Are You Today's Quilter?...with Modern Muse

May 10th 2018

Are You Today's Quilter?...with Modern Muse

Hello Subscribers! I'll bet you thought my sister Rachel and I had gotten trapped under piles of fabric while reorganizing our stashes. Well, I'm happy to report all is good and well here at Thread Therapy; we have just had a very busy spring so far. First, preparing to DRIVE to Chicago for the International Quilt Show, and then restocking to prepare for two more large events in June.

The International Quilt Show in Chicago was our first "really BIG shew," as Ed Sullivan used to say. We drove 15 long hours from Arkansas with our 3000lbs+ trailer of wares hooked to the back of the car. It required lots of coffee, music, driving through fields, past the Arch in St. Louis and finally into Chicago and our adorable brownstone apartment for a few days. We ate Chicago dogs, deep dish pie and met quilters from all over the world; Germany, England, Canada and from many regions in the United States. Companies big and small were there selling fabric, clothing patterns, quilting kits, fat quarters of everything you can image, shoes, machines, and even beautiful yarns and products made from the fiber of Alpacas. Quilting shows not only inspire your creativity and imagination by viewing master quilters, they also expose you many products you can only see in venues like this. And - shows help support small companies that travel to sell specialized products to support themselves. More and more we are seeing less quilting store fronts in our towns, so planning a trip to something like this can really open your eyes and help out the little guy.

So, what kind of quilter are you? Do you fit the picture of today's quilters? In 2017, surveyed 39,000 quilters and this is what they found within their survey group.

  • Most quilters are females over 60 who are retired
  • Quilters begin at all ages, but are able to devote more time and resources once in the 40's and older
  • 73% of those surveyed prefer a local shop to buy supplies, but more that 50% will shop online
  • Most quilters travel up to 30 minutes to get to a favorite shop but are willing to travel much farther
  • In addition to traveling to shows or displays for inspiration, 70%+ use the internet for motivation and new ideas
  • Education and hands-on training is the #1 planned large purchase for today's quilter.

We certainly see these trends at big events like the Chicago International Show and that is no surprise, but we also see lots of other things. For, example, quilting men are on the rise. There are more multi-generational groups of women of all ages shopping together and passing on their love of fabric. There is a real hunger for new quality products that are not the same old thing. Quilters are more adventurous with their fabric choices if given the option. Even though we function online as a shop, once customers see and feel the quality of our fabrics they are willing to shop on the internet and take a chance doing something new.

Rachel and I get so much joy meeting people from all over and of all ages. The people in Chicago were wonderful, friendly, full of spirit and spunk and full of smiles. Regardless of how you fit into what the average quilter community looks like, quilters in general share these personality characteristics. We are all artists that work to leave behind a small piece of ourselves and give a hint of how we see the world by the quilts we make and gift to those around us. We encourage you to get out there and head to your own "really big shew." Plan an adventure with another family member, join a group of friends, rent an airbnb house, explore a new city, take a class, join a bus tour if you don't want to drive, or spend a week at a quilting retreat if you can. Just find a way to get out there and have fun!

We hope to see you-

Melissa and Rachel

PS - How many of you are wondering about that turkey picture? The pictures at the top of our article this month are from our trip and a spot we stayed had this stuffed turkey mounted to their house. How could I not take a picture of that?