Not So Sweet Candy…

This is the pouch I made for a tutorial that you can see in the second issue Modern Quilting, if you are one of the people who have actually received the magazine.

Sweet Candy pouch

I was so excited to be approached to create something for the magazine in exchange for editorial coverage for Very Berry. I was also really pleased that we were going to have a funky quilting magazine based in the UK that I hoped would feature UK designers and fabric sellers. I bought a  subscription to the magazine, and mentioned MQ on Facebook and on Very Berry too. I was pretty naive, I guess.

I can’t remember when I first began to hear the rumours about All Craft Media (ACM), the publishers and owners of the Modern Quilting (and it turns out Sew Hip, Inside Crochet, Knit and Handmade Living too), I think Kerry pointed me in the direction of this blog post. I began to wonder…. Then the rumours began to spread, and the mutterings got louder. I tried not to think about it too much, but started to feel a bit stupid for not researching ACM before agreeing to write something for them…

My copy of the 2nd issue of MQ arrived on Thursday (I think I am one of the lucky few!), but to be honest there was very little excitement about seeing my project in print because by this time, I knew that lots of people who have written for ACM (and a related company owned by members of the same family, KAL Media, which went into administration in June 2011) have reported not being paid, having samples kept and patterns misused. You can read more about this over on The Sewing Directory, where Fiona has written a very honest post about her disappointment & anger about the whole thing.

Whilst all this was going on, on Friday, the news began to break that ACM had also gone into administration. I am very fortunate in that I was not expecting payment for my project (although it would be nice to get my purse back!), but my heart goes out to those designers who have lost out in a much bigger way – read Jenna’s post over at Sew Happy Geek to see that this is a big deal and not just about the money. I feel real anger on behalf of all those people who have paid for subscriptions (including me, and my friends and blog readers at my recommendation – I’m so sorry!) and yarn club memberships who will not now receive anything. I also send my best regards to all the magazine staff who have lost their jobs – the people I dealt with were fantastic and very professional – the fault lies with the management, not with them.

Now there are rumours that a successor company, Handmade Living, has been registered by another member of the family which owned KAL and ACM. I really cannot comprehend how this family can set up company after company, fail, let down an awful lot of people, and then just start all over again. It’s outrageous, and there seems that there is nothing we can do other than steer clear of Handmade Living. It’s the only sensible thing to do.


Back tomorrow with a more cheery post…. there are lots of fabric sales, discounts and more to tell you about.

24 thoughts on “Not So Sweet Candy…

  1. Hi Kerry – I suppose I am in the same boat but with a quilt. Which I guess I will never see again. Probably not my copies of the magazine either. Sigh…. Lesson learned – from now on I will only go with established publications.

    1. Oh Faith, I am sorry to hear that. Maybe we will both get lucky and get our stuff back at least. (P.S. I’m Ali, not Kerry, but I know, it’s easily done… our blog names are really similar, and I am always flattered by the mistake!)

      1. I was looking at a reply that said “Kerry” and then as soon as I posted I was like “d’oh, I WROTE Kerry!” 🙂 Sorry about that! Well, I do love your project, it is quite adorable and I’m glad you are sharing it. Live and learn. 😦

  2. So concur with what has already been said – sorry you got stung, and we so need a great modern quilting mag – like Quilt Art, but with a UK focus. My family have also been hit by the KAL train and I hope they are de-railed very soon by the fantastic networking potential in the craft world,,,, – love the purse BTW!

  3. There’s a Ravelry thread at with factual information about Allman’s past companies, the magazines of the media mogul’s empire and the yarn and pattern clubs for which installments were either late or not delivered. It includes details of the administrator. Further information will be added as it becomes known.

    Please do join Ravelry: it’s about knitting and crochet but you can join just to look around and it’s very easy to use. Poking around in the group will give you an idea of the scale of the impact this has had, and if you post you’ll find friendly support.

    It’s likely, given history, that the Administrator won’t be given full information about all the company’s creditors so it’s very important that anyone who’s owed anything by the company should let the Administrator know. Contact
    Katy Lever
    Trident House
    42-48 Vicotria St,
    St Albans AL1 3HZ
    Tel 01727 811111

    1. Thanks so much for all that helpful info. I am a member of Rav, but must confess don’t have much time to frequent all the groups. And yes, I’ll definitely be in touch with the administrators.

  4. What a shame hard crafting folk are taken advantage of in that way, especially our sewing peers! Fingers crossed everyone receives what they’re owed, including your cute purse – I so love that!

  5. So sorry you got stung 😦
    I was sucked in to the KAL web years ago when Yarn Forward was first published – the quality of the early magazines were dire and every issue after the first one was increasingly late. I was also a customer of HipKnits and had several orders “go missing” and have to be replaced (one of them was allegedly sent 3 times and never arrived – the refund was sent as a paypal payment and I was charged fees for the pleasure!)
    I bought one issue of Sew Hip and was appalled by the number of errors in the patterns (mainly meaurement conversions) and felt for new sewers who whould be discouraged by their results.
    I was sorely tempted to buy the discounted subscription to Modern Quilting, but seeing who was behind it I decided against it, thank goodness!
    It’s a shame, considering the talent available in the UK that there isn’t a contemporary brit quilt magazine – maybe Future (publishers of Molly Makes & The Knitter) can be persuaded to fill the gap?

    1. Liz, it’s so depressing isn’t it. I’m sorry you’ve suffered at their hands. An yes, I agree, it would be brilliant to have a contemporary British quilt mag. There’s definitely a demand out there.

  6. Oh no, not you too, sorry 😦 I had held off on a subscription until I saw one in the flesh (as it were), but although I searched, there were none to be had, even of the first issue, in the WH Smiths in Glasgow. I was somewhat surprised by that, not least because in the end Cindy had to send me one from Galway! I still wasn’t convinced, and was going to see if issue 2 made it, but I noticed not even Sew Hip was there when I was in earlier in the week to pick up my copies of Making and Mollie Makes. The whole sham of moving the owner from one family member to another should be able to be investigated by Trading Standards though, surely? Hope you can appeal to the administrators and get your sample back if nothing else.

    1. I think I let my excitement get the better of my sense! But then, you don’t really expect a magazine to exist for 2 issues and then die, do you? Am writing to the Administrators in a hopeful manner!

  7. Oh dear! I’m sorry to read all this. Especially as the UK desperately needs a modern quilting magazine. Alarm bells rang with me when the first issue appeared on some blogs and someone remarked that people’s work had been featured in the magazine without permission. I hadn’t seen the magazine. I do not know if this was true and I can’t remember who said it now. But I really hoped that bloggers weren’t finding their pictures and work ‘borrowed’ without their permission.

      1. To be honest, now I’ve read more about what the publishers are alleged to have been up to with their other magazines, I wouldn’t be surprised by anything they’ve got up to. They appear to be completely unscrupulous… It’s depressing. And yes, definitely a gap in the market for a modern, bright, quilting magazine.

  8. I rang them for my missing copy on Thursday and they were as happy to assist as anything! So sorry you got conned, I have emailed the subscribers to issue 1 as they mistakenly CC’d everyone at some point. I do not like it when my working and private life converge!

    1. Thanks Hadley. I wonder how much the staff actually knew before the company hit the wall… I really feel for them – they were very enthusiastic, and it could have been a great magazine.

  9. Great article, sorry to hear about people loosing out financially, and the employees losing their jobs. I was so excited when the mag came out but alas it didn’t work out. I agree how can they go into administration and then start again. A loophole somewhere obviously.

  10. Very sorry to hear you’ve lost out in this whole mess. Folk on Ravelry are urging all subscribers to ACM publications to put in a written claim with the administrators. You should also write to them claiming your sample, photos would probably help. Details of the administrators are on the link I put on your Facebook picture yesterday. Best of luck with it. I’m utterly disgusted by the conduct of these people as well. They’ve affected so many people. Very sad.

    1. Absolutely agree, it’s really terrible that they’ve been able to get away with things for this long, and with so many magazines and other businesses. I will definitely be writing… fortunately they didn’t get me as badly as they have some folks.

  11. I would still really like my MQ issue 2 to arrive but I just don’t think it will, what with my surname being towards the bottom of the alphabet.

    BTW I plan to buy the magazines off them if I win the lottery tonight 😉

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