24 January 2007
Not just for squares
My experience with quilting totals one hand-decorated (and appliqued) square donated for a Good Cause many moons ago, so this statistic jumped out at me:
The "dedicated quilter," according to a 2006 Quilter's Newsletter Magazine survey, has more than $3,000 worth of fabric in her "stash" and $6,500 worth of quilting tools and supplies, including an average of 2.6 computerized sewing machines costing from $2,500 to $6,000.
And I bet that six-tenths of a machine is a pain to keep running, too.
This bit of news comes from Kathryn Jenson White in a two-page feature on quilting in this week's Oklahoma Gazette, along with the revelation that quilting is a $3.3-billion industry in the States, and that there are at least thirty active quilt guilds in Oklahoma.
Nor is it an old-lady pastime:
"We've seen a growth in younger quilters," says Oklahoma Quiltworks owner Barbara Stanfield, who employs 26 women part-time in addition to many teachers for the large number of classes the shop offers. "We have many now in their 20s to 40s. Some want to do something meaningful, to make something for future generations, but many women make quilts just for the love of it. They don't necessarily know what they're going to do with them."
While looking for stuff on guys who quilt, I found this:
African-American males ... are actively involved in the tradition of quilting. In 1996, the University of Maryland hosted "Made by Men: African American Traditional Quilts," featuring historic and contemporary quilts crafted by African-American men from across the U.S., including work by [Raymond] Dobard.
Some of this I'd learned in school and forgotten; much more of it I never knew at all. All the more reason to pass it on, I think.
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