Mar 22, 2015

Feeling Like a Featherweight But Sewing Like a Warhorse

As far as I am concerned, and in spite of all statistics and indications to the contrary,  I still consider myself normal. Ok, then. Somewhat normal. Perhaps, my own new normal.

Yesterday was National Quilting Day and I made the choice to quilt...all day long..rather than write about it.

I am sewing on a challenge quilt for my my guilt guild  quilt guild, I am designing a prayer flag for several people who could sure use one, I am trying to make a new table runner in time for Easter, and I have the fabric out to make either a jacket, or a vest, to match my new badge id tag and bag that have a hard time matching anything else I wear.

But in spite of all of that, according to the "Quilting in America" survey results after a year of compilation for 2014,  I am apparently not normal. At least not as far as what I own, buy, do, or spend in the quilting in America industry.

   Looking old, and more than a bit well used! But boy,does it get a lot done!

I do love reading the results of each new posting of the National Quilt Survey and seeing just how I compare..after all like most of you..I consider myself to be incomparable. I mean we all do what we love to do, and we only buy what we can afford....don't we?  Well, apparently not.

So, I did take this years survey for next years posted results. And the deadline is almost up in a few days, so go to the link below if you want to take it and take it quick if you want to influence products and how quilting money is spent on us and our interests!
2015 Quilters Survey Information. Thank you for your interest in the 2015 Quilting Survey. Your feedback is important to help guide improvements in the quilting

Now, last year's results, which were published this year of course, were quite interesting. A bit different from the last few years that I've downloaded and read them. I'm always amazed at just how much quilter's spend and how for the most part, the majority of money is spent by older rather than by new and introductory quilters. Interesting because, that is where all of the styles, quilts, magazines, and other media are now being directed towards..the young and the new.

After all, I'm sure they figure we are a dying age group, and of course we are. I fully to expect to reach the end of my rope ..or crochet cotton...and will no doubt hang on to it just as both of my parents did..physically if not mentally!

So, what were last years results???

Quilting in America Survey from 2014 showed that the quilting industry was worth $3.76 BILLION annually. In other words, if we didn't shop, we could be helping to pay off our national debt. Hmm, not sure if I'm ready to give up quilting, just yet!

That was a 5% increase in the past 4 years.And the average household expenditure for quilting has increased 36/%. Sorry, folks, not mine. Part of the reason I take the survey. I want to make it real and I have a modest budget and a modest expenditure.

Seriously, people! Haven't you wondered why I have been grabbing fabric out of your hands at those free fabric tables. Heck, I asked a very famous quilter for her scraps once and she sent me a smiley face. I wanted and needed those scraps. She said she was just throwing them in the trash. Nooooo!

It showed that there are 16 MILLION quilters in America, or one out of every 20 households. If I could do the math, and I can't, I'm trying to figure what to divide into what with that $3.76 BILLION we quilters spend. Some of you are sure spending more than your share, because you are spending mine, as well.

And moreover, the numbers of us are on the decline. See above, where I talk about how we are dying off and how most of us are old, and not young. So tell me again "Just why is everything geared towards young people and not teaching us old dogs new tricks instead of trying to teach the old dogs the young dogs tricks???

Heck, if I drop something on the floor..thread, a bobbin, my quilting project..I can barely bend over to pick it up again, if I can even see it through my bifocals that the optometrist gave up on trying to get me to see. And I quote...'If you can see me, even if its not my facial features, I'm happy with that." Seriously? I sew, quilt, craft and create art. Would a blur be good enough for your golf game????
As the survey results said: 
"However, we know Dedicated Quilters don't regard quilting as an optional hobby, but as part of their lives. They, like other quilters throughout history, quilt during good times and bad. Their quilting is both a means of expressing themselves creatively, and also of expressing what is going on in their lives and how they are dealing with it."

Well, I use potholder therapy for my sorrows and blues. And I make art every day. What? You mean you don't decorate your potholders with embossing paint sticks? Well, this quilter does!

Now, could someone pass me my magnifying glass, give me a hand so I can get up. And if you don't mind, remind me what I was doing, who I am, and what room I am currently in.

Because to be quite honest, I don't always remember. And yes, those handprints of mine might be elderly, they might feature a fabric designed with antique sewing needle cases, but look at just how quickly those old girls can still get things done?

I'm having way too much fun expressing myself creatively to process all that is happening in my life and how I am dealing with it!!!!

I May Just Be the New Normal!!!

And I'm not packing it in, just yet!!! 

Singer Featherweight: Sewing Accessories Tutorial

After all!  2014: My Year of 250 Projects

After all, I still have a lot of liquid soap dispensers to make quilts wraps for ;-)

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!


Joyce Carter said...

Michele, you are so funny, but you described me to a "T". Have you been watching me? LOL
I sure would like to know who is spending all that money on fabric and why aren't they sharing with the rest of us.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

Okay, I filled it out too. I don't spend that much either, although the sewing machine I bought last year did skew my numbers for the year. This year is much more normal with hardly anything bought. I'm sure they prefer the bigger numbers so you feel inadequate and go out and buy more! They do need to keep adding younger quilters to keep the industry going, but they definitely shouldn't forget those who helped get them started!

Scrappy quilter said...

I'm with you. I don't spend near what other quilters do however can you believe 3.76 Billion dollars. Holy smokes that's incredible!!!

Heather said...

Hello Michele. Thankyou for visiting my blog and leaving such a kind comment. I have enjoyed reading your posts. It's good not to be normal - whatever normal is - and I love your potholders.

Winifred said...

My Michelle you're extraordinary I don't know about not normal. Hope you haven't given yourself backache with all that sewing.

I'm no economist but surely that spending helps the economy. People here in the UK get no benefit from saving as the interest rates are terrible so we spend. That helps businesses, keeps people in jobs & best of all it keeps you happy.

What would you do if you didn't quilt Michelle? Probably go round the bend. I would if I couldn't knit.

It's a shame if quilting is dying out in the USA. They're absolutely beautiful.

Sewing seemed to be dying out but The Great British Sewing Bee
seems to have captured people & got them interested in sewing again. Who knows maybe there's a great opportunity for a programme on quilting.

It isn't very popular here now & knitting almost died out but it's having a resurgence now. A friend & I taught 5 classes of children to knit last year. The head teacher wanted them to learn a traditional craft as well as enjoy working with adults they didn't know to help develop their communication skills & confidence. It also helped with their Maths. She's a forward thinker & insisted on using curriculum time to do it. What's more the children absolutely loved it, even the boys! So who knows Michelle, we found that children love the older crafts, it's skipped a generation but I think this one coming along may pick them up as a change from their computers & phones.

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