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Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry

November 8th, 2017 by Morna

HOUSTON- October 27, 2017- The results are in for the Quilting in America™ 2017 Survey. The survey shows that the annual industry value in terms of consumer spending is $3.7 billion. Quilting in America™ is presented by The Quilting Company and Quilts, Inc., but conducted independently by ORC International and Advantage Research, Inc.

Highlights of the Survey show an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S., the total number of households with a quilter at 6 to 8.3 million, and an average dollar spending per quilting household at $442 annually- that’s a 48% increase over 2014. Modifications to information gathering for the 2017 Survey also reflect an even more accurate assessment than previous editions.

“Dedicated quilters are spending more time and money than in the past. It’s also exciting to see that over the past few years there has been a tremendous increase in the number of quilters who are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital resources to learn about quilting and buy quilting related products,” says John Bolton, Senior VP and General Manager, F+W Media.

“I know that quilters create with their hands, but they often speak with their dollars. And I am very glad to see that they are speaking loudly with their purchasing power,” adds Quilts, Inc. CEO and Founder Karey Bresenhan. “I am honored to be involved in such a creative and artistic community. An added bonus is that quilters are just some of the warmest and most generous human beings I’ve ever come across.”

Dedicated Quilters

Within that total group of U.S. quilters are “Dedicated Quilters” who spend $500 or more a year on their art form and hobby. The average Dedicated Quilter is female, 63 years old (down by a year in age since 2014), and has been quilting for 19 years. She is well educated (70% attended college), affluent (average household income of $95,900), and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles (85%) over modern {37%) and art (20%).

Other trends noted among the Dedicated Quilters — who are responsible for 72.2% of entire industry spending — are higher levels of purchases of longarm machines, cotton thread, and pre-wound bobbins. Overall spending by Dedicated Quilters has also increased.

Large percentage jumps since the 2014 survey were also seen in those who get information from quilting-related websites (64%, up from 28%), learn from online classes and videos (52%, up from 30%), and are active in quilt-related social media (5O%, up from 14%). They are also spending an average of 2.5 more hours overall online browsing quilt-related websites, and 68% of them are purchasing items online.

Finally, data showed that a younger group of Dedicated Quilters under the age of 45 are a rapidly growing segment of the quilting population. While this important group is often involved in quilting less due to time, work, and family constraints, they still devote an average of 10 hours a week to quilting. Quilters under 45 spend only 10% less than those of a higher age bracket, but do have a higher participation rate of time spent on quilting-related websites and online video viewing. We’ll cover the Under 45 Quilter in more depth next week.

About the Quilting in America™ survey and its partners

Quilting in America™ 2017 is the eighth in a series of studies done since 1994 with the intent of measuring the amount of time and money quilters spend on their hobby in addition to profiling the key segments of the market.

The study is conducted in two phases: Phase I, administered by ORC International in January 2017, involved surveying an online, national panel of households to measure incidence of participation and the dollar value of the quilting industry. When 6,105 completed surveys were received, ORC closed the survey for tabulation. This information, along with new sources of market data that were not previously available, were used to present the 2017 findings.

Phase II was conducted by Advantage Research, Inc. in April and May 2017. Survey invitations were sent to a total of 415,104 quilters over a period of several weeks. The invitees were comprised of customers from APQS, The Quilting Company, Hobbs Batting, Northcott Fabrics, Quilting Treasures, and Quilts, Inc. When the survey closed, a total of 21,347 completed surveys had been received, yielding a response rate of 5.1%.

The Quilting Company, a division of F+W Media LLC, is building off the tradition and excellence of established brands including Fons & Porter, McCall’s, and Quilting ArtsThe Quilting Company is dedicated to inspiring, educating, and equipping quilters of all interests and skill levels. Its websites, online education programs, video services, live events, magazines, and books all serve to meet the needs of the quilter wherever they may be. Building Your Passion Piece by Piece. www.quiltingcompany.com.

Quilts, Inc. is the producer of the wholesale industry trade show International Quilt Market (fall edition since 1979, spring since 1981) and consumer show International Quilt Festival (Houston edition since 1974, Chicago edition since 2003}. The Houston Festival is the largest quilt show in the U.S. and regularly attracts more than,55,000 attendees from 35 countries. We’re Quilts! www.quilts.com

Your turn!

What are your thoughts about the survey results? I’m excited about the drop in age of the average quilter.

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3 Responses to “Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry”


  1. Christine Scholz said:

    Thanks for the article! Just wanted to let you know that the links provided do not work. I had not heard of The Quilting Company and can’t find anything online about it other than F&W Media’s website, but I don’t see a mention of The Quilting Company. I went to quilts.com and found the report. Just thought you would want to know.


  2. Morna said:

    Christine, Thanks. I’ve got the extra code removed and the links now work. The Quilting Company is a new venture of F+W. It offers websites, online education programs, video services, live events, magazines, and books to meet the needs of the quilter at a variety of levels and interests. The site was not up when I wrote the post and it’s now in a Beta Mode.


  3. Christine Scholz said:

    Thanks Morna!

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