Quilting is big business. In 2010, Quilting In America released statistical data showing that there are 21 million quilters in the United States and the quilting industry is a $3.63 billion enterprise. Last year when I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston, I found out that the Quilt Show was the LARGEST single convention held at the Houston Convention Center - and had over 60,000 attendees. Very impressive!
When I started quilting a little over 2 years ago, I immediately started surfing the web to find out what I could and get tips, tutorials and tricks online to improve my abilities. I found such a wealth of information, it has made the whole process so much more fulfilling to find others out there also excited and into quilting.
In January, I saw this article in Southern Living declaring that there is a "New Quilting Craze" - it highlights online guilds and bees.
Certainly, the average age of quilters I've come into contact with here in Austin is somewhat older than me, but I have found these women to all be generous with their skill and their time - everyone is glad I'm there and glad to have younger women getting excited about this craft.
So, I'm going to do my part to encourage people to try quilting - you are making an heirloom gift for someone you love - something they will keep and treasure as long as they own it. The true enjoyment and pride for me comes in giving something to someone I have made with my own hands. I look forward to many more years of honing my skills and converting people into new quilters!