News and Information

The Quilting in America™ 2017 survey

Total amount holds steady since last edition

The Quilting in America™ 2017 survey reports
annual industry value is $3.7 billion

HOUSTON – October 27, 2017 – The results are in for the Quilting in America™ 2017 Survey, and it shows that the annual industry value in terms of consumer spending is $3.7 billion. Quilting in America™ is presented by The Quilting Company and Quilts, Inc., but conducted independently by ORC International and Advantage Research, Inc.


Highlights of the Survey include that there are an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S., the total number of households with a quilter is 6 to 8.3 million, and that each quilting household spends an average of $442 annually – that’s a 48% increase over 2014. Modifications to information gathering for the 2017 Survey also reflect an even more accurate assessment than previous editions.


“Dedicated quilters are spending more time and money than in the past. It’s also exciting to see that over the past few years there has been a tremendous increase in the number of quilters who are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital resources to learn about quilting and buy quilting related products,” says John Bolton, Senior VP and General Manager, F+W Media.


“I know that quilters create with their hands, but they often speak with their dollars. And I am very glad to see that they are speaking loudly with their purchasing power,” adds Quilts, Inc. CEO and Founder Karey Bresenhan. “I am honored to be involved in such a creative and artistic community. An added bonus is that quilters are just some of the warmest and most generous human beings I’ve ever come across.”


Within that total group of U.S. quilters are “Dedicated Quilters” who spend $500 or more a year on their art form and hobby. The average Dedicated Quilter is female, 63 years old, down by a year in age since 2014, and has been quilting for 19 years. She is well educated (70% attended college), affluent (average household income of $95,900), and leans toward a preference of traditional quilting styles (85%) over modern (37%) and art (20%).


Other trends noted among the Dedicated Quilters – who are responsible for 72.2% of entire industry spending – are higher levels of purchases of longarm machines, cotton thread, and pre-wound bobbins. Overall spending by Dedicated Quilters has also increased.


Large percentage jumps since the 2014 survey were also seen in those who get information from quilting-related websites (64%, up from 28%), learn from online classes and videos (52%, up from 30%), and are active in quilt-related social media (50%, up from 14%). They are also spending an average of 2.5 more hours overall online browsing quilt-related websites, and 68% of them are purchasing items online.


Finally, data showed that a younger group of Dedicated Quilters under the age of 45 are a rapidly growing segment of the quilting population. While this important group is often involved in quilting less due to time, work, and family constraints, they still devote an average of 10 hours a week to quilting. Quilters under 45 spend only 10% less than those of a higher age bracket, but do have a higher participation rate of time spent on quilting-related websites and online video viewing.





Quilting in America™ 2017

Presented by The Quilting Company brands: Fons & Porter, McCall’s Quilting, Quilters Newsletter, Quiltmaker, and Quilting Arts in cooperation with Quilts, Inc., producers of International Quilt Market & International Quilt Festival


Quilting in America™ 2017 is the eighth in a series of studies done since 1994 with the intent of measuring the amount of time and money quilters spend on their hobby in addition to profiling the key segments of the market.

The study is conducted in two phases: Phase I, administered by ORC International in January 2017, involved surveying an online, national panel of households to measure incidence of participation and the dollar value of the quilting industry. When

6,105 completed surveys were received, ORC closed the survey for tabulation. This information, along with new sources of market data that were not previously available, were used to present the 2017 findings.

Phase II was conducted by Advantage Research, Inc. in April and May 2017. Survey invitations were sent to a total of 415,104 quilters over a period of several weeks. The invitees were comprised of customers from APQS, The Quilting Company, Hobbs Batting, Northcott Fabrics, Quilting Treasures, and Quilts, Inc. When the survey closed, a total of 21,347 completed surveys had been received, yielding a response rate of 5.1%.


  • Total number of quilters in the U.S. is estimated to be 7 million to 10 million
  • Total number of quilting households in the U.S. is estimated to be 6 million to 8.3 million
  • The estimated total spending for the quilting industry is $3.7 billion
  • Quilting households spent an average of $442 in 2017. up 48% from 2014


  • Defined as those households who spend more than $500 per year on quilting-related purchases.
  • They represent 16.4% of all quilting households, and account for 72.2% of total industry expenditures.
  • In 2017, dedicated quilters report spending and estimated $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion


  • Female
  • 63 years old
  • Well educated (70% attended college)
  • Affluent ($95,900 household income)
  • Quilting for an average of 19 years
  • Spends on average $3,363 per year on quilting
  • Quilting Style(s): 85% prefer traditional quilting, 20% art quilting, and 37% modern quilting


Buying Habits


  • Dedicated Quilters have spent an average of $136 on books, magazines, and DVDs in the past 12 months.
  • They read an average of 3.4 magazines regularly and spend an average of 6 hours a month reading quilting-related magazines.
  • The top reasons they read magazines is to learn new tips and techniques (88%), get quiltmaking inspiration (75%), find out about quilting products (63%), look at photos of quilts (62%), and find block patterns (60%).
  • A large percent of Dedicated Quilters, 85%, obtain information and/or inspiration about quilt making from magazines.


  • 95% own a sewing machine, up slightly from 2014
  • 86% own a traditional machine; 45% own a serger; 18% own a longarm; 14% own a midarm. Those owning a longarm machine are up from 11% in 2014
  • In the past 12 months, 26% purchased a new traditional sewing machine for an average price of $2,212
  • 9% plan to purchase a sewing machine in the next 12 months


  • In the past 12 months, the Dedicated Quilter purchased an average of 99 yards of fabric at a cost of $925 ($9.34 average price per yard)
  • 94% plan to purchase fabric in the next 12 months
  • Favorite types: Batiks (72%); Small Floral Prints(65%); Holiday Prints (64%); Print Solids/Blenders, etc. (64%); and Tone-on-Tone Neutrals (58%)


  • The majority of Dedicated Quilters plan to purchase thread in the next 12 months.
  • 83% will purchase 100% cotton thread, up from 79% in 2014. Fewer, 44%, plan to purchase a poly/cotton blend of thread; 30% plan to purchase polyester thread. 15% plan to purchase pre-wound bobbin, up from 9% in 2014.
  • Over half, 54%, purchase batting in queen form, while 43% purchase in rolls. 66% are most likely to have purchased natural cotton, 55% cotton/ poly blend.

Internet and Social Media


Quilting-related websites were sited as good

sources by 64% of dedicated quilters, up from 28%

in 2014. And, 52% turn to online classes and videos

about quilt making, up from 30% in 2014.


Dedicated Quilters spend 7.9 hours weekly on

the Internet browsing, visiting, or interacting with

quilting-related sites, which is a significant increase

from 2.5 hours in 2014.


Dedicated Quilters are learning about websites

through Google searches, friends or relatives and

50% are using social media sites like Facebook or

Pinterest, up from 14% in 2014.


97% of Dedicated Quilters are purchasing fabric,

batting, and/or thread in person, mostly at retail

locations. Still, two-thirds of Dedicated Quilters

(68%) are purchasing items online.

The Under 45 Quilter

The 2017 study reveals some important observations of a younger group of quilters, those under 45, who are more likely to be an occasional quilter and lesser commitment to the craft largely based on time and work constraints. We believe this an important group:

  • Educated (4-year college graduate 35%; Post graduate degree 23%)
  • Affluent ($98,000 average household income)
  • More likely to be an occasional quilter, however, they still devote on average 10 hours a week to quilting, vs. 13 for the total sample, which is substantial given the other demands on their time. And, this group is 2x more likely to be employed full-time while devoting this time to her craft.
  • Though more likely to be beginners, this age group is not an entirely a “newbie” group as the percentage of Intermediates is on par with the total sample.
  • 26% have purchased a traditional sewing machine and 26% attended a quilt show in the past year, suggesting a growing commitment to quilting
  • Modern quilting is much more prevalent in this age group
  • In general they spend less but only by 10% and that is largely driven by lower spending on machines and equipment
  • Websites (75%) and online video (63%) play a stronger role for information and inspiration than the total sample.
  • Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are important sources for this group
  • In addition to Internet search and social media, blogs are also important to this group