This year, Quilts, Inc (the people that do the Houston, Long Beach, Chicago shows) and Quilter’s Newsletter (grandaddy magazine of them all) re-did the Quilting in America Survey. I’ve not been lucky enough to get a survey, ever, but the results are kind of fun to look at. Look at them in comparison to the 2006 survey results, too – quite fun to see how the numbers have changed.
14% of all households have a quilter in there. That’s one in 7, so if you look up and down the street, someone else on your block should be quilting just like you.
We quilters spend $3.5 billion every year. Yup, Billion. With fewer quilters than the 2006 survey indicated. (More money, fewer quilters – those of us that are still quiltin’ away have more than outspent those that have left us behind.)
Am I an average quilter? Definitely NO! I think that many of us aren’t. I’m not 62, or even within a decade of it. My household is not affluent. I spend way less than $2400 per year on stuff (at least I think so…only Mr. Aspen Hill could tell you for sure!). I don’t like small scale florals, or even holiday prints. Or pastels, or jewel tones. I let all my magazine subscriptions lapse.
But since I’m not average, where do I fit? Who meets my needs? The internet’s always there for photo and pattern inspiration, but I don’t like buying fabric online. It’s kind of a hardscrabble way to quilt, finding an ok print here, and an acceptable print there, never any of the wonderful prints that I see online.
In my perfect world, someone would open a fabric store that caters to my kind of quilter. And have great patterns to choose from. And have sit and sew sessions where we could all meet up. And there’d be a longarmer on-site for those quilts that are too tough to handle. A girl can dream!
I really think that we need to stand up and be counted. We need to join land-based guilds and show them our creations. We need to participate in quilt shows. We need to go into shops and ask for what we want. We need to sign up for classes, and take our modern fabrics there.