Welcome to WTF Wednesdays, or WTF Wednesday #1

15 09 2010

As you all know, I attended the Madison Quilt Expo.  My experience there led me to an epiphany of sorts, which I will detail further in this post.  Before I let you all get into the nitty-gritty of this particular epiphany (really, it’s a rant), I have a few disclaimers:

First of all, note the title:  “WTF Wednesday”.  That should pretty much say it all, but I’ll be super clear just in case.  “WTF” is the acronym for “What the Fuck”.  So, if that phrase at all offends you, you probably don’t want to continue reading this new weekly segment.  

WTF Wednesdays are going to be my forum for sounding off on the various issues that hit my hot buttons.  And there are a lot of them, I’m realizing.  This is me turning my internal filter off, and letting fly with the things that irk me.  I’m going to try and keep them quilt-related, but you might see more of my more interesting personality quirks than you had really ever intended to.

Since you’ve been warned, trolls, flames, and other unpleasantness are not welcome.  Adult, engaged dialogue is totally encouraged and welcomed.  I have no intention of turning the filters back on for these Wednesdays.  It’s my blog.  If you don’t like it, you are more than welcome to not read.

Should you choose to join in, and I kind of hope you do, fill in the linky at the end of this post.

Now, onto the ranting…

It took me two passes through the vendors at the Madison Quilt Expo to talk myself into buying anything.


I’m not kidding.

Finally, when I purchased four yards of fabric from Nancy’s Notions, I spotted this gem:

I repeat.  WTH??

Just… No.  NO.

Not in any world should a sweatshirt, no matter the number of alterations, be your go-to wardrobe option.  Not even when you’ve hit what seems to be Nancy’s target demographic, the retirees.

Don’t get me wrong!  If you’re a retiree, more power to you.

However, this catalogue cover just epitomizes what kept bothering me throughout my wanderings at the Expo.

I’m just too damned young to be a quilter, apparently.  Age-ism runs rampant in quilting.

I could count the vendors offering more modern prints on one hand.  Yeah, in a 75,000 square foot vendor hall containing 153 vendors.  Yes, I counted.  Most of those vendors were offering such safe fabric options, I could have gone comatose from boredom.  Reproduction fabrics, particularly Depression Era, were rampant. And don’t get me started on the number of pre-cuts.  Almost none of the vendors carried bolts of fabric.

Now, I understand that this was the Nancy Zieman Quilt Expo.  And I realize what age bracket Nancy falls into.

Just to be blunt, quilting’s current target demographic, the female retiree is a shrinking demographic.  That customer base is going to, literally, die off.  And let’s not even get into how many of us will even be able to afford to truly retire in this economy.  Marketers in quilting have done virtually nothing to woo generations X and Y, and even less to keep those two generations interested in the hobby.

Do they not realize that as the woman in my household, I control 90% of the discretionary income and how it’s spent?  Does the quilting world not want my money?

Because that’s certainly how it felt, and how it has felt over the last several months.  I realize that at 30, I’m in a minority as a quilter.  However, we’re out there!  I follow the blogs of several dozen talented quilters who are all under the age of 45.

Really, just give me some freaking options!  There are so many other things I could be doing, other than quilting, and a lot of them offer far hipper color and pattern options.  They’re actually trying to get me to spend money.

And, honestly, it really isn’t that hard to get me open up my wallet.




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