The morning at QuiltCon on opening day, I was waiting for the Awards Ceremony to begin.
I was setting up my camera equipment to shoot some footage for a Sewing Report story.
In the front row, I spotted Jacquie Gering, President of The Modern Quilt Guild’s Board of Directors, talking to a Baby Lock executive.
Gering was expressing how much she loves the Youth Quilts category.
Later in the afternoon, Gering and I met up for a quick interview and I knew in the back of my mind I had to ask her about it.
This was her response:
“The quilting community – if we don’t have young people we die.”
On the surface, this sounds a bit harsh and rather pessimistic.
But Gering is absolutely correct.
According to the 2014 Quilting in America survey, the $3.76 billion industry includes 16 million active quilters.
Sounds great, right?
Well, not so much…
There was an overall decline in the number of quilters in the U.S. – with the “average” quilter being female, around age 64, with 20 years of experience under her belt.
Eighty-one percent of quilters are traditionalists, per the survey, and 35 percent enjoy modern quilting styles. (Quilters could choose more than one type)
When the “average” quilters are no longer around – what would be left of the sewing industry if we don’t attract the youth demographic?
There would be no QuiltCon, no fabric manufacturers, no new sewing machines, and no making things out of a needle and thread.
That is depressing to think about.
I am in my 30s.
Outside the quilting community, I only know two people who quilt – one of them being my college roommate who just finished her first one.
Because of my love of sewing, I have become an evangelist of sorts for the industry. It’s why I started Sewing Report – to try and reach more people and help make it easier for those interested in learning to access information. I’m on a personal mission to make a difference in this area.
Despite my extreme levels of enthusiasm, I have not even been able to convert one person to our side. Quite a few women tell me their mother or grandmother sews, but they just don’t seem to see sewing as something for them.
Perhaps young people see sewing as an icon of the past, like record players or having a pager.
It’s obvious though, that we are just not getting through to most of the millennials.
“It’s all about the beginner,” Mary Fons said in the Quiltonomics article, February 2015. “We simply have to help non-quilters who want to make quilts learn the craft in an approachable, 21st century way. Quilts are still relevant and people will always want to make them. The challenge is that from now on, no one is learning sewing skills at home. So when a person wants to make a quilt, they are starting at zero. If they don’t have friendly, interesting, engaging ways to learn – we’re sunk.”
When I tell people I quilt, they are at first taken aback. I can understand that. They have the picture of the “average” 64-year-old quilter with her Civil War reproduction fabrics and old school perspective as a generalization.
I’m Asian, work full-time in a professional setting, and have chosen to be childless. It’s very difficult for me to meet like-minded women, let alone like-minded women who also like sewing.
So I still feel like an outsider in the sewing/quilting world in many aspects.
While at QuiltCon, the majority of my interactions were positive – people were nice, we made small talk, and I did indeed have a wonderful time.
That’s not necessarily the case online.
Just this week, I worked on a project as a service to the quilting community, and instead of seeing it as that – it was chewed up and spit back out at me. I highly doubt the comments people made would ever be said to my face, and it bothered me. And I’ll be honest – I found it frustrating that individuals would be disrespectful and find a way to complain about something I’d provided to them for free.
(I was not paid by The Modern Quilt Guild/QuiltCon to cover the event and spend four days shooting hours of video – then days of editing and writing. It was my own idea, and I spent a LOT of time and money to accomplish the project.)
Being a part of quilting Facebook groups and reading comments on various pages and websites gives one a much different impression of our community, and not a positive one.
Is this really how we want to portray ourselves to those we need to join our folds?
We must embrace everyone even remotely interested in learning to sew, support them, and be kind to one another.
Over four days wandering around the Pasadena Convention Center, I talked with hundreds of people – including most of the vendors at the show. It was interesting and hopeful to see so many younger people working within the industry – like Aaron Hoffman, Bernina’s Philipp Ueltschi, Quilty Box owners Patrick and Ronnie Claytor, and Patchwork Threads owner Lindsay Szechenyi.
Roxanna Eke, who works in marketing for Hoffman Fabrics, had literally just started the job and was already blazing a trail – sharing some of her out of the box ideas with me at the booth. (That gal is well on her way to being a rock star in her field!)
Everyone in the sewing industry I spoke with was extremely transparent about the fact that they’re looking to reach young people. Failure is not an option.
Hoffman mentioned that his 84-year-old grandfather, Walter, didn’t quite understand the new fabrics from the Me+You collection. But the company is standing behind Aaron’s vision and clearly see the contemporary batiks as a way into the future.
To the sewists and quilters who have decades of experience on me, I am asking you to be flexible and accept changes in this community. To teach your children and grandchildren how to love it. To stop the obstinence and criticism of anything different than what you’re used to.
When we moved into a new home a couple years ago, I was thrilled to find a quilt shop about a five minute drive away on Google Maps. It’s quite roomy inside, and the ladies who run the store are very nice. But there is something that stops me from patronizing the business, except for the occasional notion. The shop does not stock any modern fabric lines, and the owners just don’t seem interested in switching up the current inventory of fabrics that don’t appeal to my tastes. It’s their shop and I completely respect their right to stock whatever they want, but since there’s not much there for me – I purchase the majority of my fabric online.
I understand that any kind of change is often difficult, but as someone who would like sewing to still be a “thing” when I am 64 – we’re going to have to put aside differences and band together to find new and effective ways to promote and encourage more people (women and men) into the ranks. The industry has to transform in order to survive.
We ALL win when more people start up sewing.
Are you with me?
Jill Harris says
Thank you for your article! I found that finally I am not alone as I too found my passion for quilting 2 years ago, am a professional with no kids and find I have significant difficulty fitting in existing quilt circles given I am only 41. I have been trying all types of styles and love them all. I took basic sewing in junior high school but am self taught in quilting. Finding great fabric is really difficult in eastern Canada so I typically shop online (hit and miss and really only good if buying kit or collections) or take road trips to New England. Because I have the time and disposable income I can travel and do more than most women our age. Would love to connect with other like minded folks and somehow pass the knowledge and joy on to others, particularly kids. Please get in touch if you have or want to bounce ideas.
Jeddore Nova Scotia Canada
Hi Jill, I just joined the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild, an extremely supportive group of people ranging in age and style preferences, levels of experience. If you aren’t part of it already, I encourage you to look us up!
Vivien Levermore says
We just need to introduce the young people in our life to sewing and quilting. I took my 23 year old granddaughter to a two day mini retreat, everyone else there was age 55-90 and she had a wonderful time. We had a potluck lunch, she brought her own home baked pumpkin dinner rolls, which were a hit. I gave her a copy of a 100 Blocks magazine and asked her to pick a block she would like to make, she picked a fairly complex block with flying geese and hst and her own fabric colour choices. I sowed her how to rotary cut and get a scant quarter inch seam. She made 4 blocks, my quilter friends were quite impressed with how well she did with the bias seams and small pieces, as well as her modern colours. Then she quilted them, in the ditch, before the end of the retreat. She loves it and wants to come to another retreat when she can get time off work.
Leslie Lundgren says
Thank you Jennifer for the excellent article. My 17 year old granddaughter is on her third quilt- a Yellow Brick Road. However, Like you I have long felt more young people would find this a fulfilling hobby if we can expose them to it somehow. In the next while I will give this idea some serious thought in how to do this within my community.
Mary Ann says
Insightful discussion Jennifer. I have been sewing most of my life with big gaps from time to time as kids, work and circumstances allowed. Now retired I sew everyday and use every chance I get to bring the young adults in my circle into the cult. Sewing at home or at shop is very enjoyable for newbies if you can make it casual and successful quickly. And chocolate always helps!
Louise Lalonde says
Check out ‘Canuckquilter.com. she is a young quilter who does beautiful work, shares her original patterns online.
Jodie Matte says
I’m 42, no kids and I’ve been quilting for about 15 years! I love quilting and right now I am teaching a young 30 something friend to quilt and have another waiting in the wings to start learning with us! If you get a movement going, please count me in! I totally agree that we need to attract the younger crowd, teach the basics, but throw out the rules – does that make sense??? We want them to know how to do it right, but then have the freedom to create and discover their own voice! I’ve been told by this student that she likes how I teach (one on one seems to be the key) and this has encouraged me to keep on seeking out others who want to learn. It might just be one or two people a year, but one or two are better than none 🙂 Thanks for your report!
EXACTLY!!!! It must be fun, pay attention to the “rules” but throw them out now and again is how I operate.
Thank you for your article and for the work you put into QuiltCon. I think many of us older quilters’ are the industries’ worse enemy. I agree we MUST attract new sewers/quilters. I work part time in a fabric shop and I gush and ohh and awe over every new sewer that comes in to purchase her supplies. I want that person to feel excited about their project because I want them to come back. I love having a fabric shop at my disposal, but if we don’t have other shoppers we don’t have a shop. I’ve been to fabric shops in loads of places, from Pennsylvania to Ireland & I can tell you, I would never go back to many of them. You are completely right, these shops are not interested in gaining a wider base. There is an incredible amount of snobbery among quilters. I love to quilt and I love being around quilters – mostly, but believe me, there are huge number I would never associate with which is why I gave up on Guilds. I have my own group (in Ireland) with about 5-6 regulars. I focus on fun and community and color. If it’s not fun, what’s the point? I’ve been to classes where the focus is on “getting it right” and those are the classes I never want to recreate. A quilt is a gift of thought and caring, unless it’s for a show/contest.
So keep up your efforts, I applaud and join you in your endeavor. Happy quilting
I love this article! As a 26 year old, I’m often overlooked when I walk into a quilt shop. Most don’t expect that I have 13+ years sewing experience, and another 4 years experience with the quilting industry.
Jennifer Moore says
Hilary, that’s a great point! I know what you mean, if you don’t look like you’re going to drop some serious cash – it does seem like you get ignored. There’s one quilt shop in my area that really stocks modern fabric. The last experience there (it’s a 45 minute drive, ugh!) I was a tad underdressed. On my days off, I just don’t want to have to put in a ton of effort into my appearance… Nobody paid attention to me, and they were offering other customers a free pattern and lots of assistance. Then after being there about 40 minutes, I asked someone a question that made it apparent I was more of a “serious sewist” and all of a sudden they started acknowledging my presence! (Also, most of the employees there are younger) You should never assume anything about anyone without getting to know them. I was actually dissuaded from buying much there and haven’t been back since.
I hear ya! At 27, most of my quilting has happened while here in Japan, however before we came (and I was 23), I was barely acknowledged at the main LQS I visited. Now heading back to Australia, I am very intrigued to see how shopping trips turn out! I will definitely be taking note.
Elaine Hayes says
Jenniffer, may I have your permission to reprint this article in my guild’s newsletter?
I will link to this site, too, of course. Thanks!
Jennifer Moore says
I’ll send you an email directly!
Mary Anne says
Quilting needs to be sold as an ART FORM to attract younger sewists. Becoming a FIBER ARTIST is a lot cooler than becoming a QUILTER which as you say gives the impression of someone’s grandmother who makes repetitive pattern blocks that may not present as very exciting thing to do in your spare time.
Jennifer Moore says
Mary Anne, I agree with you to a certain extent. However – the vibe I get from people in my age group and younger is that they see sewing as something that’s too complicated. Young women I meet totally fall all over themselves when I show them purses/bags that are handmade. I think sewing needs to be marketed as something that’s 1) easy to learn and get started 2) useful and practical 3) special and unique. Women in my professional circles are typically very busy, and are often afraid to try anything they view as time consuming or difficult to learn.
Diane Doran says
Thanks for the interesting article. Having quilted since the 80’s (when I was in my mid 20’s, childless, and was working as an aerospace engineer, and there weren’t many quilters like me) it’s been interesting to watch the evolution of the craft. Kudos to you for working to bring young quilters into the fold. New quilters mean more than just keeping the industry alive, as they also bring vitality and new ideas that we can all embrace.
Pepper Cory says
Enjoyed reading the article and think you’ve made excellent sense. BTW I AM 64 and I started quilting when I was 19. I was in the first wave of the quilting revival sparked by the Bicentennial of 1976. I opened a quilt shop when I was 25 years old and ran it until I was 33–not exactly a stellar record but it made me realize what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Have made a living since then! What I fought against was the same image: a grey-haired grandmother piecing scraps together and my own grandmother’s prejudice–she thought the pastel quilts and kits of the 30s and 40s were real art and I was wasting time and money. I assumed that other older people would disapprove of my hippie fabrics (if it was tie-dyed or paisley I wanted it-) and walked into a hand quilting bee at a church with an attitude. I walked out three years later with many more skills and a definite quilting ‘backbone’ (as in do your own thing but do it well). My truest quilt inspiration were not any one personality but rather the late 19th century anonymous Southern scrap quilters. I translated their ‘use it or lose it’ attitude and will work with any fabric at hand.
If we stay in this craft and business, we need to serve some sort of apprenticeship and we need to actively find our mentors. Financially supporting retailers and suppliers is one thing but the most important thing is to keep on making quilts. I’ve made tons of quilts and some of them were lousy, some are gone, and others are treasured by the their owners. But the best thing is that I’ve taught a lot of people to quilt.
Great article! It is coming up to a year since I first started quilting and I am beyond hooked! I am happy to share that my experience with the quilting community has been extremely positive to date. I reached out to my guild here in Montreal and, even though I had been quilting for only a couple of months, the team was beyond inviting and supportive. The tips and tricks they have shared has been really helpful. And just having a place to go and spend time with like minded creatives has been truly awesome. I hope to be able to spread that good cheer and welcoming feeling to other quilters – new and pro alike 🙂 Keep up the great work!
Lyric Kinard says
I feel like I’ve always had a foot in both worlds… the baby in every quilting group I’ve been in for the past 25 years – which says a lot about the quilt world not having brought in new blood in the past 20 years. I have always also had much younger friends. I now travel and teach to quilt guilds and like to shake things up by teaching new ways to see and think and design rather than how to sew. Most of them in the guilds know how to sew. In the “outside” world I have a standing and often used offer that I will teach anyone to sew – following their lead with whatever they are interested in learning to make. It is so refreshing and fun to see the young crowd coming in! I do hear gripes here and there – but they are usually talking about false divisions of us vs. them. When I ask if this is a perception or an actual experience rarely is it something they have personally experienced. I then go on gushing about how wonderful it is that the quilt world has room for EVERYONE and how great it is that we all love different things while still swimming in this small pond. Wouldn’t it be an incredibly boring, robotish world if we all loved the same things?
Good for you for taking this on!!!
The shop where I work/teach paid for a booth at a Maker Faire. We hung a variety of quilts and did make-and-takes and talked about quilting and sewing. It was a lot of fun and introduced tons of people of all ages to a different idea of quilting than they’d had.
Ivete @ Gotham Quilts says
What a great idea!
Jess @ Quilty Habit says
Thank you for this wonderful editorial. I’m 26 and have been sewing since I was 20. I sew every single day and I know it’s unusual for my age group, haha! Anyway, there’s also an interesting divide between young people who want to quilt vs. sew bags/clothes. They are two different skill sets (though there’s obviously a lot of overlap) and almost everyone my age who has shown interest doesn’t go for quilts (totally fine, but it makes me sad).
This was a very interesting article , When my Grand daughter was about 6 she was very interested in my sewing room, I bought a book on decorating children’s rooms with wall hangings etc and we sat one day looking at it and I told her I would help her make a quilt one days. Surprisingly enough on her next visit she when asked what she wanted to do, she said ” I want to make that house quilt I saw in your Book”, She was hooked, Besides the house we made a lot of pillows for friends and relatives (nothing for herself) I pointed out from the beginning that everything she made didn’t have to be like the picture/pattern When her mother took an interest in the House she wanted to add a curtain, then thought she hadn’t done it incorrectly Gaby told her” Mommy this is our quilt it doesn’t matter” Her mother is now spending her spare time quilting, but doesn’t like my old “Granny” stash material, and orders more modern material and patterns (which I don’t like) lol !! Gaby has told her class about her current project and the teacher mentioned asking me in to talk to the class. Once we have more dependable weather I will follow up. and try to have her friends over to visit, Starting with simple projects like pillows and wall hangings.
Bye the way I am 74 and recently moved closer to my Grand children, Gaby spends every Tuesday afternoon after school with me, mostly quilting but occasionally playing games, Her 3 yr old sister has taken an interest in my stash and help push the start button on my machine to make her a small Blankie made with her box of scraps arranged her way, So hope lies ahead, Now if I could just find a Adult Guild for myself- they again I might not have time. ( Wishful thinking ?). .
Gai Taylor says
I was a vendor at QuiltCon and observed you interviewing vendors. I would have loved to have given you some insight into quilting from a shop owner, vendor at many quilt shows both here in Australia and overseas and as a mother and mother in law of quilters who are in their 30s.some of the situations that you speak of in your article can be laid squarely at the feet of the shop owners and teachers within those stores. These people are too scared to embrace something that is outside the box for fear of “failure or ridicule”. The interesting thing was that for the first two days of QuiltCon there was a much older attendance who were constantly saying to me how overwhelmed they were. Saturday’s attendees were more with in.
Phylllis Macdonald says
Loved the article.
, I was recently at the Phoenix Quilt Week show and although the quilts were wonderful, it was more and more of the same old same old., There were lovely Baltimore quilts, and many star quilts but the new and different didn’t command many spots in the show. The quilts that were there were beautifully pieced and wonderfully quilted but I had seen so many similar quilts at many other shows.
If our art is to continue to thrive, we have to continue to value the old but add to the mixture the new and wonderful.
Jen - A Quilting Jewel says
I started quilting seriously when I was in high school, but I grew up doing crafts all the time. I agree, when I say that I’m a quilter, I almost feel like I need to justify myself and explain that I’m not your traditional quilter – I’m a modern quilter that is a founding member of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and I’ve been published in magazines in books.
My friends, the ones that see my quilts often, love that I quilt and many wish they had a hobby like mine. I’ve taught a couple to sew items, and they’ve expressed interest in doing it again, but it’s not a priority to them right now. I think when a lot of them start having kids (we’re all in our early to mid 30’s), they might pick it up more and join me. But, they all love the work I do and are some of my biggest fans.
That being said, I was somewhat discouraged in middle school when I took home economics. I knew more than my teacher about sewing and cooking. I was the star student, helping students, doing my own thing and being super creative. I got a B. My younger sister, that still texts me my “recipe” for scrambled eggs at 29, knew nothing about cooking or sewing and barely managed to make anything, got an A. It was extremely discouraging and made me second guess myself.
We need to encourage everyone, regardless of skill and aesthetic preferences. Then, and only then, will we see the younger generation join the quilting community.
Valerie Mendenhall says
I wonder if the period after which “Home Economics” was phased out of junior high & middle schools marked the decline in people’s interest in quilting?
Jen Treadway says
Valerie, I was wondering the same thing. My mom sewed, out of necessity, back when you could make your own clothes for less than you could buy them but I learned to sew in Home Economics. Now, I send my daughter to a local sewing school (she is 10 and has been going for 3 years) because I simply don’t have time to teach her and know she will not get a chance to learn in school. I can say in Salt Lake City, this school is doing a good business teaching boys and girls to sew with fun, accessible projects. We have a large number of quilting stores and a lot of them stock modern style projects and fabrics. I haven’t bothered to consider the average customer age, though. I would not be surprised if it is up around 64 for one simple reason. Time. My mom is a great example. She didn’t START quilting until she retired because that was when she was finally able to have the time to do so. Thank you for the great article.
Rachel B says
Agree with you… I think one of the biggest reasons most quilters are older is because that is generally when people have more disposable time and income. My mom has always sewed and quilted, and taught me to do a bit when I was younger, but she only ever made one quilt a year or so for each niece/nephew when they graduated. She didn’t have time to do more (still doesn’t, at 56), and I would love to quilt (I’m 28), but have been busy and don’t have much money to buy the fabric I want. It’s not nearly as fun with ugly fabric.
Jennifer Moore says
That’s all so true! Thanks for sharing about your experiences and your mom’s. The next live show topic is actually going to be about the cost of sewing and how to do it on a budget.
I think the one thing experienced quilters can do is be enthusiastic and encouraging to quilters of all skills and styles. As an experienced quilter I can laugh when someone tells me there is only “one right way” to do something (usually the way I didn’t do it) or tells me my design choices are “interesting”. A beginner may not have the confidence to laugh in those situations. Be nice, be supportive and don’t give advice unless you are asked!
Sue Miller says
I love this article and it is so apt. Today my state guild in Australia finally shared a facebook page that they started at the beginning of the year. I was at their AGM last year and they were talking about the fact that their membership was declining and that they needed to attract newer members.
Well I am glad to say that they are trying. They now have a facebook page, are using Mailchimp are actively marketing pop up shops for their members trying to get them to buy local. I pitched a workshop to the guild and they have signed me up – I am going to teach the members how to use facebook and instagram – so that they can advertise their own shows.
However, there is still too much criticism of the new breed of quilters. We respect the traditional quilting, although fabric and style may not be our choice. This is reflected in the fact that a lot of modern quilts are based on old designs.
Thanks for what you are doing,
Ivete @ Gotham Quilts says
Great editorial! My business partner and I (both 35) started Gotham Quilts 2 years ago in NYC in part because we want to encourage and teach new young(er), urban quilters here in the city. As part of our commitment to bringing new sewists and quilters into the community, we teach a monthly free “Sewing Machine Basics” class for complete beginners to learn the basics of using a sewing machine. So far the class has sold out every time!
I agree with you about what you see as the barriers to entry for younger people. An additional problem I’ve seen is that sewing is not portable and you need a decent amount of space at home for a sewing machine. In comparison, knitting is portable and takes up no space, which I think is part of why more young people knit than quilt…
Melanie Smith says
I’m with you! I think we have to focus not only on the millennials, but even younger… Whatever they are calling that generation! Teaching kids sewing camps are a great way to get them interested. I’ve been doing it for a couple years. Fortunately I live near a beautiful shop loaded with bright modern fabrics. I send all my students there, because the desire to sew begins with the eye candy! Civil war repro fabrics aren’t enticing To younger generations. I’m not sure how these quilt shops don’t get that!
As a modern Australian quilter who started in her mid 30’s, I totally understand where you are coming from with you reference to your local quilt store. Do you have any ideas how I can approach my 2 LQS to broach the subject? One I have an ok relationship with, but the other, they look at me as if I was from another planet. I rarely buy anything there, not because I don’t have money burning a hole in my pocket, but because in a year, their stock has hardly changed at all, and doesn’t look like it has for the last 20. Help?!?
Also, I agree about the “alien” comment, even more so in Australia as quilting is so much a rarer pastime here. Although in the Aussie defense, we have an over abundance of talented, fresh modern quilters who are just starting to take the world by storm. I personally know two who have new books coming out, as well as their own fabric lines. We may have had a slow start, but we are catching up fast!
Kaitie Logsdon says
I am a 24 year old who learned to sew in high school. My mom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas one year so I could make a quilt with my t-shirts. I started sewing again two years ago and have not looked back since. I brainstorm every day how I can make a career in the quilting industry. There are SO MANY genius ideas. New rulers, spectacular patterns, quilter’s planners, fantastic blogs and tutorials, quilting themed apparel, etc. I keep waiting for the idea to come to me and I’ll somehow make it happen. Until then…I will keep brainstorming and keep creating.
Jennifer Moore says
Kaitie, love your amazing attitude! Your idea will come, mine took three years! And you’ve got plenty of time on your side! What’s your professional background? Maybe I can help you brainstorm? I’ve got a knack for helping other people with coming up with ideas!
I don’t quilt much, my passion is garment sewing. In 2010 I started an offline networking group called the Denver Sewing Collective. What has been my passion is to bring old and new sewers together. I think it’s important not to alienate any age in my group. I have people that are 70+ and their knowledge is so valuable and the younger set gyrates to these folks naturally for their insight.
We need to be patient to a degree with both sides of the generational isle.
I also work in the sewing industry and I’m so jazzed by people who want to do things differently. It’s an exciting time. There’s plenty of talent, ideas, fabric and thread for everyone.
But, won’t I don’t get is businesses delivering rude service. I’ve had rude service from ‘hipsters’ I’ve had rude service from older ladies behind the counter. In this day and age, sorry that is just a big fat NO. We’ve all been to a fabric store that was just awful service, and generally I don’t have patience for that nonsense.
I’m cooling on online groups. I love working with people face-to-face and being a conduit for real time, hands on engagement.
Great post and good luck!
Elizabeth McDonald says
I loved your editorial! I am about to turn 70, and was startled and amazed to read that the average quilter is around 64 years of age. I relate to quilting and quilters mostly online, and have been awed at the number of talented quilters in their 30’s and 40’s blazing a trail to modern quilting. People of all ages have something to offer to our craft, and I hate the idea of anyone being turned away for being creative. To me, quilting is about finding your own voice. Perhaps we need to encourage beginning quilters to play, to ask “What if…?” and experiment as they create. Rigid following of rules prevents people from finding new and better ways of doing things; the Quilt Police are not welcome at my home!
Karen Murray Boston says
I just came across your article on attracting more young people to quilting and I love it! I started quilting 2 years ago at 54 – relatively young in many quilt circles – and while I love reproduction quilts, I also am finding lots of fun in modern designs and fabric. The local/regional big quilt show this past weekend held a common conversation – where are the young people? As I think you have many valid points, may I share the article with the guilds I belong to? I have some ideas about bringing the “two worlds” of quilters together and your insights are fabulous! Thank you so much.
Karen Murray Boston
Jennifer Moore says
Thanks so much Karen! You’re welcome to share the link with anyone, I’d just kindly ask that you not publish/email/make copies of the text of the article.
Karen Murray Boston says
Thank you so much! Also, would love to chat more with you about your ideas for attracting millennials. I am the Marketing Director for my local quilting shop which is traditional. We are interested in branching out, so we are pulling together some initiatives. Any conversation is appreciated. Thank you again!
I made my first quilt my first year of college, but didn’t get really into it until about a year ago. Now at 24, I love it. I rarely meet young people in person who are into the hobby. Sit and Sews are always filled with older woman, and I have to hunt for younger more modern fabric at shops. If you are looking for a younger more supportive demographic, you should look at EPP on Instagram. It is a very supportive community and where I’ve found my niche. Best of luck.