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"Behind the Seams" and a Little History

Putting together a magazine presents its challenges as well as the joys of seeing the finished product! There are so many different people and processes involved, and it takes everyone to make each issue a success. From the designers to the editorial staff to photographers/stylists to marketing and more, all play important roles.

Hi, it's Carolyn Beam here again; I'm the person who writes this update. Thanks for joining me as I share my thoughts about quilting with you. As always, I'd love to hear ideas and suggestions from you as well.

For this update, I want to share with you some of the process that I experienced on my recent trip to Berne, Indiana. You might wonder exactly where Berne, Indiana, is. I wondered the same thing before taking on the role of editor of Quilter's World magazine.

Before we get started, I have selected a pattern that I think might be of interest to you. The pattern I'm recommending is the On the Road Quilt Pattern. With the easing of the mask mandates, it's now easier to travel. What better quilt to make for your summer trips than this adorable quilt with retro vans?

Now, let's get started with a little history about Annie's, the publishing company that produces Quilter's World magazine and an abundance of other content in print, online and on television. Quilter’s World is published by Annie’s Publishing, LLC.

Sign and building at Annie's Publishing in Berne, Indiana -- click here for larger image
Sign and building at Annie's Publishing in Berne, Indiana.

Along with quilting, Annie's publishes a variety of craft magazines, books, kits, online classes and TV programs targeted to home and family interests. Annie's is located in Berne, Indiana, about 30 miles south of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Berne is a charming town of around 4,000 residents and was founded in the late 1800s by Mennonite immigrants who came from Switzerland. Berne and the surrounding areas are known for their large Amish communities, with their "plain" attire and horse-drawn buggies.

Horse and Amish buggy; the Amish themselves prefer not to have their pictures taken -- Click here for larger image
Horse and Amish buggy; the Amish themselves prefer not to have their pictures taken.
The Clock Tower, located in the center of Berne -- Click here for larger image
The Clock Tower, located in the center of Berne.

Located in the center of Berne is the Clock Tower. Built as a tribute to the town's Swiss heritage, it is a re-creation of a 15th-century clock located in Bern, Switzerland. The clock is surrounded by lovely gardens, planted with colorful flowers to resemble quilt blocks.

And now, back to Annie's. Annie's is housed in a refurbished building that dates back more than 100 years and was formerly the Berne Milk Condensery. The name "Annie's" came about in an interesting way. Through many acquisitions, the media division of the DRG family business consisted of Annie's Attic, House of White Birches, The Needlecraft Shop, Clotilde and the American School of Needlework. Wanting to consolidate the different craft and nostalgia products under one name, the company asked its customers how they were best known. Annie's Attic was the answer. This was shortened to Annie's, which was the abbreviated form already being used by customers and staff.

Now that you know where we are and how we got here, I want to share part of what makes Quilter's World magazine special. Flipping through the pages of the different issues, you'll notice the photographs of the quilts in various settings. Some quilts are photographed on beds, sofas or chairs, draped over railings, or outside on ladders, fences or more. While most of the photos are shot in the studio, those outdoor shots show different locations around Berne. We have an amazing team that does their best to make us look good! And I think they do a great job!

When the quilts come into the office, they're all tagged and organized by our editorial assistant, Palmer Bixler. After each is reviewed and approved, Palmer loads them up for the trip down to the photo studio. The elevator is an old freight elevator that may be as old as the building itself. Once the quilts are loaded, Palmer checks for safe passage to the floor below.

Freight elevator at Annie's -- click here for larger image Palmer checking the elevator -- click here for larger image
Freight elevator at Annie's. Palmer checking the elevator.

The photo studio isn't just one room. It's several large areas filled with different-texture walls, furniture, doors, fireplaces, windows and more. And to decorate each set, there are shelves and bins filled with kitchen tools, linens, tableware, flowers, vases and lots of other accessories.

Shelves of photo accessories -- click here for larger image Flowers for styling -- click here for larger image
Shelves of photo accessories. Flowers for styling.

What might look like the side of a building in a photo might actually be an inside shot in a corner of the studio.

Staging the shot -- click here for larger image Cropped-in shot -- click here for larger image
Staging the shot. Cropped-in shot.

The photo below shows another corner of the studio being set up to photograph a table runner. What was formerly a garage door in the corner of the old building where Annie's is housed has been exchanged for French doors. This not only brings in a lot of light, but it brings a homey feel to the photographs taken there.

Setting up a table runner for photography -- Click here for larger image
Setting up a table runner for photography.
Setting the camera up for photography -- Click here for larger image
Setting the camera up for photography.

In another place, a wall quilt is hung over a (fake) fireplace. There's still some work that needs to be done for this shot. That area had previously been used for a Halloween photo, so the pumpkins will be moved and the right accessories to go with the quilt will be chosen and placed to make an appealing display.

Preparing a wall hanging over the fireplace for photography -- Click here for larger image
Preparing a wall hanging over the fireplace for photography.

Along another wall, a Christmas quilt is being photographed.

Setting up to photograph a Christmas quilt -- Click here for larger image
Setting up to photograph a Christmas quilt.
The setting is ready for photography -- Click here for larger image
The setting is ready for photography.
Our photographer, Matt Owen, checking the shot -- Click here for larger image
Our photographer, Matt Owen, checking the shot.

While our stylist and photographer can do magic with inside shots, there are several locations around Berne where pictures are taken outside. The covered bridge located just south of Berne was the perfect setting for the cover of the spring 2021 issue of Quilter's World.

Cover shot for the spring issue -- click here for larger image Quilter's World Spring 2021 cover -- click here for larger image
Cover shot for the spring issue. Quilter's World Spring 2021 cover.

I hope this has given you a little insight into "behind the seams" at Quilter's World and Annie's. While what I've shown you is just one part of the many steps that go into producing our magazine, it's an important part, and I, for one, am grateful for our amazing team.

Please stay safe and healthy!

Take care,

Carolyn

Carolyn Beam

Carolyn Beam
Editor, Quilter's World magazine


Carolyn has been quilting for over 40 years. She took her first class when her oldest son was a baby and hasn't stopped since. She has traveled the country teaching and lecturing and has had many designs published in books and magazines. Besides making quilts for family and friends, she also makes quilts to donate to the fire department her youngest son works for. Carolyn is married with three grown sons and one adorable grandson.



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