Quilting. What does that word conjure up in your imagination as you read it? If you think of it as an odd, obscure hobby largely practiced by women who recreate colonial times, you are SEW wrong. It's a vibrant hobby enjoyed by millions of women around the world. Is it the most common hobby? No, it is not. Quilting is not the beer of pastimes, no, it is a tad more unusual and exotic. In fact, to really grasp its place in the lives of women, I would suggest that quilting is just like wine. And I say this as a non wine drinker, just an observer of wine lovers behaviors.
What? Quilting and wine? I know one is fairly expensive, a bit habit forming and leads women to neglect their families and the other one is wine but how are they comparable?
How is it not? Wine drinkers are not like water drinkers (healthy) or milk drinkers (wholesome) or beer drinkers (regular guy.) Instead they are slightly different, a bit mysterious and sometimes misunderstood. Quilters are the same way, people don't quite get what we do (although they really wish we would hem their pants.) We are different, mysterious and misunderstood as well. Let's break ti down, shall we?
1. Cost - Wine can vary greatly in cost from two buck Chuck at Trader Joe's to expensive imported vintages. Fabric for quilts is the same way, you can get it at garage sales, Walmart or boutique quilt stores selling hand dyed fabric or organic cottons. Usually you get what you pay for and as you get into the hobby, you care less about the price point.
2. Devotion - Quilters love their hobby and join clubs, Bees and guilds to further their knowledge. Wine drinkers take classes, go to wine tastings and can even become a sommelier. I think both of them can be quite the fans but at least don't trash talk other guilds or wine clubs.
3. Equipment - Wine drinkers have charms for glasses, cellars and cases for their collections. They have special decanters and openers, all of this costs some major coin. Quilters are not to be shown up, they have machines, threads, gadgets galore and piles of fabric stored in every corner of their houses.
4. Periodicals - There are quilt magazines for every level of interest. I once had someone tell me she couldn't believe there were quilt magazines, let alone that people read them. Well believe it because there are magazines aplenty. I personally subscribe to 6 of them and I don't come close to covering them all. (Although I would like to. Christmas is coming up. I'm just saying.) A quick internet search turned up 11 wine publications and I bet there are more. Cheers!
6. Groups enjoying it together - Quilters have AQS shows across the country, International Quilt Expositions and the Original Sewing and Quilt Expos in various spots. Wine afficionados have wine tourism, wine fests and wine tastings. Quilter and wine drinkers like to explore their hobby together.
7. Disagreements - White wine vs. red wines is nothing in comparison to Modern Quilting vs. Traditional Quilting. Stand back!
8. Destination of their dreams - Quilters fantasize about trips to Paducah, KY and lovers of vino want to peruse the vinyards in Napa. Let's go!
Sew happy to have this new way of looking at quilting. Next time someone asks a quilter what she does, she can reply, "I'm a quilter. We're the wine of the fabric world."
Now if I was just a wine drinker I could be the wine of the fabric world and the quilt of the beverage world!
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I also compared quilting to parenting. Read it here.