

    OK let me get this straight… You published an article about controversial quilts and it ends up being controversial? Sounds like you did a good job, Mark! I bought the magazine at my local Ralphs grocery store (along with a tasty merlot, a nice brie and a french baquette) unaware there was controversy. The article was very objective and well done, in the end some corporate bean-counter at Joanns is going to realize how much money they lost by not selling this one issue so I’m sure we will all be able to see Mark’s smiling face on the Joanns’ magazine rack when the next issue comes out. What bugs me more are the ‘pc’ people who are going to boycott and never shop at Joanns again. Hey girls, put your big girl panties on and get over it!! It looks like Mark has, and as for myself, I’m going to my local Joanns today with my 40% coupon and get the notions I need to work on all the projects I bought at the Road to California Quilt Show. Mark, thanks for keeping things stirred up!


  93. Mary Montanye
    February 14, 2009 at 4:01 AM #

    Mark, I have to admit I’d never even heard of your magazine (don’t buy many quilting magazines anymore) until this whole controversy came up. I heard about it (and your magazine) first on a yahoo group with plenty of opinions for and against your magazine. I was so intrigued by what I heard, subversiveness and all, that I thought, this is a man after my own heart! I love a bit of subversiveness and I am a strong believer in free speech, free choice. Your magazine sounds great, and you fascinating. Therefore, I have just subscribed. (Since it will be 6 to 8 weeks before I get the first issue, I’d better go out and find this current one before all the publicity means it’s sold out everywhere. By the way, I try not to shop at Joanne’s anyway. Would much prefer to support locally owned stores.


  94. Mary Beth Peterka
    February 14, 2009 at 8:06 PM #

    Mark, I read these paragraphs in “Hot Pinks Farmhouse” by David Handler. This is the way I feel about my quilts, and why they even exist. “Artists are people who live up inside their own heads. They’re tying to make some sense out of this spiky little pinball that’s careening around up there, driving them to that blank canvas. There’s something that’s trying to come out, and she doesn’t necessarily know what it is or even what it means, because she’s not in control of it. She simply has to surrender herself to it, wherever it takes her. That can be pretty scary. It would be safer, and saner, never to go there, but then she wouldn’t be fulfilling her destiny.” The artists of those controversial quilts just NEEDED to make them. I’m glad the Chicago Art Museum doesn’t have JoAnn’s crew censoring their shows.


  95. February 18, 2009 at 5:16 AM #

    Hi there, just thought I’d round off your comments to 95. 🙂 Of course, I cannot comment without saying I really enjoy reading what you have to say. I just was mentioning to another blogger how transcendent Quilter’s Home is. In all honesty, I have yet to find a quilt that I would make from it, as I just haven’t taken to more modern quilting, but I love the articles, and you read like someone I could see chatting with in “real” life.

    I am definitely not your old lady church quilter, as you describe them, either. Lol* Although some of them are my friends, and they are nice too. 😉

    Anyhow that totally stinks about Jo-Ann’s decision. I can see how on a personal level that was a real sucker punch. You sound very level headed about it all and I think your post regarding the situation was justified and fair. I am surprised that we still live in an age where such an article would cause this kind of controversy, but as so many have said, and I agree, it is their right to say no. I think in many ways they did it kindly by banning just the one issue, and not Quilter’s Home altogether, even though I think it’s was unnecessary.

    In any case, I hope this will not effect revenue so that we will continue to enjoy more controvercial articles from QH in the future. 🙂 Hopefully, minus the banning part.

    I suppose I won’t be seeing that issue of Irish Quilting bearing the scantily clad lass on the cover any time soon at my local Jo-Ann’s? 😉 My Husband will be so disappointed. Lol*


  96. Linda
    February 23, 2009 at 7:36 PM #

    Had no idea this was happening since I very seldom shop at Jo-Ann’s anyway – but I have a subscription so I don’t need to worry about missing your magazine. I have tickets to see you at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup, Washington this coming Saturday and just might have to take my issue with me and see if I can get it autographed! Keep up the good work. I have every issue and if the house was on fire, they’d go with me (and the husband and dog too). XXXOOO


  97. February 24, 2009 at 4:12 PM #

    considering that its “Freedom to read week” in Canada, I will be out today looking for a copy of this magazine. I haven’t read it before and am now looking forward to it.


  98. Jo
    March 10, 2009 at 4:48 AM #

    I subscribe to your magazine and I love it! I did not like the quilts in question, just put me down as an old fuddy duddy I guess. But it would not stop me from reading the rest of the magazine! I just turn the page! I shop at JoAnn’s and will continue to do so. I am sure they will take alot of flak on this, but that is their choice.


  99. Carole Demas
    May 21, 2009 at 7:42 PM #

    I’m not even a quilter, but censoring quilts? C’mon, QUILTS???? This is among the silliest things I’ve ever heard. I think I’ll make the long trip to Joann’s just to request this issue!

    I love your spirit – all of you!


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