Nearly all Americans have heard about quilts, even if they have never owned one or made one. Quilts are shaped like blankets, but in fact, they do not actually have to be used like blankets. Some quilts are, but others are simply hung as decoration, such as custom memory quilts, custom quilts made of T-shirts, and the like. T-shirt quilt makers may accept custom quilt orders from many different clients, and once the clients send the raw materials (shirts), these T-shirt quilt makers may create handmade quilts of fine quality. Memory quilt makers may do something similar, using sentimental clothing, patterns, and more to create any image or message that the client wants. However, custom quilts are not so easy to make, and most Americans might turn to a pro quilt maker for help rather than try to make these quilts themselves. Once done, a custom quilt may stay in a family for generations, and some quilts today are in fact quite old. What is there to know about quilts?
Quilts always prove popular, and they are often made at the hands of pros who have the right materials and skills to create them. In fact, a 2014 study showed that in the United States in particular, quilt making is a robust industry, worth $3.7 billion or so. In that same study, experts determined that some 21 million Americans can make quilts, with at least 14% of American households including at least one quilt maker. Among those dedicated quilters, some 81% are traditionalists about how they make quilts, though 38% (including traditionalists) may use art quilting. Around 35% of quilters also use modern quilting styles, probably so they can appeal to a wider range of contemporary clients. Meanwhile, in Canada, the Canadian Quilters’ Association was founded in 1981, and today has some 20,000 members and has national conferences to keep this craft alive and well.
A dedicated quilter will have plenty of gear on hand to make custom quilts. On average, a dedicated quilter will have nearly $13,000 worth of tools and supplies of all kinds, and they may have a stash of fabric worth as much as $6,000. Most quilters have a studio or room dedicated entirely to making quilts. It is common for homeowners today to set aside a room strictly for hobbies or crafts, from Etsy style art to wood working to pottery, and this certainly includes quilt making, too.
Making a Quilt
Creating a quilt might be too tough for an ordinary customer, so instead, they can find quilt makers who are open to commissions. A quilt customer may specify the size and thickness they want their quilt to be, and send over supplies such as old T-shirts or blankets for the quilter to use. Quilts are often a personal expression, after all, and so sentimental supplies are often used for them. These may include old clothes two spouses have worn together, or all the clothes from the customer’s college years or even their childhood. A quilter will use padding and stuffing to make a quilt thick and soft, and they will sew together multiple layers of fabric to create the final product. Both in the past and in the present, quilts are multi-layered creations, and only an expert with the right sewing skills can assemble them and keep them cohesive.
A finished quilt may feature patterns of fabric from old shirts or clothes, and they can act as a collage of sorts. Some quilt owners put those quilts on top of bedsheets to act as a stylish and personal comforter, while other owners may get wooden frames to hold up a quilt as decoration. Some quilts might even be framed for display. Embroidery may help add extra messages to a quilt, such as commemorating a personal event like a child’s birth date or when two spouses first met. Quilts are great choice for creating sentimental good, and can eve act as gifts in this way. Two spouses might decide to get a quilt made as a joint anniversary gift, for example.