Local magazine Primitive Quilts sees circulation rise

WILLIAMSTOWN – Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine of Williamstown is on a roll.

Homespun Media LLC, publisher of the local quilt magazine, recently announced the magazine’s circulation has quadrupled over the past three years.

After printing 12,000 of the debut issue (Summer 2011), which sold out in six months, the company is now printing more than 57,000 copies per issue, and expects continued growth, the partners said Friday.

Partners and sisters, Gretchen Smith, Jeni Gaston, and Judy Williamson, opened the publishing company in October 2010 to create a high-end quarterly magazine featuring patterns for making quilts, hooked rugs, wall hangings, dolls, and other primitive-style fiber art projects.

“We saw a void in the quilt magazine market, specifically the primitive and folk-art style. Jeni and I had been operating a quilt shop in Williamstown (Woolen Willow Quilt Shop), and our customers couldn’t get enough of the primitive fabrics and patterns. So we pulled in our sister Judy to help us get the ball rolling,” according to Smith.

The trio researched quilt industry demographics and determined what percentage of fabrics and patterns are influenced by primitive style. They lined up designers and projects to fill the first four issues, hit the ground running, and never looked back, according to a press release.

The sisters attribute the rapid growth to quality projects and photography.

The magazine is printed on heavy premium paper, the sisters noted, and is commonly referred to as a book as much as it is a magazine.

Jim Osborn of Osborn Photographic Illustration Inc., also of Wood County, does the photography for Primitive Quilts and Projects.

“Jim’s work is amazing,” said Williamson.

Stonewall Group in Marietta provides graphic design and layout services.

“We are thrilled with Stonewall’s creativity and flexibility; they are great to work with,” said Jeni Gaston.

Other contributors to the magazine’s success are Circulation Specialists Inc., for strategic guidance, and National Publisher Service, for distributing the magazine into major newsstand outlets, a press release states.

Primitive Quilts and Projects highlights charitable causes in each issue, recognizing that members of the fiber arts community are generous souls, the sisters said. Causes include support for veterans, cancer patients, cancer research, and most recently, homeless shelters for women and children.

Many of the contributing designers are well-known and established. But the magazine also includes projects from up-and-coming artists, who get a boost each time a new issue ships, the sisters said.

Primitive Quilts and Projects is a quarterly magazine that publishes quilt and other fiber-art projects from some of the best primitive and folk-art designers in the business.

Sold worldwide, the magazine provides at least 15 projects in every issue.

Primitive Quilts and Projects is published in Williamstown by Homespun Media LLC, a family business owned by sisters Gretchen Smith, Jeni Gaston and Judy Williamson.