May Is For Makers

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You all know I don’t get up on any soapboxes very often—only when it’s something extremely important to me. Today is one of those days. So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or other beverage of your choice, and settle in. : )
I love blogging. I may get busy and disappear from time to time, but trust me, I’ll always be back, because my need to write is second only to my need to create visually. But no matter how many pins you see on Pinterest screaming about making $20,000 a month blogging, ain’t nobody making a living wage with a sewing blog, believe me. And yet, where would our modern quilting world be without the tutorials and free projects that are out there online? How many of us would never even have taken up sewing (or come back to it) if it weren’t for bloggers? I don’t think I would have.
But here’s the thing. At some point, in some way, the people creating this content need to be paid for their efforts. Anything less is not sustainable. Free patterns are great, and they may sometimes serve a purpose for both the designer and the customer. But not every pattern can or should be free. And very few designers can afford to put in the work to self-publish a pattern without getting something in return. No matter how much they may love what they are doing. In my opinion, free content should be a fun, unexpected bonus from time to time—it shouldn’t be automatically expected.
So that’s why my friend Lindsey from LR Stitched has created the May Is for Makers campaign. To support the independent designers and content-creators who add creativity, beauty, and knowledge to our world. Lindsey is pledging to buy a pattern from a different independent designer every week in May, and I’m going to join her. I hope you’ll consider joining in as well!
Here’s how it works:
– Each week in May, I’ll purchase a pattern from another pattern-maker. There are five Mondays in May, so that’s five independent designers that will get my support over the course of the month!
– Every Monday, starting May 2, I’ll share my pattern purchase on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers.
– Hopefully, in the process, we’ll send support and appreciation to independent designers all over the world.
Just to be clear, this is not about guilting people into buying my patterns (though if you want to buy from me, I won’t argue! LOL.) This is about supporting all the innovators and creators of the quilting and sewing worlds. I am just one of thousands of independent designers trying to make a go of it in this business, and we all need your support. Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer’s paid patterns.
Let’s join together to support all the Makers this May! I can’t wait to see what (and who) you choose to support!
27 replies
  1. Sally Ann Flecker
    Sally Ann Flecker says:

    Here, here! I'm not a blogger, but I enjoy yours and the other blogs I read faithfully. In fact, they're my treat to myself when my work is done. (And my guilty secret when I'm procrastinating!) I intend to support your May is for Makers movement by purchasing the patterns I've been drooling over. I hope many other take up the challenge as well.

    Reply
  2. Emily Camfield
    Emily Camfield says:

    I think this is a great idea! I enjoy reading blogs and do appreciate the work that goes into creating the content for them. And I do have a list of patterns I've been just 'thinking' about for a while!

    Reply
  3. Carole @ From My Carolina Home
    Carole @ From My Carolina Home says:

    I totally agree, and have bought many a pattern from bloggers I admire. Being a blogger too, I would much rather have the support from readers than a page full of ads to support the costs of doing a blog. I'll be joining the May is for Makers campaign too.

    Reply
  4. Lisa C
    Lisa C says:

    I thought you were really going to be on a soapbox but you weren't! I completely agree and understand. I am in awe of how many free tutorials are out there (I wouldn't have the patience to create them) and I completely support supporting bloggers and creators. I look forward to May.

    Reply
  5. Sharon Dawn
    Sharon Dawn says:

    I totally agree with you! This is part of the reason that I try to buy something from every person who has provided me with great free tutorials. Your book was one of the first that I purchased!! We can't expect quality for free if we aren't willing to support designers some how.

    PS. I love your book and my quilt! Thanks!!

    Reply
  6. Mary
    Mary says:

    I totally agree , Lee! So many times I have thought the same… In a society of take, take,take we can show our appreciation in this way!
    If I sit and think about it for a minute, I have learned so many things for free from different bloggers! I really appreciate that!
    I'm on board! Just have to start makin my list 🤔😀

    Reply
  7. V.
    V. says:

    Well said! I purchased your book and one of your patterns, (yet to be made :-|) I'm not a blogger, work full time outside the home, but check my favorite sites regularly…I've learned so much from all. I'll do what I can to this month to continue the support. Thanks for all you do!
    V.

    Reply
  8. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    This is so great and you are so right! I've got a bunch of patterns pinned on pinterest that have inspired me. Most from bloggers like yourself who have been so generous sharing their knowledge. I think it's time to take the plunge and just buy them! Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Yvette Niesel
    Yvette Niesel says:

    I plan to follow all the bloggers you refer us to! I love digital quilt patterns (in fact, I just bought one of yours). I will support all bloggers because I agree that it's very important. Thanks for all you do. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Lorna McMahon
    Lorna McMahon says:

    This is turning into a really fun way to celebrate the month of May and all the talented makers out there. I am so glad that Lindsey had started this campaign and it's great to see how many of us are joining in. Can't wait to see the wonderful makers you choose to highlight this month!

    Reply
  11. Anita
    Anita says:

    Oh my goodness does this post ever resonate with me. Love what you wrote about how at some point people need to get paid – anything less is not sustainable. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
  12. Anne
    Anne says:

    Excellent!!! Great idea!!! I love blogs and have learned SOOO much from them and have bought their patterns as well! As someone who has to work all the time and doesn't get out to classes online is the WAY TO GO!

    Reply
  13. Debra
    Debra says:

    HOORAY!!!!!!!!!! As a pattern designer, I cringe every time I hear a quilter ask someone if they can have a photocopy of that pattern. Really? Do people understand the hard work and time that goes into making a pattern, not to even mention the original design work? We need to support all creative people and pay for the creative work they do. Okay.. off my soapbox now. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Charise
    Charise says:

    Thanks for writing and sharing this post! As a pattern designer myself, this is a tough industry to make a decent living. It is really more of a hobby in terms of the money I make and I am very thankful my husband is able to support our family. I love what I do but I think there is a disconnect about free content and the fact that "real" people are creating this free content and deserve to be paid for their hard work : )

    Reply

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