Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Panel Meeting in Connemara, Galway

Hello All!

(more photos to be uploaded today!)
Vol 2 Issue 3 has been out for a few weeks now. Last week, the gals and I headed to the West for a panel meeting. But it was much more than just a panel meeting.
First, we met with Frances Conroy (below), a longarm quilter who has her very own sewing cottage located down a remote road from the Quiet Man bridge in Connemara. Frances was working on a quilt for the magazine, so lots more to come about that!

Over in Westport, we visited Brenda at Clew Bay Studio, one of my favourites--though I never had been there before. Brenda had been one of our earliest supporters of the magazine and we so grateful for her. Her shop was lovely and we even met up with some American readers--the Crogan family, what a troupe. Fantastic visit!

We visited with Ann of Annie's Crafts in Ballymote. What an enthusiastic woman! It was lovely to see and meet her in person--she's gearing up for lots of patchwork classes and clearly has a good buzz among the quilters of Sligo!

Onward and up to tip of Sligo, we visited the Crafter's Basket, another of our clients, and more importantly, one of the best craft shops I've ever seen in Ireland. A real retail gem, Crafter's Basket is a beautiful shop on the coast of the Atlantic; Caron and Mary are the proprietors who clearly work very hard to keep their customers happy. This was the last stop for Terri and I. Thank goodness for Caron and Mary's patience--we arrived 3 hours late and with several calls of duress for time in the meanwhile. Mary leads the patchwork team in the fabric nook that covers everything from quilting to dressmaking. Caron is an expert sugar crafter and works hard at making their website When in the West, do visit Crafter's Basket!

Back to the panel meeting. Linda from "Rags from Linda" shop was wonderful and hospitable as we used her shop to host our panel meeting. Linda is in Oughterard outside Galway and has a lovely shop.

As this blog is truly behind the scenes, this issue, we thought we would share our findings from our meeting (some of us below). If you have a critique or specific feedback, please do forward it on!

Issues in the forefront:
Good cover. Clouds are not necessary bad--sunny skies kinda unrealistic of Ireland?
Chat with Pat--bring on more! Panel felt content was incomplete and want more. We are redesigning and feel extra room brought on would be spent well on this type of human interest. Will give Pat more room.
Advertisements--funny enough, we had lots of discussion on ads. which work, which don't. This was a bit of first for panel, but really informative. Clothwork Textiles a huge winner. Others did have much lesser appeal. We've decided to provide this critical information to our advertisers in an individual email--they would want to know what direction works, which don't. We've even decided to award the favourite advertisement 10% on next booking--so I feel this panel gives so much value to focus group efforts-something of value we can pass onto our clients.
Paris Chic--this pattern was a redo of designer original. Unfortunately designer was dismayed by changes in the redo--lesson learned--incorporate into contract--more communication to designer!
Where to Buy--ooops! missing intro text on Baby Farm, misleading reader to buy the exact fabric.
Materials list--readers love that the materials state which cuts are for what parts of quilt. invaluable
Photographs--seems our photos have a loose thread in some. More care to be spent so this does not repeat.
Features--museum clipart runs into photo-maybe set off, but great quilt photo, shame not to have pattern in print.

We are currently working the next issues, so you can see how valuable our meetings have become! Send in your feedback!

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