Can quilting be “hip”?

I saw an ad for this website: in the latest issue of Quiltmaker. Curious, I checked it out, and “Make It You” appears to be a joint effort by a number of fabric/quilting companies (Pfaff, RJR Fabrics, Viking, etc.) to jump on the “knitting is hip” bandwagon by introducing sewing and quilting to a younger audience.

As far as the web site goes, I’m not terribly impressed – it’s well done, but there isn’t much material there, though the quilt pattern they show (see below) is quite attractive. The line of fabrics that they’ve created is cool, but nothing to write home about, and I think certain aspects of the quilt suffer for having to be limited to just the fabrics in that line. (I think the Log Cabin blocks could have better gradations of color and shading if they used different fabrics.)

But anyway, this got me to thinking: Can quilting achieve the kind of broad appeal that knitting has recently? My hypothesis is “no,” and for one simple reason: it’s not terribly portable. Yes, yes, I know about applique and yo-yo quilts and piecing over papers, but the vast majority of quilting really can’t be taken with you in any practical sense. The idea of people piecing and/or quilting on the bus, at the coffee shop, etc. really doesn’t work.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong – I hope it does take off, because I think it would be a good thing if more people (oh, let’s be honest here – more women) quilted. And there’s also the counter-example of scrapbooking, which is, if anything, even less portable than quilting, and we all know how that has taken off.

What do other Crackpots think? Will quilting be the new knitting?

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