Saturday, April 14, 2007

Are you a dedicated quilter

Which part of the quilting process do you least like and what do you do to motivate yourself through it?

For me, basting is both boring and usually painful – either I end up kneeling on dodgy knees as I crawl around the floor or I end up stooping over tables too low. Either can be dealt with by breaks and a couple of judicious yoga poses but that still leaves the tedium which I deal with my listening to quilting podcasts on my MP3. Nothing fires me up for quilting than listening to someone else passionate about their projects.

Which is how I came to be in a rather dreary basement workshop room putting almost 400 safety pins into the African ladies quilt .... with a little bit of initial help from Dennis before he went off to more interesting things.. Once he went I started to listen to Alex Anderson’s The Quilting Connection. There were two separate episodes I wanted to mention.

The first was the one where she says for her the binding is the worst part and her version of binding is to whip out her cheque book and get someone else to do it. Which made me wonder why I didn’t just send my quilt over to Chris Marriage and get her to baste on her long arm machine!

But, even as I was bleeding from having stuck a pin under the nail of my forefinger, I was captivated by some statistics Alex was passing on from the 2006 Quilts Inc survey.

Part of that survey is of ‘dedicated’ quilters which they define as someone who spends over US$600 a year on quilting. Hey, that’s me! Is it you? Here are the vital stats [with my response in square brackets]. I’d love you to comment and let me know how much like or not like you this is.

Apparently the average US dedicated quilter is:

Female. [check!]

59. [I am 36 and have always found that whatever I do I seem to be the youngest person doing it, so no change there.]

72% are collage educated. [I have been to 4 universities and 1 college of law for my sins!]

She has been quilting for 13.5 years. [ I notch up 15 months. And that would make them 45 when they started so I am still young!]

She spends an average of $2,300 a year on quilting. [I probably should not admit this on line but I reckon I beat that figure in sterling which has twice the value – although fabric is about twice the price here so perhaps it means I end up at around that figure]

83% have their own quilting space. [Technically the dining room is shared apace but as you can’t see the table for fabric…..]

Their stash contains $3,000 worth of fabric. [Umm – without checking I’d estimate mine has about £1,000 ( lots of it bought on sale)- but give me 13.5 years and I bet I beat that figure by miles].

She owns 2.6 sewing machines. [Nope – just one good one. Although if it makes me normal I guess I could get one with a stitch regulator on as well.]

She bought 98 yards of fabric last year. [Yeah – and the rest – I bought 35 this fortnight , 43.25 at the Craftsandquilts January sale and 34 metres at the Nantwich January sale….. and I have not exactly been abstinent on my Penrith trips in between.]

She has 4.2 quilting magazine subscriptions per year. [ I get 6 but I cut them up, toss the adverts and file the articles so perhaps I only keep 4.2]

She buys 5 books a year. [Pause while I hold my side in laughter. I think I managed 60 odd last year. I bought 2 this week alone. Well, no actually Dennis bought one because I pleaded poverty… with justification given the above information don’t you think?

So what is your verdict? Am I dedicated or just in need of a 12 step programme?
And how do you compare?


Thimbleanna said...

My verdict is that you are indeed dedicated! And way ahead of me in the spending department. How I stack up...Female, a wee bit more than 1/2 way between you and 59 (please don't make me say it!), college educated, quilting for 20 years, don't keep track of how much I spend 'cause I DON'T want to know, I share my space with the furnace (ick.), 20 years of quilting means way more than $3k of stash, 3 sewing machines, don't keep track of yardage (see spending habits), 2 quilting subscriptions, and books a year? That's hard -- maybe one or two, but probably because I already have so many and I find that most new books are just a re-hash of something that's already out there. Fun survey -- thanks for sharing!!

Helen said...

Hey, we all need a 12 step programme! For the basting tables I suggest you get some 40mm (about)diameter plumbing pipe cut into equal lengths to put the legs of the table into. The length you cut them will depend on the finished height required. The height of your kitchen bench isusually a good guide if you are comfortable working at that. 4 for each table and, hey presto, easy to use and no sore, aching backs! We do this for our quilt club tables and what a difference it has made!

Diana said...

You are definitely dedicated!

I think I must fit in the dedicated category, too. A little younger, college educated, quilting for about ten years now, spending way too much on way too much fabric, and quilting in my daughter's old bedroom. I only have 2 subscriptions and 1 sewing machine, though. Can that get me off the hook?!?

BTW, basting is the absolute worst! I do it on the floor, and the only way I keep myself motivated to finish in one sitting is knowing that my constantly shedding Corgi will roll around on the quilt if I don't get it off the floor before she finds it.