I'm wondering what quilters in other parts of the country sense about the level of interest in quilting. This is JMHO but in watching my local quilt guild and seeing where the big Q shows are heading, I sense a waning of quilt fever.
My local guild of 20-25 members, all strong quilters, has declined to about 15 members. The older, more "expert" quilters are dying off. They were the ones with patience and ability to be precise in cutting, stitching, etc. They enjoyed the long-term projects and loved trying new skills. They were the ones who were the first to embrace rotary cutters and cutting mats and were exhuberant enough about the "new" methods that they donated a mat and cutter to the local library. It was there donation that provided me the first opportunity to try out the new equipment and I was hooked.
The remaining members of this guild consist largely of younger women who want a quickie quilt and are not willing to produce their grandmother's quilts...not that they need to. They buy the more inexpensive fabrics, stretching their quilting dollars by avoiding the high-end fabs at Q stores.
I would venture that most quilters of my era (I'm in my sixties) have been collecting fabric long enough that they realize they will never use up what they have. They have shelves and shelves of fabric and tubs and tubs stashed here and there. Every color, every pattern, every style. Their buying frenzy is coming to an end.
In the 1970s when the fabrics began evolving from the single line of red, blue, green tiny calicoes of that time, we were so fascinated with the new fabs that many of us bought some of everything. Now the companies are coming out with so many new lines that we realize we will NEVER be able to buy everything NEW out there. At least that is how it is for me. Now I buy for a project...and seldom even for that, as my stash covers most of my needs...especially since my quilting libido is low. LOL.
On top of all that, the price of fabrics has stretched to the limit. Many younger women who might be looking for a handiwork hobby are gravitating towards beading, crochet, knitwork. Not that yarns are cheap by any means nor beads, either. Still, they can buy the necessary materials for a complete project cheaper than they can build a quilt. AND they can carry it with them in a bag or pouch or store it in a small corner in their small apartments and condos. The luxury of a dedicated sewing room seems most often to be the perogative of women whose chicks have flown the coop, leaving a vacant bedroom turned sewing room.
Frankly going to a big Q show once or twice is enough for me. Seeing those stupendous prize-winning quilts makes me realize that my quilts are simple indeed and I will never attain to their status (nor do I wish to). It is MHO that there is something obsessively compulsive about spending 24/7 on a single quilt in order to gain national status and a $10,000 prize while your hubby does the cooking and the housework. That type of quilt fever is much, much more obsessive/compulsive than I (who am mildly obsessive/compulsive by genes) could ever be.
Now there's a title for some winning quilt at Houston or Paducah...."Obsessively Compulsive". ROFLOL
OKay, so I woke up judgmental but these are simply my thoughts and I hope the reader will forgive me thinking online. LOL. I'll go on making my simple quilts and enjoy the act of creativity and enjoy their light cover during a nap, enjoy the light bedspread made of shirt fabrics, etc. And while I don't begrudge the quilt fever of the prize winners at Houston or Paducah, I do figure I will decline to ever go to one of those shows again. I much prefer to go to a local guild show where I can view and enjoy the handiwork/creativity of hometown people who want to display their lovely-homey (not homely) quilt and where I can vicariously enjoy their pleasure at having completed a new "real" quilt.
Submitted very humbly, even if opinionated. LOL.