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September 2008
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Author Says Quilting Saved the Fabric Business in the United States

Quilting might seem like something Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show would do with her friends, while dishing the dirt about the inhabitants of Mayberry. Princeton resident and former Wall Street Journal reporter Meg Cox begs to differ, however.

It is anything but elderly ladies bending over wooden hoops, needles in hand.

In her third book, The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide (Workman, $18.95), she points out that, in the past 15 years, the quilt world has doubled, from 15.5 million quilters in 1993. In addition, the modern quilter’s wish list is more likely to include a pricey computer-driven sewing machine, designer fabric and more quilt software than a handheld hoop.

She reports that the most dedicated quilters spend approximately $600 a year on their craft, are well-educated and often well-off, and buy more than 100 yards of fabric annually. 

”Quilting saved the fabric business in the United States,” Ms. Cox says. “Quilters also saved the sewing machine business. There’s a whole branch of machines made just for quilters and the hottest one sells for $12,000.”

Indeed, quilting is not your granny’s hobby anymore. Thanks to high-tech tools, cutting-edge celebrity quilters and fabric designers with a fresh perspective, the quilt world is more diverse than ever. Utilizing the skills she employed at the WSJ for 17 years, Ms. Cox has written a true tome about quilting, almost 600 pages of hints and tips, patterns, projects, interviews with quilting teachers and artisans, as well as guides to the best festivals, museums and even quilting retreats.

The author, who has been quilting for almost 20 years, spent six years researching, traveling, interviewing and writing about the contemporary quilting scene. Her own journey began when her artistic mother taught her how to quilt.

Read the rest about the interview with Ms. Cox at Packet Online For Central Jersey.

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Author, Instructor & Pattern Designer

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