Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Free Fabric (at least a chance) for Your Thoughts

Robert Kaufman Fabrics was kind to give us some fabric for our upcoming book.  Fortunately, for some lucky random winner, we're willing to share!  It's a charm roll from the Color Composition/Primary Colorstory.  We ask that you answer just a few questions  and comment on your profile/preferences as a quilter.

Here's the food for thought:  data from FabShop News’ summary of the Quilting in America survey conducted by F+W and Quilts, Inc.

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.
And quilters are also tech-savvy, with 87% owning a tablet or eBook reader today. The percentage of quilters who access the Internet daily has grown to 86%, up from 73% four years ago. The data indicates that quilters spend 3.5 hours per week watching quilting-related online broadcasting to learn new tips and techniques, get inspiration, purchase fabric, tools, and supplies, and to search for free patterns.


  • I sew mostly (using a purchased pattern, a book, a magazine article, a free pattern, totally improvisational ...or equally from all).
  • I spend most of my quilting funds (at a quilt shop, on line, quilt shows, Facebook Group, all).
  • I'm (30 something or less, I'm older, I still have a land line).
  • Any comments that dispute the above study?
Thanks so much.  We'll share the results and the winner next week! 'Till Tuesday...


  1. I'm in my 40s and have been quilting for about 4 years. Although I buy a lot of patterns, books, etc. I mostly sew free patterns, especially quilt alongs and mystery quilts. I spend considerably more time online

  2. -I use patterns, purchased and free, though I usually improvise on them a bit. I also do a lot of personally designed projects and improvisational project. I rarely work from a book or mag.
    -I shop online, at my LSQs and the big box stores about equally.
    -I'm a young 54 'cuz I don't have a land line.
    -Based on the membership of my local guild I would say the survey is pretty accurate. My guess is that your survey will result in a lower average age.

  3. I guess I'm pretty close to the demographic. I am 63, have been quilting for 24 years, but income not so high as the demos. I usually improvise my own traditional patterns, but I am getting into the modern a bit and I download lots of free patterns on my MacBook; I have a landline and a cell and a Kindle. My stash is spread over several drawers and closets in different rooms. I traded in my tank desk for a corner sewing unit in our home office after I retired from teaching 1st grade after 34 years in 2013. I daily interact on the Internet; have taken online quilting classes; go to quilt shows and love to buy fabric at area Shop Hops, but I have also purchased fabric online, too. I love reading blogs and newsletters! That's my story..thanks for the chance to win some fabric!

  4. I'm a male, under 60, quilting 10 years. I spend at quilt shops, quilt shows, and online. I still have a land line. Sew from magazine articles, free patterns, specialty rulers, and antique blocks - dresdan plate anyone? Also improvisional blocks.

    paulburega (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I am 57, have a land line (and all other technology...), I sew from purchased and free patterns and improv, I increasingly purchase online but shop in stores, as well.

  6. I am 63. I have sewn for 51 years, but only been quilting for 3 years. I sew from magazines, purchased patterns, blogs, free patterns, any sources I find. I do love to improvise. I spend 95% of my quilting money online. I still have a land line.

  7. I find the survey results very interesting. I mostly sew from patterns from all types of media. Mainly, because it is so much easier to have the fabric requirements and size of pieces to cut already figured for me. I have designed my own patterns or drafted my own blocks based on the size I wish for a finished design. I'm older (fiftyish) and do not have a land line.
    My only dispute with the survey results are that I wish "my stash" was worth $6000. I guess I make up the difference with my tools (e.g. long arm machine and supplies).

  8. I sew mostly from patterns I draft or heavily modify myself. I spend most of my budget at the local quilt shop. I'm 31 and have been quilting for about 10 years, I am usually the youngest quilter in the room. I have a very small stash, it is 3 plastic boxes about 24"x24"x6" and that's about it. Thanks for sharing the study, I find it fascinating! I think because I am a younger quilter, I have a lot less money to spend and less in my stash/machine than "average".

  9. I am close to the demographic except I have been quilting since the 70's and am just a tad younger. I don't own $13,000 worth of tools but have an abundance of fabric. I feel fortunate that I am able to use our formal living room as my sewing room and enjoy my time there. I do use patterns, but find the most enjoyment from improvisational quilting.
    I do have a landline, but also a smart phone which I use to locate quilt and rug hooking shops when I am on the go!
    I spend most of my funds at shops and shows,but also purchase online and at our Textile Center's annual "garage sale". My quilt group also holds a monthly raffle to which I contribute and sometimes win some fabric or another textile prize. I have purchased some Craftsy classes and follow quilt blogs.
    I think the study is interesting but would like to know how they conducted the study and how they chose people to poll. That can certainly impact the results.
    Thanks for the chance to win and for the information on the "average quilter".

  10. I'm in my 40's and have sewn for 30 years but am new to quilting. I have a tiny stash due to storage issues. I quilt mostly patterns and am partial to modern designs although I have many antique quilt blocks from my grandmother. I do a lot of research and learning online and I mostly purchase fabric there as my local quilt shop hours don't mesh with my work schedule.

  11. I'm one of those older quilters, 66, but I've only been piecing quilts for 4 years, before that I only tied whole cloth quilts. I generally use free patterns found on line. I still have a land line but am fairly computer savy. I spend mostly at quilt shops, a little at shows and some on line. I am not a traditionalists, like modern and mixing patterns and colors. College, yes, income, yes, supplies, yes, dedicated room, yes, internet viewing, probably. Wow, I pretty much fit the profile. Who knew. Love quilting!!!! Thanks.

  12. I almost always use patterns when I make a quilt. I do get a quilt magazine, but mostly to read. I buy most of my fabric at quilt stores, but do shop on line also. I only buy "name brand" fabric on line. I buy most of my notions, rulers, thread, etc at Joanne Fabric with their coupons. I agree with the results above. I'm over 60 and have been sewing/quilting for over 40 years (started in high school). I have a cell phone but also have a land line because that's how I get internet. Thanks for the interesting information. Patty
    paweis at yahoo dot com

  13. I use use patterns, books, and improv but no magazines yet. I shop pretty much equally at quilt shops and online, but get most of my notions - rulers, rotary cutters, blades, mats, pins, spray, clips, at JoAnn's with their coupons. I am 51, have been sewing for 35 years but just started quilting 2 years ago and consider myself a modern quilter and love it! We still have a landline. Not quite $13,000 worth of equipment, or $6000 in stash, but I am still a newbie. I have a dedicated room, no tablet, I prefer to use my Mac and Macbook and read blogs everyday.

  14. I'm 58 and have been quilting for over 35 years but not consistently until the last 8 years. My preference is for modern designs and I get most of my inspiration from blogs I follow. I rarely buy a pattern and if I do typically do so to learn a technique rather than follow a particular design. I have two Janome sewing machines, but no where near that investment in equipment or fabric. My sewing studio doubles as a laundry area, but I'm very proud of my large cutting/storage table I built out of discarded 2x4s, dresser drawers and big casters. It really makes the space. Thanks for sharing this information - let's hope our demographics start getting younger!

  15. I am 70 and loving it. I do purchase patterns but do most of my own designs, with lot's of inspiration from others.I have several machines two new modern ones and three oldies. My 1960 Singer 503 is my go to machine these days. I shop mostly at local quilt stores. Living in Northern Canada we don't have access to large outlets. But we do have wonderful local stores. Thanks for offering the beautiful giveway, everyone can use gorgeous solids .

  16. Hi. What an interesting summary of us, quilters. I am 53, female, and have been sewing for 40 years. I prefer bright colors and use any sort of inspiration. I will be taking my first class in two weeks with Gwen Marston. I am an equal opportunity purchaser, but I like to support my local brick and mortar shops. I will be putting myself back on my fabric diet after reading the figures above and looking at my stash.

  17. I've quilting for about 15 yrs and have always loved crafts, I'm 41. I no longer buy patterns unless it's for a class, as I own too many. I love reading and learning from blogs the most. Over the last few years, I've purchased most of my supplies online, as I really like to buy entire collections and local shops which I'm lucky there are lots, can not stock entire collections. I love modern designs for their fresh look.

  18. I am 60 yrs. old and started quilting about 4 or 5 years ago. I am still very green as I was interrupted by the death of my dad and helping care for my mother until her passing, which was much worse for me. I have a 30+yr. old sewing machine (metal parts) I bought for $300, 1 large cutting mat approx. 24" x 36"?; 1 spinning mat 12" x 12", 1 rotary cutter, a less than $2 seam guide, a stiletto, a binding buddy ruler, 12.5" Square Up ruler, and a 6" x 24" ruler. I would estimate I have about $1,000 worth of fabric.

    Looks like I'm a late bloomer and behind the curve in every way. I have also not finished anything larger than a mini. Took 1 child's quilt top I made apart to add sashing, as I didn't think it had enough contrast. It has a matching doll quilt. Also, have 60 blocks for another 1 or 2 kids' quilts made. Bought $600-$800 of my fabric last year alone. Over a year since my mom passed and can't seem to get back to piecing. I am considering buying a new bigger better machine though, which might help. Btw, I sewed my first seam when I was 5, finished a dress at 7, made my prom dress and most of my dresses, blouses, skirts and even some pants in high school. Later made children's clothes for my kids. Quilting is much more exacting, of course, as clothing usually has 1" of ease on every seam. Much harder to get used to the exactness required in quilting after all that, I guess. I do most of my shopping online as the LQS doesn't always have what I want or I don't feel up to a trip out. Perhaps I'm NOT a "Dedicated" quilter, but I hope to be someday.

    1. Forgot to add my email address Mspmunday@msn dot com, since I am not signed up for comments.

  19. Forgot to mention, I have a landline, no cell phone, but my husband has a pay as you go cell phone for commuting emergencies. I don't usually use it at all, probably wouldn't know how.

  20. Hello! I sew mostly from purchased & free online patterns (always tweeking them). I spend most of my quilting funds online as there are more options, it's less expensive, and I love the delivery to my door! I am 50 and have been sewing for about 38 years...quilting for about 25 - YIKES, that's a long time! Unfortunately I do still have a land line, but only because my parents refuse to call me on my cell phone. Other than their weekly calls...I don't use the land line at all.
    The average household income in the study seems high to me, but other than sounds fairly reasonable and probably accurate.
    Thanks very much for the opportunity to win that great fabric!

  21. I sew mostly using my own designed patterns.
    I spend most of my quilting funds on line.
    I'm mid-30's (no land line anymore).

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. I am 41 years old and have been quilting since I was pregnant with my son who is now 13. I quilt from patterns purchased from the local quilt shop. I spend way too much money on fabric, notions, rulers, scissors, etc. I purchase fabric online, in stores, at shows and anywhere else I can find it. I have three sewing machines and one longarm quilting machine. I still have a landline but I also have a cell phone. We are a 'connected' family with everyone having their own cell phone. I don't spend that much time online looking at patterns or techniques. I do spend way more time in my sewing room working. I spend about 16 hours a week longarm quilting. If I lost my job today I could keep busy for years with just the items in my sewing room. I'd only have to leave to get nourishment. :)

  23. I am 31 years old, still have a landline but don't use it much. I have only just started quilting using mostly patterns/instructions from the internet, as I have not been working on complicated stuff yet (quick jelly roll quilt, baby blanket with simple squares etc.). I like modern/irregular/creative patterns better than "traditional" ones, and fresh vibrant colours better than dark/beige etc.

    I purchase fabric online for the most part, because I live in Germany and fabric (even with shipping and customs added) is so much cheaper in the US and the choice is much bigger. But I also buy fabric at a local fabric shop sometimes.

    My email address is

  24. I am 55, I have been quilting for 15 years. I read a lot of blogs, go to flicker and pinterest for ideas, usually do not buy patterns. I like all types of quilts more modern than traditional. I have way more material than I can use but my tastes keeps changing so I will give the material I have outgrown to others who are interested in it. I purchase fabric online, in stores or anywhere I can find it. I still have a landline because the cell does not always work in the basement and my mother-in-law will only use the landline.

  25. I'm 32 - no land line for me. I quilt mostly from inspiration found on line which I improvise on. I only quilt about an hour a week (I have two very young children). I have approx $750 in fabric in my stash and less than $1000 in tools and supplies... I could only imagine owning $13000 worth! :) All my quilting money is spent at the local quilt shop - no online shopping for me... I think supporting local businesses is important.


We really love hearing from you! All comments are being moderated due to inappropriate comments being posted. We will attempt to post your comments in a timely fashion.