The 2017 Quilting in America™ study took a specific look at a group of younger quilters, those under the age of 45. The complete study indicated an average age for the dedicated quilter of 63, down from 64 in 2014. Over time the average age had been increasing. This was the first time that the study delineated results for this subgroup.
The study reveals some important observations about this younger group of quilters. They are more likely to be an occasional quilter and less committed to the craft, largely based on time and work constraints. Here is what the studied showed about this important group:
- Educated (4-year college graduate 35%; Post graduate degree 23%)
- Affluent ($98,000 average household income)
- More likely to be an occasional quilter, however, they still devote on average 10 hours a week to quilting vs. 13 for the total sample, which is substantial given the other demands on their time. And, this group is two times more likely to be employed full-time while devoting this time to her craft.
- Though more likely to be beginners, this age group is not an entirely a “newbie” group as the percentage of Intermediates is on par with the total sample.
- 26% have purchased a traditional sewing machine and 26% attended a quilt show in the past year, suggesting a growing commitment to quilting
- Modern quilting is much more prevalent in this age group
- In general their dollar expenditure is less but only by 10%, and that is largely driven by lower spending on machines and equipment
- Websites (75%) and online video (63%) play a stronger role for information and inspiration than the total sample.
- Facebook, lnstagram and Pinterest are important sources for this group
- In addition to Internet search and social media, blogs are also important to this group
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 Arts. The 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
What are your thoughts about the survey results? One of the challenges for those of us who have been in the industry for many years is to encourage this younger demographic. This is critical if we want the industry to continue to thrive and to grow. By understanding where the younger quilters learn and how they connect, we can be in a better position to do so. I also thought that the amount of time they dedicated to quilting isn’t that much different than the dedicated quilter, less than 30 minutes a day. As this group ages and has more unrestricted time, I wonder if they won’t devote even more time to the art form so many of us love.