May Is For Makers (Reblogged from Freshly Pieced)

I'm re-blogging the following from Lee at Freshly Pieced: May Is For Makers because I think it is an important cause that we need to think carefully about.  Having been on the business side of crafts, particularly in the papercrafts industry which is notorious for extortion (a harsh word, but it is what it is), I am sensitive to this as well.  Many wonderful friends have burned out their creative energies and never realized a monetary gain for it.  This is not right.  Read on for Lee's perceptive and proactive beginning to a solution!

You all know I don't get up on any soapboxes very often—only when it's something extremely important to me. Today is one of those days. So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or other beverage of your choice, and settle in. : )

I love blogging. I may get busy and disappear from time to time, but trust me, I'll always be back, because my need to write is second only to my need to create visually. But no matter how many pins you see on Pinterest screaming about making $20,000 a month blogging, ain't nobody making a living wage with a sewing blog, believe me. And yet, where would our modern quilting world be without the tutorials and free projects that are out there online? How many of us would never even have taken up sewing (or come back to it) if it weren't for bloggers? I don't think I would have.

But here's the thing. At some point, in some way, the people creating this content need to be paid for their efforts. Anything less is not sustainable. Free patterns are great, and they may sometimes serve a purpose for both the designer and the customer. But not every pattern can or should be free. And very few designers can afford to put in the work to self-publish a pattern without getting something in return. No matter how much they may love what they are doing. In my opinion, free content should be a fun, unexpected bonus from time to time—it shouldn't be automatically expected.

So that's why my friend Lindsey from LR Stitched has created the May Is for Makers campaign. To support the independent designers and content-creators who add creativity, beauty, and knowledge to our world. Lindsey is pledging to buy a pattern from a different independent designer every week in May, and I'm going to join her. I hope you'll consider joining in as well!

Here's how it works:
- Each week in May, I'll purchase a pattern from another pattern-maker. There are five Mondays in May, so that's five independent designers that will get my support over the course of the month!
- Every Monday, starting May 2, I'll share my pattern purchase on social media with the hashtag #mayisformakers.
- Hopefully, in the process, we'll send support and appreciation to independent designers all over the world.

Just to be clear, this is not about guilting people into buying my patterns (though if you want to buy from me, I won't argue! LOL.) This is about supporting all the innovators and creators of the quilting and sewing worlds. I am just one of thousands of independent designers trying to make a go of it in this business, and we all need your support. Consider buying a pattern as a way of saying thank you for a free tutorial you learned from, or a free pattern that you especially loved—after all, that free tutorial or pattern was probably only made possible by that designer's paid patterns. 

Let's join together to support all the Makers this May! I can't wait to see what (and who) you choose to support!
Thank you, Lee.
Just like the local food movement or any other home-based business endeavor, it takes a community supporting one another physically and financially as well as emotionally.  That is why, as soon as I saw Lee's post, I decided to join in the May is for Makers campaign.  I will post links to my chosen pattern designers each week on Monday, starting this Monday, May 2nd.
Make a difference for Makers in May!

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