According to a recent survey I read in a quilting magazine, quite a few Baby Boomer quilters today do NOT want to hand piece and do NOT like traditional patterns or EASY patterns. Boy, am I out of the loop if that's the case.
The article said that quilters today are interested in complex designs, longarm quilting, and things like more quilting-related travel. Oh, and buying fabric of course. Although I do hear many say that they are trying to use more fabric from their collection these days.
Overall, quilting has now really become more of an art form than it ever was before. Quilters no longer just make quilts that belong only on the bed or to keep families warm--they're being used for decorating more and also more as a creative outlet for women, which is great. And quilting is also leading women to experiment in other artsy arenas--mixed media, paper arts and fashion. Younger quilters are pushing the trend to modern, urban design. And that's the exciting part that I love--that all of this has opened doors for women to find creative outlets and given them permission to play again.
What about some of the antique Amish quilts with their bold colors? What category do they fall into? Aren't some of them the "artsiest" quilts ever?
This one was made early in the 20th century.
Quilters are also very interested in tools to make quilting easier and everywhere you look there's something new out there to help you get your quilts done faster. Working on my Dear Jane quilt has made me slow down and appreciate the time that quilters used to spend on their quilts long ago. How did they find the time in their busy lives? We quilters complain that we have no time--what must it have been like to quilt 150 years ago? Also, can you imagine quilting without all of the basic tools we have today?
And so my question is: where do I fit in? Have we lost any of the joy in quilting if we're just trying to get them done faster and faster and then move on to the next one? What about the process? Maybe I need to time travel back to the 1800s and just stay there . . . . I can think of a few people who'd be overjoyed at the thought of that. I actually LIKE to hand piece and hand quilt and take my time on a project, not rush to get it done, although when you're making many many projects for a book, some rushing to complete them is inevitable.
But I think we probably all agree that quilting means different things to different people and that's exactly why we love it, isn't it? The idea that quilting in some way helps us express our individuality. The line between art and craft becomes blurred. Is this a quilt? Maybe not, but it's fun to look at and see how much creativity went into its design.
The survey did say that quilters are leaning toward making more small quilts, which is a relief. Maybe those of us who like little quilts are on to something after all?
It's kind of fun, watching where quilting is going and being touched by it all. But for now, I'm not ready to jump on the trend train. This is as modern and trendy as I ever get:
I'll think I'll just stick with my own comfort level and sew what makes me happy--traditional little quilts that tug at my heart and bring a smile to my face.
What about you?