Some recent events have me wondering about the future of quilting. I’ll get to those in the next post.
First I want to ask some questions: will you still be quilting in five years? Do you see your involvement as temporary, or as a permanent part of your life, until you’re truly unable to continue? And if you expect to still be quilting, how do you think your quilting life might change? Will the type of project change, perhaps from large quilts to smaller ones? From “traditional” to “modern” or “art”? Will your purchases change, to much less fabric or books or notions? Or perhaps to more? Or to more quilting services like someone to longarm for you? Or will you buy a dye cutter to reduce stress on arthritic parts?
Another question: do you actively help new quilters learn the craft? Do you teach, or donate fabric to 4H groups, or participate in other nurturing activities? Is that something you would do if presented with the opportunity?
Another: are there areas of quilting you’d like to learn? Are you interested in becoming an appraiser, or learning and/or teaching quilting history? Or are there particular skills you long to try?
One more: do you think that most “new” quilters (those who’ve been quilting less than five years, or have made fewer than five quilts) will still be quilting five years from now? Why or why not?
I’ll start, but please join in with comments. Don’t hesitate to respond to others’ comments, as well.
I expect I’ll still be quilting in five years. Truly I have no idea how many quilts I’ve made in the last decade, but surely it is well over 100. Likely it’s more than twice that, especially if you include all the quilts I’ve helped with but wasn’t the sole maker. So from the standpoint of production, I’m in this. It’s part of my life. On the other hand, it’s possible for me to imagine not quilting anymore. In particular, it’s imaginable that I stop quilting my own projects and pay someone else to longarm quilt for me.
I prefer making big quilts, or at least biggish. But we’ve discussed the issue of having a “market” or audience for our work, and mine is pretty depleted. It might be time to shift to smaller items. Though as I’ve said to someone else, my heart would die if I had to make coasters and pot holders. I did have a lot of fun making my Iowa In My Mind quilt. Perhaps other types of art or story quilts are in my future.
My purchases over the last couple of years have changed some. I am not a big fabric buyer. I never buy all new for a specific quilt, and I almost never buy even partially new before starting a specific quilt. I prefer to work from stash, but that means having things that are interesting and useful. Recently the ratio of “interesting” to “useful” has increased. Even so, I fill in with tone-on-tones or blenders regularly.
I’ve kicked around the idea of becoming an appraiser, but in truth I don’t want to work that hard anymore. Between my college degrees and professional certification, I’ve taken all the tests I ever want to take. I do enjoy teaching and want to continue to find opportunities to do so.
As for newer quilters, most of the younger modern quilters probably won’t be quilting five years from now. There will be a core of those who’ve found their niche, but the rest will fall away with the busyness of their lives and other interests. Even so, the richness and enthusiasm they’ve added will help to enliven the craft for years to come.
Now it’s your turn. Thoughts to share?