Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Quilting Industry

The U.S. economy has no doubt seen the effects and, as I see it will, continue to see the effects of a recession for a few more years. We have seen the car industry slow down and General Motors as well as other companies fall to their knees and beg for help, but are there other industries that may be hurting for attention on a lesser scale? Black Thread at shared the quilting industry statistics on how much the average quilter as well as the dedicated quilter spends yearly on their hobby.

This survey that was taken took place back in 2006 when our country was beginning to see signs of slowing down. The quilting industry, in three years, had grown from 21.3 million quilters to 27 million quilters. What a great growth rate! I think that the biggest aspect that attracts people and plants a desire and interest to quilt is the intricate designs and elaborate color patterns that make a beautiful final product. It is no wonder the community is growing!

If there are 27 million quilters then I can not imagine how much money they are spending each year. According to this survey in 2006 they spent on average 3.3 billion. Billion with a "B"! Until I read this survey I never truely understood how much a billion was. I mean, yes, don't get me wrong I understood it I just never was able to grasp the large amount of money that included. One billion, just one billion, equals 100 millions! That blows my mind, and to top it all off it is 3.3 billion dollars. We quilters could take over the world!

The way I see it, this industry will continue to grow even in financial tough times. Do intense football fans put away their satellite or high definition when the money is tight? Or do woman stop buying their makeup and buy a lesser shampoo brand during tough times? No! They find a way to make it happen. It is one of those "non negotiable" categories. The way quilters look at their hobby is the same way that football fans look toward their big screen tvs. Having said that, I definitely do not believe that the industry will grow at rates as high as was seen years prior. The growth will continue to rise but at a lower rate.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

To all of Those I Have Promised a Quilt to

It almost always inevitably happens, like rain from the clouds, that whenever I finish a quilt for someone another person will ask for one to be made for them. It is a very humbling yet overwhelming feeling to know that once one quilt is finished, the list will continue to grow. My dream would be to spend all day everyday quilting like it is my job but at this point in my life with school and part-time jobs to get through school does not allow much time to quilt away my list of requests.

It all started when I was in 8th grade after I had finished my first quilt using the rail fence pattern. Looking back it was very easy and very quick to whip it up so I made one for my brother. When my best friend Megan asked for one too using the same color scheme I said sure no problem. However, life got in the way and school was starting so I took my brother Zach's quilt and gave it to Megan. I am sorry Zach for taking your quilt and giving it to a less worthy person considering she left it at school and it was never to be found again.
The next quilt that was asked of me to make was of similar beginings. This person also saw my original quilt and wanted me to make him one as well. Quite frankly I just didn't want to make him one and spend my time and money on him. So Paul, I am sorry that I had that negative perspective on you and making you a quilt.

The biggest and by far the longest time it has taken me to make a quilt was the one for my boyfriend. We have been dating for 3 years and 2 of those 3 years was when the quilt was in progress. It was pretty sad how it kept being delayed. It was supposed to be a twin sized quilt in his favorite color, red, but somehow and some way it ended up being a queen sized quilt. I am not quite sure how that happened but it was good since over the course of the two years he had gotten a queen bed and the twin quilt would have been useless. On my boyfriend James' quilt, it was the first time I had every done a detailed quilting pattern. I chose to do the stippling pattern for it. Looking back I may have not been ready for this but surprisingly it turned out very nice on the front side. On the reverse side there was some issues with my sewing machine and it ended up leaving bunching of the string on the back. Again I want to appologize for my lack of perfection in the quilt for you.

There are still people who want a quilt but for the moment all of that is on hold unless they would like to purchase the fabric and little necessities while I put in the time and labor to make an awesome product. I was just reminded while writing this by my aunt that Christmas is coming up and that she should be pushed to the top of the list and so I say, we will see and I appologize again in advance to those that don't get what they asked for but I will sincerely try.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quilting for a Grade?

Quilting was something I had always been interested in. It was something that I looked at and assumed immediately that there was no way I could do that and do it well. In the summer of 2005 I took a very basic beginner quilting class at our local crafts store and almost instantly my addiction and enjoyment of it was found. The class was so perfect for new beginners. We got to pick our fabrics and colors and work towards a final product. The final product is what grabs most quilters and for me that's what I do it for. I quilt because I find a great project idea or block idea and want to make it or the other leading reason is because I have a certain someone I want to give my quilt to. The final product and a gift to someone else are the two forces that drive my quilting.

I am a college student in my junior year and finding time and money to quilt is hard to come by however now one of my classes has given me the change to do what I love for a grade! A quilting class? A domestic housewife class? No, it is a writing class where our task is to join in and be apart of an online community. There are so many things that people have to offer and this community created through the internet can be the portal where the insights and ideas and thoughts can be shared easily and freely.

For my class project I am blogging about my experiences as I begin to tackle the extensive list of quilt blocks. I call it my Quilt Block Tour. Some may be way out of my level of expertise and some may be fairly simple. I will document the process I go through and the things I come up against and things that I struggled with and just can't seem to fix! Through this community we can all teach each other and learn crazy tricks of the trade. I'm excited to be able to spend time on this class by doing something I enjoy as well as sharing and hearing feedback and tips from others along this journey!