Last week key findings of the 2014 quilters’ survey were released. The survey is conducted every four years. Results were presented by F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, and Quilts, Inc., producers of International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival.
The survey is conducted in two phases. First, households are questioned about their quilting activities to get a sense of the scope of the quilting industry in the U.S. Next, “Dedicated Quilters” are surveyed to understand their buying habits, and how they use and contribute to the industry. According to the summary linked above,
Each Dedicated Quilter is defined as one who spends more than $500 a year on quilting-related purchases, which include sewing machines, fabric, notions, tools, patterns, books, computer programs, batting, and thread. In fact, the Dedicated Quilter actually spent an average of $3,296 per year on quilting.
Demographics of the Dedicated Quilter indicate she is female; about 64; is well-educated (79% attended college); has a household income in excess of $100,000; and has been quilting an average of 20.3 years. Among Dedicated Quilters, 81% are traditionalists, while 38% embrace art quilting, and 35% enjoy modern quilting styles. Some enjoy multiple types of quilting.
The Dedicated Quilter owns, on average, almost $13,000 worth of tools and supplies and has a stash of fabric worth nearly $6,000, which the majority (88%) store in a studio or room dedicated solely to sewing and quilting activities.
Altogether, we Dedicated Quilters in the U.S. spend about $2.27 billion a year on quilting, out of an industry total of about $3.76 billion.
My first instinct when reading numbers like this are that I don’t spend that much. Surely I’m not a “Dedicated Quilter,” using the definition of $500 in purchases a year. I’ve never added up my fabric purchases in either yards or dollars, but I don’t spend that much. However, I buy at least one roll of batting per year. Even on sale, that’s at least $120. My new iron was another $25. Thread, books, and needles add up. We could add in shipping, when I send quilts to loved ones far from here. It doesn’t take much fabric to put me over the top.
Do you fit the definition of a Dedicated Quilter, spending more than $500 a year on your quilting habit? Do you own almost $13,000 of tools and supplies, and another $6,000 in stash? In today’s pricing, $6,000 is 500 to 600 yards. And while that might sound (to a non-quilter) like an obscene amount, even my smallish stash probably comes close to that.
Take a look at the survey summary. It’s an interesting view of quilters in America.