Episode 16 – Generations

“How can we get more people of our generation interested in quilting?”  That is the major topic this episode, suggested by Carlyn.  What do you all think?  How do we attract new quilters to the club?

Visit Jackie’s website (of the Quilting Chronicles podcast) to visit her new online fabric shop.

Check out the latest quilting podcast to go live – the Scientific Quilter with Darla.

If you are a knitter or crocheter, or enjoy other yarnish arts visit Ravelry.

I also mentioned Sew, Mama, Sew and Pattern Review – both sites are resources for sewers.

Listen to the show here

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13 Responses to Episode 16 – Generations

  1. Darla says:

    Kelley (and all)

    I believe that the answer to the generation gap may lie in several main areas. Technology, friendships, and time.

    Social media sites are something that younger people seem to gravitate towards. I am interested in computer networking with other quilters via facebook, flickr, message boards, internet movies, you tube etc. Being on the “younger generation” side of the equation – you have to know how to reach me, get in touch with me, let me know about your meetings – when and where they are.

    I’ll feel more comfortable if I have friends in the group that I can relate to. I am junior of everyone in the room by about 10 – 15 years, and sometimes it’s hard to relate to people who have their kids/grandkids, and other things. I appreciate the ladies A LOT, but I am sure not in the same stage of life as the other people. If I would bring a friend of my age with me, that would lessen that feeling, but right now many people my age either live farther away than can attend the meetings, or are not interested in this hobby.

    Time is probably the biggest obstacle for the quilting hobby. Getting the younger generation will require to grab people who have very little time to stop their lives or add another task along a long list of already busy schedules. Many people have jobs, kids, kids’ activities, as well as families, holidays etc. Quilting is a hobby that you have to (or is percieved this way) take a long time to complete a project. This is going to seem daunting to people who can barely squeeze out 15 minutes of a day for themselves. On top of that, learning all the technology terms, spending a lot of money at expensive fabric stores, can seem overwhelming and unattainable to people. Taking away some of the time perceptions may help lessen younger people’s hesitation on learning quilting.

    I can talk about this more Kelley through e-mail, but I thought I’d put a comment on your blog here about it to start a discussion.

  2. Pingback: 2.2 SQ Podcast Episode 4 – Quilting the Spectrum « Scientific Quilter

  3. Kim says:


    I’m am a younger generation quilter like you. I’m 37 and agree with what you said in this podcast about quilting meaning more than just a hobby. Quilting is an all consuming passion for me. It’s more than just something I do when I have spare time. I think about it all the time and would love to do nothing but quilting all day. I’m making it sound like an un-healthy obsession. ~giggle~ Alas real life calls.

    I was listening to your podcast this morning and as I was listening, I would have a thought, then like 2 minutes later you would go on to vocalize that thought. It was kinda freaky. First, at the beginning of the podcast, I thought, “But knitters seem to have made that jump”, then sure enough you discuss that very idea. Then a little later I was thinking, when you mentioned that we need the technology, “They have Ravelry which is so cool, we need something like that”, then you mention it. It was so freaky!

    Anyway I have toyed with the thought of Ravelry for quilters. It’s been mentioned in so many other podcasts that we quilters desperately need a community like that. But the thought of even trying to start something like that is completely overwhelming. I have only just recently joined it and am looking forward to perusing though it in depth some day. ~smile~

    And I also thought about your question. It all seemed to start with that book Stitch and Bitch. That made knitting cool. That appealed to the younger generation. Maybe it’s going to take a combination of things, as Darla mentions above. But I think a Ravelry type site would do wonders. Funny, I just started listening to Darla’s podcast on the way home from work today. Small world us on-line, podcasting, blogging, commenting, younger generation quilters. :o)

    Anyway, just thought I’d comment as you really got me thinking too Kelley.

    Happy Tuesday!


  4. Kim says:

    Oh yes I forgot. “The Husband” is absolutely hilarious…….and yes obnoxious. When he said this morning, “My Old Lady likes it” I absolutely burst out laughing.

    Good Job Kelley and keep up the wonderful podcast! I truly enjoy it!

  5. Deanne says:

    Hi Kelley,

    Thank you for your podcast… and please, please, please continue doing it! Hello to “The Husband”.

    As to how to encourage a younger generation of quilters… I am 27 years old and work full time. I’m getting married in February, so for the most part I have a fair amount of disposable income and outside of work hours I am time rich…. Quilting should love me and want me!!!

    The main obstacle that I have found is the unavailability of classes. I have struggled to find a quilting class that is offered outside of work hours in my local area. So many of the classes I would love to take are only offered on a weekday during the middle of the day. Or early on a Saturday morning on the other side of my city, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours away. I guess that’s where Annie Smith’s online classroom comes in. I really want to take her classes, but I wanted my very first class to be a face to face one.

    During the months I waited for my class to commence I downloaded every available podcast on quilting and some general sewing ones as well. What I found encouraging were people like yourself podcasting. I felt a great sense of community before even stepping into a class.

    Please keep up the great work!

    Kind Regards,
    Deanne (of Australia too)

  6. Vanessa (Australia) says:

    Hi Kelley and Husband, thanks for the podcasts, you do get around the world don’t you and I do miss all my pods from across the miles when they don’t happen every week. I have to tell you that I’m a younger gen quilter. I’m just over 40, but I started quilting by 25 and have been hooked since then. Given up cross stitch totally and only do quilting, stitching etc, it is my life, well apart from family of course. I am a member of a smaller group, not a guild as such, but we meet fortnightly and have the best of times and meet the best people, and learn fantastic things from each other. Keep up the podcasts as I really love to listen. Thank, Vanessa (Australia)

  7. Ruthann says:

    OK, so I am SO behind the times! I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks, and tonight I’m finally catching up with podcasts. PLEEZ tell The Husband that his Number One Fan still loves him! (he is so sweet! — umm, does he know that I’m an OLD WOMAN of 54???)

    My husband is a vet of the First Gulf War, and he agrees that the VFW is mostly made up of older vets from Viet Nam and even WWII. He doesn’t feel like he belongs.

    As far as quilting, there are a lot of younger designers out there — Amy Butler comes immediately to mind, of course — who are designing great and fresh fabric lines. Kaffe Fassett and Jay McCarroll (Project Runway winner) have really great modern lines, too.

    I don’t think that quilting will ever go away. There’s something for each one of us — every sort of style and story.

    Here’s an article about my niece who made a quilt celebrating the history of women. She made this when she was in high school (she’s in her third year of college now). http://ruthannzaroff.com/jennifer-quilt.htm

    And DO NOT stop podcasting!

  8. Toni says:


    I am new to your podcast and I absolutely love it. Please keep up the great job! Husband is HILARIOUS! He should have his own guest spot each podcast. He had me cracking up when he called you his old lady!

    Thanks for being such a bright spot in my day! Have a very blessed Christmas! My best to you and your family.

  9. Carlyn says:


    Thank you Thank you for taking the time to talk about the topic. I was so excited to listen to your thoughts I listened to your podcast and thought to myself – Right on sister !!!

    Here are some other thoughts. It is challenging to get people in our age group because of the time constraints but here are some thoughts I have…. I think our generation is community conscious so I am considering inviting my friends to participate during some key times throughout the year – to support Project Linus, etc. Like the Dec Quilt guild made teddy bears for the local CHKD hospital for kids throughout the year.

    If your group of friends include kids, you can get them involved by putting them to work too. I know my local schools need “after school” involvement. I am trying to see if any of my guild members would be interested in working with the local schools. I loved the podcast by “within a quarter inch” that talked about making a quilt to sell at the school auction, and really made it a keepsake and raised the most money for the school. Remember there is no home ec in schools any more. How else will they learn? I say by example. My kids loved the pillow cases I have made them, and the quilt. They want me to make more. That’s important to me.

    Now that is relavent. I will continue to try to find ways to incorporate kids, parents, and day-to-day. I – like you – think that quilting transcends the quilt itself. It really brings together friends, family and community. That’s the point.

    Thanks again. Carlyn

  10. Valerie Moss says:

    Hi Kelley, I’ve been listening and following you since the beginning and I think you’ve done and hopefully will continue to do your podcast and blog…Your DH is so funny, I was listening to you on speaker when my DH came in the room and we both laughed at your hubby’s comment about Ruth-Fann – what a riot. You two sounds like you have a great relationship!!
    Anyway, I’m a huge advocate of promoting quilting in my own age group of early 30’s and will continue to do so as I’ve been quilting for 7 years now so I know what the GAP feels like at my guilds – but the way I look at it is you have something in common with someone, age doesn’t matter…keep up the good work

  11. Carlyn says:

    Thought you might find this website interesting…It’s for the “modern” quilter…


  12. Dianna says:

    Hi Kelly. I’m just catching up on podcast, and I wanted to weigh in on this topic. I’ve been knitting for five years, and I’m just falling head over heels for quilting. I’m 36. From what attracted me to knitting, and what I think will draw people to quilting, is seeing it more in public. I think quilting in public will help. Using quilts outside the home, the beach, on babies in car seats, wherever you can drag one, in the car, to someone’s house, will get them out and seen. I was first attracted to knitting because it was pretty, portable and useful and fun. Incidentally, I tried to get into quilting about 7 years ago, but tried machine quilting. I did a wall hanging and baby quilt, I did not like spending hours bent over the machine, (I do a lot of apparall sewing anyway, and didn’t like spending my “leisure” time at the machine). Also, it seemed to be very expensive, (rulers, mats, etc…). I’m glad you gave your frugal tips. I’m, machine piecing and hand quilting now, and wanting to learn hand piecing. Being a knitter, I’m used to things taking time anyway, and I love sitting in my recliner, being industrious, but still with the family.

    One thing I wanted to ask you. I’ve been reading a lot of books from the library, and there seems to be so much technical stuff to learn, measurements, numbers, how to fit in triangles, cutting the right way, angles, etc.. It seems so daunting. I want something plan and simple. I don’t mind doing all quilts in squares in rectangles. So, as a pioneer type quilter, how much tech stuff do I need to know. Can you address this in a future podcast?


  13. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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