Thursday 24 October 2013

The Dedicated Quilter

This may be old news but I recently came across a survey conducted by Quilting in AmericaTM that was conducted in 2010.  The first study was in 1994 and there have been subsequent ones with the most recent that I could see being 2010. Surveys aren't always conclusive but I found the results of this one very interesting.

According to the survey, quilters in America spent $3.58 billion dollars a year, which is a lot of money!  There are 21.3 million quilters in the US over the age of 18 and 14% of households had at least 1 active quilter.   Here's the most interesting part for me, dedicated quilters (those whose households spend more than $600 a year on quilting goods) account for 6.2% of quilters and are responsible for 69% of the spend.  That's nearly $2.5 billion.  Wow!

So I asked myself how much do I spend?  Well I have a small stash, 6 shoe box plastic boxes of  Fat Quarters, a tub of backing fabric, 13 rolls of thread, 2 cutting mats, a 45 and a 60mm rotary cutter with spare blades, 6 rulers, 2 boxes of pins and safety pins for basting, 2 scisssors and unfortunately 3 seam rippers that I use a lot!

I bought my first charm pack for my very first quilt in December 2011 and since that date I have spent $3052 on quilt supplies, thats nearly $133 dollars a month. Yikes!  And my stash is not huge!

Ok,  I have made presents for people that otherwise I would have bought and spent money on and I did get paid for one quilt but that's still a fair bit of dosh.  So does that make me a dedicated quilter?

Well the report asked who the dedicated quilter is and came up with the following:
  • Female - Yup
  • 62 years old - not for a long while yet!
  • Well educated  (72% attended college)  - Yes
  • Affluent - ahmm nope!
  • Quilting for an average of 16 years - not yet either!
  • Has a dedicated sewing room (85%) - nope, sew at the kitchen table
  • On average has $8542 worth of quilting tools and supplies - definitely no to this one!
  • On average owns $3677 worth of fabric - not there yet thank God!
  • Owns an average of 2.7 sewing machines  - have 2! (Husqvarna Viking H600e and Lidl Lervia basic)
  • Bought an average of 4.4 quilting books in the past year - Yup (I bought Tula Pink "100 Modern Blocks", Sarah Fielke's "Handmade with Love", Lynnette Anderson "It's Quilting Cats & Dogs", Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr " Quilts Made Modern " and "Transparency Quilts" and Camille Roskelly's "Simply Retro")
  • Subscribe to or read 4.4 quilt magazines a month - nope (not every month!)
  • Averages 2 hour a week on quilting websites - yes
  • Averages 40 hours a week sewing - nope, I have a full time job and sew on some evenings and weekends
After going through this exercise I would consider myself an enthusiast in the beginner/intermediate category who has to use her fabric on hand before buying another single thing!  What do you think?  Interesting or a load of old cabbage? 


  1. I think it is very true. I have been quilting for almost 25 years and it always surprises me how many quilters there are now. When I started quilting, you could hardly find 100% cotton fabric. Now it is everywhere. I see women looking at fabric, and the wheels turning in their brain. The resurrection of quilting must have to do with a persons desire to create. Quilting can be simple or very artistic. So many options. I just like to quilt. Oh and it's my therapy :-)

    1. I know what you mean about the wheels turning when you see material you like. It's hard to resist pretty fabric and even harder to resist the ideas of the possible items it can be turned into!

  2. I just moved from West Texas to beautiful East Texas in a very small town that I love. I have far too much fabric, quilt books, magazines, and all the quilting gear that goes with it.My grown children helped load the truck, so they think I should open a quilt shop :-) And, I have 7 sewing machines that each do different functions, three are vintage Singers. I am a dedicated quilter on most counts. Of course all of this was purchased over the last 20 years, and I do buy my tools, books and fabric on sale.And, I agree with Happy Cottage Quilter it is a source of joy and therapy for me.

    1. Vintage is in a class of its own! My nana had a foot operated Singer and it was beautiful! You can't really put a price on doing something you love but I was surprised when I totted it all up how much of an investment I had made in my new hobby! I love your family suggesting you open your own quilt shop!


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