long time no see
October 3, 2018
screamy, screamy!
October 18, 2018
long time no see
October 3, 2018
screamy, screamy!
October 18, 2018
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fall quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again.

I’ve been looking for an easy fall pattern that isn’t Halloween themed and isn’t pumpkins. I have so many of those already. I came across this yesterday-a very cute fall banner that could go from September through until the holidays. She makes it from wool, with hand stitching. I think plaid homespuns or flannels with machine stitching would be very cute as well. Click here for a free acorn banner pattern.

We talk now and then about the status of quilting these days-more or less interest than there used to be? how to attract some younger quilters into the guild? traditional quilting growing? “modern” quilting taking over? I found a source for a few answers to these musings. When I was the guild newsletter editor I would follow the multiple survey results that would appear online and in quilting publications fairly seriously. Since I gave up that job I’ve gotten away from that. In a recent issue of Love of Quilting magazine the results of an extensive survey were summarized. This survey: Quilting in America 2017, has many details of the business of quilting. The survey is given in alternate years for use by anyone involved in the industry. I’m sure it drives many of the business decisions that retailers, designers, thread and fabric manufacturers make. (According to the survey quilting was a $3.7 billion industry in 2017.) The stat which grabbed the headline is that the average age of a “dedicated quilter” has dropped a full year (from 64 to 63 years old). That may not seem like much, but statistically it takes a major change for an average of a very large group of data to drop a full point). So perhaps the younger quilters are joining us in numbers. If you are interested in looking at some of the other statistics, here’s a link to the survey summary. Are you what they describe as a “dedicated quilter”? Most of the dedicated quilters I know don’t fit every descriptor, but do fit many of them.

Link to survey results:  qia_summary-1





  1. Loretta Cadwallader says:

    Glad you are back to blogging again. I always liked the articles you published in the guild newsletters.

  2. Annette says:

    Hi Mary Ellen,
    Thanks for your article. Very interesting.
    Maybe we could do a Grandmother bring your kid/ grandkid to the guild day. We could make some starter kits. We all probably have more supplies than we need. Started my older granddaughter with sewing. Lives in Michigan though. So probably would not be her for a day like that.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      That’s a fun idea, especially since so many of our members are in the grandma category. Let’s think about that.

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks. I found the survey quite interesting. It looks like younger quilters find modern quilting to their liking more than the dedicated quilter who prefers traditional. I also found of interest the fact that it could potentially take 6+ years to go from a beginner quilt maker to intermediate. That seems to reflect the dedication quilters have to their craft.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      I also think that many of the beginners are still working and don’t have as much time to spend on quilting as we retirees do. I wonder what the survey authors think makes an intermediate. Quilters are their own toughest critics, so I would guess that some of those beginners are actually farther along than they give themselves credit for.

  4. Helen Slominski says:

    “Thanks,” Mary Ellen for keeping us up to date. I found the statistics fascinating, especially the economy of the
    quilting industry. And if 63 is the average age of dedicated quilters currently, that must mean there are lots of young er ones out there who are in a very busy stage of life, trying to balance a lot at one time. Hopefully, they will feel the need to seek out other quilters and be able to find a supportive group like ours. However, they may, in the interests of time commitments, choose to limit themselves for the time being to classes and helpful magazines and TV shows, waiting for retirement and more free time.

  5. Mary Ellen says:

    I read once that a dedicated quilter actually spends more on their hobby than a golfer does!

  6. Helen Slominski says:

    Thanks for your report of the article. I found it very interesting; the findings help us to see the broader picture of quilting as an industry and also the active participants.

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