Friday, March 25, 2011

Will this issue arrive in your mailbox?

The May 2011 issue of American Quilter (shown above) is at the printer now and will arrive in AQS members’ mailboxes during the first few weeks of April. Many of the email messages I receive each day concern magazine subscription inquiries and AQS membership. As editor-in-chief, I do not have direct access to the membership database so I always forward these inquiries on to our member services department for follow-up. However, I would like to address several common situations here.
"I joined AQS two months ago and haven't yet received a magazine."
That is possible! There are six issue of American Quilter published per year, and your subscription always begins with the next issue published. Each issue is published two months prior to the named month on that issue: the March issue is published in January, the May issue in March, etc. For new members, your AQS membership must be processed by the last business day of the month BEFORE the next issue is actually printed in order to receive that issue. That is because the magazine mailing labels are printed on the first day of the month of issue publication. So, someone whose membership was processed on January 2nd would not receive the March issue, which is typically published early to mid January and mails in mid to late January. If that same person had joined AQS on Dec. 31st, they would have received the March issue. Using the same example, the January 2nd new member’s six-issue subscription would begin with the May issue, published in mid-March.
If you are a new AQS member and would like a magazine before your first issue arrives, you have two options. The complete digital version of the issue can be read online, or you can contact member services and purchase a copy of any issue still in stock.
"I didn't get the most recent issue and I'm an AQS member."
Most times when we get this inquiry, the member has simply forgotten to renew his or her subscription. Members receive a reminder inserted in the last issue remaining on their membership year. If you renew promptly, there will be no break in service or missing issues. Several other reminders are sent out to you after the first one. Depending on how long you delay renewing, however, you may miss an issue because of the same timetable described above. But remember AQS members can read digital issues online or purchase any earlier issues still in stock.
"I tried to renew my membership online but couldn't get it to work."
It is quick and easy for members to renew online at, but you can only do this by logging into your online “account” with your AQS username and password, which can be sent to your email account. (Of course you can always renew by mail or phone.) In addition to being able to renew your membership quickly, there are many other reasons to visit our website. You'll get updates on shows and AQS news, have access to all digital issues of American Quilter, and find many free patterns not in the magazine. Members can purchase books at a discount and read reviews of recent titles. You can view the Readers' Quilts gallery and enjoy photos of quilts made by our readers from American Quilter patterns. One of the most valuable resources is our online magazine index, which goes all the way back to 2001.
"No one in my local guild has received the current issue and it's already on newsstand."
When a large number of AQS members from a small geographical area inquire about a missing issue, it is typically a post office situation and not a membership problem. This happened recently in the Rockford, Illinois, area. Your local post office receives magazine copies for all the members in that zip code area at one time. Because magazines are considered periodicals and are not first class mail, the post office has flexibility in when those issues are actually put on trucks and delivered to customers. The issues usually go out promptly, but occasionally the post office will hold them for days or even weeks if they are overloaded with other periodicals. If this problem happens in your area, please inquire at your local post office and then contact AQS.

Want to avoid missing any of our top-rated issues? Please renew your AQS membership promptly and establish an online presence to enjoy all the many perks of AQS membership. For specific inquiries or other membership inquiries, please contact


  1. I have had the same question: where is my issue? I joined the end of January...

  2. Following the timetable described above in the second paragraph, since you joined in January, your first issue will be the May issue. This issue was published in mid-March and should arrive in your mailbox within the next week or two.