What makes a quilter dedicated?
Last weekend, I shared an infographic with all of you on the average spending habits of the "dedicated" quilter. There were some really interesting comments on how much you spend, how you budget and fund your habits, and how much your stash might be worth. But perhaps the most intriguing comments of all were the ones that questioned defining "dedicated quilter" by numbers (spending at least $600 per year or more).
Wendy said, "Like others who have already commented above, I think the term 'dedicated' should be used to refer to those who spend a large number of HOURS on quilting each month, not those with the deepest pockets. Quilting started out as a way to make much needed bed covers out of worn out garments. I don't like to think that quilting has now become a race to see who can spend the most, and amass the biggest stash of fabrics."
Very well-put, Wendy.
I understand that the study had to draw the line somewhere for its definition. Money was an easy place to start, but it would be a shame if quilting became a craft only accessible to the well-off. That's not how it started and not where it should end up.
I agree with the thought that the number of hours spent are more important in defining "dedicated quilter" than the number of dollars spent. After all, there might be quilters who, like our ancestors, make quilts from old scraps of fabrics, clothing, or sheets. Or there might be a modern-day Jane Stickle who has fewer finishes because she makes exquisitely intricate masterpieces. Her budget would be lower because she might only need to be fabric for one quilt a year. There are also those of us quilters who amass fabrics and supplies through generous gifts for birthdays and holidays. Our annual expenditure might be minimal, but our time spent quilting isn't.
But the longer I reflected on this, the more I realized that not even that was an acceptable defining characteristic. There are those of us who can't always find the time or energy to quilt frequently, but we love to read blogs, magazines, participate in forums, go to quilt shows, and are active in our local quilt guilds.
You see, you might have some times in your life where you can't dedicate the hours you wish you could to sewing. Babies come, illnesses strike, and family emergencies and difficult situations arise. Life happens.
So really, I don't think it's about the money spent. But it's also not just about the number of hours. Or the number of yearly finishes we have. Or our talent level. Or the number of years of experience under our belts. Or the quantity of quilt show awards we've won.
No, I believe "dedicated quilter" can be defined in no way other than passion.
...getting excited about fabrics, drooling over beautiful creations, delighting in quilty discussions, finding joy and healing through creating...