I’m sorry I keep forgetting to post the “Tell it to the Stars” discussion questions on Monday night!
Here’s the question for this week:
What do you consider the biggest changes you’ve seen in the quilting industry through the years?
My answer would be several things, which I’ve mentioned before:
- When I first began quilting, anything done by machine was kinda considered cheating, at least in the area where we were located. Anything done by machine didn’t get much credit at quilt shows. That has certainly changed.
- Longarm quilters were rare when I first began. I had been quilting for several years before I even knew such a thing existed. Now many people have their quilting machine of some sort, even if they don’t quilt for others but just do their own quilts.
- When I first began quilting, for the most part, all patterns were purchased at the quilt shop. Now, we have Electric Quilt and design our own or share patters via the internet.
- Can you imagine what quilters in our grandmothers’ days would have thought of rotary cutters, Accuquilt, etc.?
Tell us some of the things that you think have been big changes!
Imagine what our grand mothers or even our mothers would think of today’s price of a yard of fabric!
I think rotory cutters and cutting mats changed the quilting world. It moved it into more a fast pace world. Quilting newsletter with its displays of inovative free flying artist changed the quilt world. Now you could do anything at all and if it was snadwiched, it was a quilt. Books like like “around the block quilts gave us new directions in our happy little groups. When were quilt teachers born? And replaced mom and grandma and your neighbor? Qu stretch it like Jenny Beyers,Cory Pepper, The fun gals at Buggy Barn,, Jan Patek who said you can be warm and simple,Hudy Hopkins,, Nancy Johnson-Sebrebro. So many thinkers to give us skills and then set us free, Roberta Horton and the keeper of the key to follow your own working pattern, Andra Boloskey, Quilt Mannia –.We have been given “permission” to set our own goals, and peremeters have fun, and yet be true to ourselvelf, To see with new eyes. It make me want to sing! Thank you quilters everywhere for doing your thing!!! And for communicating the things that drive you, that you can use, and secrets of YOUR persona.
Sorry for the above spelling and writing. My mind has wings, my fingers still wear muck boots.
One of the big changes I haven’t seen mentioned yet is the vast amount of “designer” fabrics in quilt shops today. When I started quilting we bought fabrics that had a company name on the selvage such as P&B or Cranston, Hoffman, or Kaldor. Who designed the fabric was rarely stated.
OH Rotary cutters by far changed my ability! I became more accurate, and was happier w my results. which spurred me to do more. eventually attempting long arm I’m not that good at it but no one is c/o and I’m not in any quilt shows but that’s OK.
1-that hand quilters (me) are becoming a rarity
2-free patterns on the internet – who would have thought
3- learning how to quilt by reading blogs and sharing information
4-rotary cutters and mats
5-that people think nothing of purchasing very high price sewing machines that cost as much as their car – or close 🙂
There were no quilt shops. The first time I bought fabric for a quilt was at Sears! Back then they had a catalog and you could order fabric from it. After they closed there were very few places to get fabric and the selection was limited. I didn’t know anyone who made quilts.
I remember seeing my first quilt magazine in 1984 while waiting in line at the grocery store. I just about jumped up and down. I still have that magazine.
I started quilting with a rotary cutter and mat. I have been making clothes since I was 8 years old – taught by my mother who was a beautiful seamstress. I then taught my mother to quilt and she loved it. Unfortunately, she lost her eyesight shortly afterwards. She gave me her machine, fabric etc. I finished her first quilt for her 90th birthday. She did not want gifts. I took to quilt for the party (after she had broken her hip. Her first trip out of rehab for her party. She was in tears. She napped under that quilt daily until her death a year later.
I love my turning mat, love my Accuquilt GO – especially for straight strips and borders. I almost bought the Studio-just not enough room. I have EQ but am waiting for the Mac version to come out.
I love my APQS longarm, getting better the more quilts I do. My Circle Lord. My pantos. Love to free motion as well.
The fabrics have come a long way. Love all batiks and Modas (and many others).
I just love to make quilts!
Jan O in ST Louis says
The sheer size of the “quilting industry” is amazing! Who would have thought, back in the day, that there’d be so many prestigious shows, so many celebrity designers, so many fabric lines as we have now….And the influence of the internet and social media cannot be understated. We are a community even though we work in our own studios and may never meet each other.
Stephani in N. TX says
I am a life-long stitcher, sewing goodies, working wardrobe, baby clothes, home dec, etc. However, I rejected quilting for a long time because I saw quilters tearing fabric to keep it on the grain. Never thought I could deal with all the threads! Rotary cutters and cutting mats changed my mind and I am on-board for quilting and no other machine stitching, not even mending (well, not often anyway.)
Sharon Downey says
My mother in law showed me how to cut my pieces and piece them together. We used cardboard cut from cereal boxes as our pattern. Drew around them with pencil and cut them out with scissors. It was a laborious task and a wonder I didn’t quit then. New patterns came from a subscription to “Stitch and Sew while I was in Germany with my soldier husband and far away from home. Machine sewing the pieces was scorned and not treated well by so called experts. The rotary cutter and mats and quicker ways to cut the strips and then pieces from the strips made such a difference and I love the free patterns we can get from the internet. I also love the sharing that takes place on the internet. So much better than the way it used to be. Quilting has come such a long way since 1968. Yeah for that.
It seems an explosion occurred; the realization and recognition that sewing and quilting are artforms and not done only out of necessity. As the technology improved, the level of creativity, speed of completion and complexity at which quilts were completed also improved exponentially. Through technology and new tools, quilters can now automate their work: improved stitch regulated machines, digitizing software, and sewing computers. Quilts with dense machine embroidery can be completed in weeks vs years when done by hand. The quilting community, by design or by accident, latched onto technology and opened the floodgates of quilting education at every level…. leveraging technology to free the creative spirit.
I have some snippets of a quilt that was made by my great grandmother … she quilted it by machine. She made one for each of her grandchildren and the last known one was getting ragged, so my aunt had pieces salvaged and gave them to all the women and girls … it was my first glimpse that the “old” quilters would definitely have appreciated our “new” methods 😉
Sue S says
I agree that all of the information on the internet makes it quick to find a pattern and go to town. I think the rotary cutter and mat made amazing changes to the speed with which quilters now work. And I love the quantity and quality of today’s fabrics, although my heart belongs to those ladies who made do, used up and repurposed.
My vote is for mats and rotary cutters and the internet as the most revolutionary changes. Mats and rotary cutters make it so easy to be precise, and the internet allows you to find patterns, long arm quilters, specialty threads, battings, etc. I wouldn’t have found the wonderful person who does my long arm quilting without the internet.
On the downside, the economy has been making my fabric and quilting stores disappear since the early 2000’s. The closest fabric stores to me take more than 45 minutes drive; we have a Joanne’s but I don’t like the quality of the fabric. I’ve had quilts (like my grandson’s) where the dyes washed out by the end of the first year of use, so I don’t buy from them any more.
Margaret R says
The internet has had a huge influence on quilting. Not only because we are able to share knowledge but it makes the whole industry right at your fingertips. I have learned so much in the last two years from blogs and YouTube. Blogs have further expanded the quilting community to outside of your local quilt shop. I am amazed at what you can learn from bloggers. I really appreciate the amount of information and talents they are willing to share.