Sunday, 6 May 2012

All Craft Media, Kerrie Allman and me

My general rule on this blog is, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.  People have been blogging about Kerrie and ACM and it occurred to me that my silence could be construed as meaning I had only bad things to say so I thought it only fair to tell my story.  I am not going to refer to stories about which I have no first hand knowledge so all I am telling here is my own story and not anyone else's.  If other people's stories are different, then those stories are for them to tell if they choose to.


Back in October last year, Kerrie Allman emailed me out of the blue asking if I would like to be a regular contributor to a new British modern quilting magazine.  I leapt at the chance and was very excited to have been asked.  My first project for the first issue was this scrappy tiling pillow.  Kerrie said she could not afford to pay me for this contribution but would pay me for future contributions.  The pillow was made from stash so cost me nothing but my time and I was more than happy just to be in a real life magazine that would be for sale in real life shops.  Kerrie returned the pillow to me and also sent a copy of the magazine to my grandmother, since the pillow was a gift for her.  She also sent me a copy of the magazine.



Kerrie then asked me to proof read the patterns for this magazine in return for payment of a moderate fee.  I agreed to do this, enjoyed the work and was paid my fees for it.  When issue 1 of MQM came out, there was a flurry of tweets and blogposts about Kerrie, people tweeted me, left comments on my blog and emailed me with their stories.  For anyone following this story through internetland, you will be able to guess the gist of those messages.  At that point I decided to take Kerrie as I found her.  She had given me a great boost by including my projects in her magazines and I was and still am grateful for that.  

Kerrie also asked me if I would like to join their affiliate marketing scheme.  I joined this and was given a code which would pay me a small percentage for any sales made through my blog.  I was never paid anything through the affiliate marketing programme and don't even know if I was due anything.  

For issue 2 of Modern Quilting Magazine, Kerrie asked me to do a small project using my big dresden pattern.  I made this Summersville mini quilt.  A small fee was to be paid for this project.  I only invoiced ACM for my fee for this project on the day on which I am told they went into liquidation so I have not been paid, although the project was returned to me yesterday.  Since the payment was not yet due, I do not feel overly hard done by that I will not be paid.  It was a quick, easy project and, if I'm honest, my real motivations for having this in the magazine were (i) for the fun of being in a magazine; and (ii) to publicise the fabric designs of a great British fabric designer, Lu Summers.  I also proof read the patterns for this issue and was paid for the work.  


I was due to submit a project for the third issue of MQM.  The project was this London Retreat bag, big enough to fit a cutting mat, 24" ruler, rotary cutter, sewing kit, fabric and possibly even a small sewing machine at a push.  It is made using the Echino London linen from Sew Fresh Fabrics, lined with Klona pomegranate from Backstitch and the union jack is Oakshott shot cottons.  All the interlinings and interfacings came from Julia at Gone to Earth whose knowledge and advice was invaluable.

 

I ummed and ahhed for a long time about sending the bag because my mini for issue 2 had not been returned (although it arrived in the post yesterday).  Having heard from other blog friends that their projects had not been returned, I had spent so many hours struggling over making this bag that I couldn't bear not to see it again.  I have since heard that two more of my blog friends' projects have been returned and am keeping my fingers crossed that all projects are in the mail back to their makers.

In the event, I heard that ACM had gone into liquidation before I had to make a final decision.  I think it's sad that a lot of energy, enthusiasm and hard work has come to nothing and that we have lost a British Modern Quilting Magazine.  Kerrie was a lot of fun to work with as was Vick, the editor, and I was excited to be a part of the magazine, if only in a very small way.  Now internetland suggests that there are other people who have had different experiences with Kerrie and ACM than me but all I wanted to do in this post was to tell my story.  

OK and I guess I might have wanted to show off my lovely projects for issues 2 and 3.

Oh and P.S. if anyone out there sees a copy of issue 3, please buy it for me as I would love to have it - I will reimburse you your costs.  Or if you have the issue but want to keep it, I'd love to see photos of it or maybe to buy it from you when you're done with it.  

50 comments:

  1. Have been blissfully unaware of any undercurrents. Glad your personal experience has been ok though. Sad to hear the mag has folded, it was refreshing. Guess my subscription has gone down the pan and I won't be getting any more issues, only got number 1.

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  2. Like Sheila I only got the first issue but was really looking forward to seeing more. Such a shame.

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  3. I believe you are one of the lucky ones, perhaps due to your larger number of followers and 'influence'.

    I am aggrieved as a subscriber that I telephoned them on Thursday chasing my missing issue 2 and they were all sweetness and light saying they would send me another (apparently none were issued in the first place); emails previously to Vicky remain unanswered.

    I really should pay more attention at work!

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  4. I didn't know about this saga, but well done for taking the time to write a balanced account.

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  5. It is a shame that the magazine has not been courteous enough to inform all of its subscribers that there will not be another issue. I would love a refund - or/plus an apology - as I used my hard earned money on a magazine subscription instead of buying yummy fabric! II feel so sad for the contributors to teh magazine as you guys did a lot of hard work to make the items we all want to now make! Well done you (!) but I am so sad and sorry that it didn't work out exactluy as hoped! Love the Summersville dresden!

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    Replies
    1. I'm in the same boat re Knit Magazine AND the 2nd sock club!!!!

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  6. I'm in the same situation as Sheila, Eli and Hadley! I only received issue 1 and was looking forward to receiving more!

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  7. I was actually really surprised to receive issue 2 in the post this week! I had given up hope of seeing any more after watching the story unfold.

    I too was very pleased to see a modern, Brutish quilting mag, so who knows if another company will step into its place.

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  8. Thanks for your story, I was wondering what all the fuss was about. I never subscribed to the magazine, but I was determined to buy them every month from my local shop. I bought issue 1 and I was quite happy with it, so I wanted to purchase issue 2 this week. It is a bit sad, I think the idea was good.

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  9. I never knew about all these things going on - to be honest I've never been able to get a copy of the magazine, but would have loved to have seen what it had to offer.
    What a lot of people don't realise is that there is a LOT, and I mean a LOT of work getting even small newsletters organised and fresh every month. Multiply that by 1000 and you'll have an idea of the stresses behind a magazine. Then mix in publishers, printers and distributors, and I'm sure it becomes a nightmare, with them all wanting their cut from the pie. Add in this current economic cauldron and it gets worse. I am so very sorry to here that something with such promise has folded and hope that all who contributed in each of the issues, gets any items they made returned and has a thought for how disappointed many, including the 'creators', must feel now their 'baby' is no more.

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  10. great post Lynne. I like your equanimity while blogland fizzles.

    I am also chasing my missing issues ... but other than that I have no issues ... geddit?

    I'm only sorry that your brill projects won't be seen in print by the masses ... that retreat bag is fabtastic! ...

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  11. Thank you for another side of the story. You are correct in that the bad parts are getting all the press right now. So sorry to all for their troubles. It is sad when bright promise falls apart like this.

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  12. So I now know not to see my issue in the mail this week. I was so looking forward to my next issue. As a subscriber, I am disappointed not to be told too. Didn't know any of this was going on.

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  13. I have received issue 2 ( i have advertised with the mag) so they have been printed. I would think that they will be in the newsagents so they can recoup some of the costs, even if there are no fund to cover the postage to subscribers

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  14. I received an email yesterday informing me they had gone under. I was so excited when I first heard of this magazine. So fresh and modern. Unlike any other quilt mag I've seen before. I bought a subscription. I received only the first issue and was quit disappointed in that. Although it had great projects in it, they were free projects I've seen on line already.

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  15. I like your projects - maybe you should make them into patterns instead? It sounds like an interesting experience.

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  16. ThatLibraryMIss6 May 2012 at 13:44

    Anyone with outstanding subscription issues can contact the administrator
    Katy Lever
    FRP
    Trident House
    42-48 Vicotria St,
    St Albans AL1 3HZ
    Tel 01727 811111

    She will know what chance you have of a refund/further issues.

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  17. Not only have I received only the very first issue but she charged me twice for an international subscription and no one ever responded to my emails

    You were one of the fortunate ones, Lily

    I always have considered Crafters the most honorable group of humans and it is very sad to see someone take such deliberate advantage of us

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  18. For any of you now finding yourself being a creditor please do contact the administrators who are handling this, and file a claim for what you're owed. It is important for them to gain a full picture of who are owed money, no matter how small/insignificant you may think it is:
    Katy Lever, FRP, Trident House, 42-48 Vicotria St, St Albans, AL1 3HZ. Tel 01727 811111.

    Unfortunately, problems with All Craft Media have been known for some time, as you will be aware if you've seen Ravelry discussions and other internet activity.

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  19. There are always two sides to every story and mostly we only ever get to see one side. It seems the magazine dropped the ball when all didn't turn out as they expected or hoped. Quilters are a reasonable lot for the most part. But sometimes a not-so-nice public post not only makes us feel better, it can serve as a much needed wake-up call as well. If items have been trickling back to their owners, the negative posts may have served their purpose. But it's still possible that the negativty wasn't necessary and the mag folks just needed a bit of time. Who can say? It's great that you weighed in with another side to the story. It's sad the magazine didn't get very far. It looks like it could have been a winner. Especially judging by your creative contributions!

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  20. I hope you bag will be returned to you!! It really looks lovely.
    I loved reading the first issue and have been badgering my newsagent for issue 2 that he was saving for me! Poor bloke no wonder he hasn't received it.

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  21. If it was just this one magazine it would be bad, but this saga with Kerrie Allman has been going on for 6 years or more, same old, same old.

    I am glad that you had a good experience, your work is lovely, but please spare a thought for the people who are owed over £200,000 from the first company KAL Media, which went into Liquidation last July and the people who will now be owed thousands of pounds due to this company All Craft Media (incidentally the Phoenix company of KAL, run by Kerrie's husband).

    All Craft Media was put into Administration, KAL went into voluntary Liquidation. This time it might not be so easy to hide the facts.

    Anybody who is owed goods, samples or money, including subscriptions to magazines and Sock Club or Lace Club should contact the Administrator so that he is aware of the full scale of the debt.

    and by the way ACM went into Administration on 4 May. On 30 April Kerrie's father created a new Company called Handmade Living Magazine Ltd, so they might even Phoenix again.

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  22. I feel the same as you - really disappointed to see these magazines fold. I was a Sew Hip subscriber, and also bought the first issue of mqm - been cutting out fabrics to make the scrapping tiling pillow this afternoon. Issue 2 is available as a digital download on yudu and I'm thinking of buying it that way, as I imagine it won't reach the shops.

    I would love it if you would publish your London bag pattern on your blog, if you were able, and I would pay to download it!

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  23. It is disappointing for those of you who really wanted to see a good quilting magazine but as someone else has pointed out, her track record is dreadful. Designers weren't being paid on the other magazines, samples not being returned etc YET she still launched new publications, like MQ and Handmade Fashion. The Editor of Sew Hip resigned only 2 or 3 weeks ago as she hadn't been paid FOR MONTHS.

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  24. Just want to say what a wonderful post this is ~ no finger pointing or harsh words. I've heard of other problems that haven't handled with very well and bad feeling all around.
    Good for you Lynn!

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  25. I'm really glad that your experiences have been positive and that you haven't been left out of pocket by this, your work is lovely.
    I am however glad that ACM have been forced into administration, and have my fingers crossed that they won't manage to phoenix again. They leave behind them 6 years worth of broken promises and contracts, unpaid designers and staff, stolen samples, and customers who haven't received the goods that they paid for.

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  26. I've been following this with interest. I've not had anything to do with this group, but with another group in another lifetime - it seems that the magazine industry can be really murky beneath the pleasant surface we, as contributors, get to encounter initially (and sometimes the pleasant is the only experience we have before hearing of others' heartache) Glad you got things back at least.

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  27. I have a project at MQ that took me ages to make and write a pattern for so I am sad it will not see the light of day, hopefully it will come back to me. Have never seen an issue anywhere so I did always wonder about the mag but I was sending photos to them this week for a feature- I am guessing the staff did not really know.

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  28. Good post Lynne. You can only speak as you find and you have documented your experience very well.

    I didn't know anything had happened. I did read somewhere a few months ago about some other issues in the past which was why I didn't take out a subscription with them.

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  29. I guess this magazine is just another loss in the state of the world's economy. You have handled your experience with grace and class.

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  30. Lynne, I think you are being your typical very generous self about all of this. I think it is good that not everyone had a HORRIBLE experience with the company but you can still see that it was being poorly managed and possibly deceitful.

    I for one am glad to have found out all of this virtually on the cusp of becoming involved myself. I do not think everyone is guaranteed a poor experience but life is short..and it's helpful to at least go into transactions understanding what may or may not occur.

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  31. I highly recommend that people take a look at this thread on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/friends-of-the-group-once-known-as/2116987/1-25

    Quilters may not be aware of this woman's track record, but the knitting community has been seeing the results of Kerrie Allman's 'businesses' for the last 6 years. Designers go unpaid, samples aren't returned, customers pay for goods they don't receive, the business is then wound up and then she resurfaces in another guise.

    It's good of Lynne to be upfront and honest about her experiences with Kerrie, but sadly they are very much the exception to the rule.

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  32. Wow, im sorry Lily, Though like many ladies said that there is another side to every story. Too unfortunate that a magazine would fold so quickly! I would only say Have hope and good faith in strangers to return your items of those that had sent them. Just me maybe, I tend to try to have a positive outlook on things, its more reassuring than assuming the worst, ya know?
    I'll continue reading what folks say out of curiosity,
    Wish you the best
    Danielle from Portland,Oregon

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  33. Well, I hope you issue the bag pattern as a stand alone because it is brilliant! Thanks for sharing your experiences of what has become a rather large bruhaha online. It is sad when business folds. I'm sure the founders never intended for this to happen, and I can appreciate their desire and efforts to forge ahead, even in the face of economic difficulties, only to end up losing it all. It's not a unique story, by any means.

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  34. Hi there, I just wanted to say that all 3 of the projects you shared are phenomenal! I love them all, especially the tote bag. I know I'll see you in many mags to come.
    Francine

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  35. I think this is a very gracious and well balanced post. I've never seen the magazine in the newsagents but I'll keep an eye out for #3, just in case (and will send it to you if I find it!). I hope you get paid for your wonderful mini quilt pattern - would you consider publishing all three patterns yourself? I think they'd sell well.

    P.S. I love your new header!!

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  36. Too bad about the magazine. I picked up an issue a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it.

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  37. It's great to see your story. I was reading Ali's(from veryberry handmade) earlier and her experience sounded awful!
    I then went on to read some of the links she'd posted from other people's experiences and it was a real shame and shock a company would do that to people as well as their own workers!

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  38. Thank you for your story, Lily!

    When I saw your pillow in issue 1 of MQ i thought "WOW, here is something refreshingly new, great design. I'm going to have to watch this designer!" I hope I'll spot your name in other magazines, quilt shows, or workshops at quilt shops in the future (and soon!).

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  39. Thank you for your story, Lily!

    When I saw your pillow in issue 1 of MQ i thought "WOW, here is something refreshingly new, great design. I'm going to have to watch this designer!" I hope I'll spot your name in other magazines, quilt shows, or workshops at quilt shops in the future (and soon!).

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  40. Thanks for giving the other side of the story Lily, and I'm glad you got your gorgeous cushion back. I had read the Revelry story before issue 1 came out, and had failed miserably to find an outlet for the magazine. I took up their offer to order a reprinted issue 1 that was on thier facebook page back in March I believe. I was asked then to take out a subscription but said I would wait until I had seen issue 1 before I decided. Issue 1 finally arrived in the post on Saturday of this weekend! I will now be doing a recheck of my account to make sure they only took for 1 issue and not for the subscription they wanted.

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  41. Thank you Lynne for this post. I send to All Craft Media my quilt for Issue 3... I hope I'll get my quilt back...

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  42. A very good post, honest in how you felt about things.....I didn't know this woman's history and subscribed because I was so excited to finally see a British quilt magazine with a fresh modern look, sadly I only ever received issue 1......I do think it's a shame that people continue to do things like this, phoenix companies out of bad ones, I had this years ago when I was a scrapbooker, there was a woman who would continually take money from people, not deliver wht was promised and then would fold the company with loads of debt and start a new one, she is still going to this day and it amazes me how they get away with it......I really hope people get their work sent back, if you can't pay people, at least send their goods back, surely that's just common manners........very sad day.......I also found out by chance, not a notification from the company or anything....very poor show

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  43. Lynne I know I'm a bit slow, but I'm trying to add the small blog meet button, but it says the link is broken! On the other hand it's highly likely that I just don't know what I'm doing. How do I do it? I tried right clicking and seemed to get close and tried copying and pasting the html from the box, but to no avail. what am I doing wrong?

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  44. I had no idea about all this going on, thanks so much for filling us in with such a well written post. Having just looked back at your 10 last posts or so, I can safely say that I think I can get away with just reading your blog, as it is a total one-stop shop of all great quilty news (until I have enough time to read more, of course!). So Thanks Lynne!

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  45. Again, I only got issue 1 of my subscription, but I was aware of the KAL/ACM issues before I subscribed, so maybe I'm just a fool for hoping things would be different this time. Filling in a form for the liquidators to see if I can get my money back.

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  46. I called the administrator and was asked to call their London office on 02030054000. I spoke to the woman handling it and was added to the list of creditors. She said their immediate plan is to try to sell the magazine and subscription rights etc and try to save the magazine. So we'll see.

    Def call if you have a subscription and they will keep you in the loop

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  47. @Fran. I don't think you understand what balanced really means. The posts about Kerrie Allman,All Craft Media and various of her other enterprises which don't show her in a true light are generally balanced...they are telling the truth and not embellishing it in any way.

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  48. Dear Lynne, Lily, I am glad your experience was good, but I hope you will read about other people's experiences' and take everything Kerrie Allman has done on board from the history to present on the history thread(http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/friends-of-the-group-once-known-as/2116987/1-25#13)
    To walk away from this mess and phoenix this company again after everything fills alot of knitters and crocheters with a bad taste in our mouths whether we've been personally effected or not. The quilting world needs to know exactly what she has done, and I'm sure if you read through the history on ravelry you will see we are not on a witch hunt but only with a wish to inform and protect.

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  49. For the sake of accuracy, ACM are not in liquidation. Yet. They are in administration. The administrators were called in by the courts. The company has, after only a year since phoenixing from KALMedia, a number of county court judgements against them.
    If you are owed money by ACM you need to contact the administrator:
    Alistair.holtthomas@frpadvisory.com

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