Here we are again…365 days (more or less) after the first day of 2022. The New Year is upon us, and once again (since it’s now tradition), it’s time to reflect back at my quilty predictions of 2022 and see how well I did foretelling what would happen in our quilting world. So without further ado let’s take a look back at my 2022 prognostications and see how well or how badly I did.
- Zoom will remain a major player in the quilting world. I think I nailed this one. Guilds are still using this option, because they’ve discovered a wealth of quilting teachers from all over the world available with a click of the mouse. Not only that, but quilters from all over the world can join their guild. Many quilt instructors have decided to completely forego leaving the sanctity of their own quilt studios and comfort of their own beds and are only teaching via Zoom and other similar platforms. For as much as we still love in-person meetings (and need them), Zoom is here to stay. Embrace it.
Personally, I love it.
- The return of in-person quilt shows. Again, I will give myself a 100 on this one. As more people received vaccinations and boosters, we timidly tip-toed back into small, local shows and then the larger national and international ones. Most of us shed our masks and determined Covid would always be with us in some shape or form, and we would deal with it. We needed to return to “normal” life and for us quilters, that means quilt shows. We drove ourselves to local shows, boarded buses and planes to get to the large, far away ones, greeted fellow quilters with hugs, and shopped until we dropped. We oohhhed and awwwwed over quilts and decided quilting was still the most fun anyone could have
- Brighter colored fabric, but more expensive. I did pretty well with this prediction, too. I think 2022 produced some really stunning fabric lines, although I still believe most of them lack a true dark. The colors were bright, beautiful, and clear, hinting at the hope we had for a new year with new beginnings. However, a lot of the fabric gave us sticker-shock. The average price of a yard of quilting cotton fabric was $9 in 2022, with some areas selling a yard for as much as $15. Batiks averaged $15 per yard. However, the prices didn’t go as high as some predicted. The cotton crops were actually better than expected in 2022, with 118.5 million bales produced, 2.7 million higher than 2021. The 2023 isn’t expected to reach the 2022 levels, but you never know. The weather at its best is unpredictable, and the supply chain still has major kinks to work out.
- Organic quilting will be a player in 2022. With so many people either returning to sewing in 2021 or picking up the hobby, I believed many of these folks would turn to quilting as a way to continue the craft. And while we did see the number of quilters and guild members increase, most of these “newbies” remained within the traditional realm. There were no clear break aways, no massive increase of art quilters, and no shunning of the “traditional” quilting rules. I completely missed this one. For number four, I get a big, fat “F.”
- T-shirt quilts will get an upgrade. This one was pretty accurate. While T-shirt quilts remain popular, they are also now known as “Memory Quilts.” These encompass quilts made from baby clothes, caps, special garments, etc., and include lots of specific events in life not marked by special T-shirts. And gone are the uniform blocks set in neat rows and columns. Layouts are varied and a lot more interesting.
- Comfort is key. When I wrote out this prediction, I specifically mentioned a return to quilted clothing. I believe I failed in this prediction. While standard quilted coats such this
Remain popular, quilted clothing as we quilters know it, has remained seemingly popular only with quilters, who tend to make their own.
Okay, four correct predictions out of six isn’t too bad. Now, let’s take a squinty look at my quilting crystal ball and see what 2023 may have in store for us.
Prediction One: Sustainability will remain important as more and more quilting goes “green.” I think we will see the development of certain quilting tools, such as cutting mats, made from recycled materials. I think there will a push to use as much of the fabric as we can in our projects to keep it out of landfills (although cotton fabric has a pretty fast rate of complete deterioration). Crumb quilting, scrap quilts, etc. may become the next hot topic in our quilting world.
Prediction Two: Pieced quilts will reach a new high in popularity. I’ll be completely honest with this one – I read this prediction on several other professional quilting blogs. I’m not sure why this is a prediction, other than pieced quilts do take less time to construct than applique quilts (no matter if the applique is done by hand or machine). If folks’ schedules are filling up, and time for quilting is becoming more compact, this prediction makes sense. However, from a quilter who absolutely adores applique, I’m a bit bummed by this. Not to say a pieced quilt isn’t a thing of beauty and a joy forever…but yeah…I do love me some applique.
Prediction Three: Two-color quilts will be abundant. As I perused quilting web sites and magazine this year, I began to see more and more quilts made from only two colors. I think this trend will continue, as these quilts are crisp and elegant looking. My biggest issue with two-toned quilts is deciding on only two colors!
Prediction Four: The slow-stitching trend will grow in popularity. Again, let me throw this one in a Zone of Truth: I love handwork. Ever since I started quilting I had to have two types of on-going quilt projects – one for handwork and one parked under my sewing machine needle. When I tired of one type of sewing I could switch to the other and hand sewing proved itself to be wonderfully portable during those years I ran Mom’s Taxi Service. But as I’ve grown older, I have the heart-felt realization of just how therapeutic it has been in my life. It comforted me when my dad was in Hospice. It occupied my time at my mother’s bedside when she was in and out of the hospital until they diagnosed her hemoglobin and iron issues. It (and prayer) kept me sane when my daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and it re-played its sanity inducing qualities while my brother was undergoing stem cell treatments. At a time when I could have easily turned to something else to calm me down, it was needle, thread, fabric, beeswax, prayer, and a thimble that stitched my world back together. And these feelings about handwork – slow stitching – have only grown stronger as I have grown older. At the end of my most hectic of days, 15 to 20 minutes of hand work calms my spirit and clears my mind so I can sleep.
We must admit, the last two years of our lives have teetered on the verge of panic, insanity, impatience, and worry. I think a lot of quilters discovered what I have known for a long time – slow stitching is just the best.
Prediction Five: Dense quilting will be featured in the majority of quilts. Most quilters with some years of stitching behind them can attest dense quilting has slowly become a “thing” over the past several years. There are probably several reasons behind this. More quilters have long or mid-arms. Domestic sewing machines now have ruler feet, allowing any quilter who has no fear of dropping their feed dogs, to produce the same quilting stitches that once were only done by long arms. Quilters have found this is fun and a lot of us have come to love the quilting part of quilts as much as we love the piecing and applique. Since we love it, we do more of it. I still prefer any of my bed quilts or cuddle quilts to be soft and not quilted within an inch of its life, but wall hangings, table toppers and runners, or show quilts? Stitch them until they can stand up on their own.
Prediction Six: Landscape quilting will become popular. If you’re like me, you’ve seen landscape quilts before, and visions like this
Come to mind. These types of landscape quilts are lovely, have beautiful details, and are so wonderful to look at.
And we’re intimidated beyond measure if we think we could make one even similar to these. Many of us wouldn’t even attempt it. All I gotta ask at this point is why not? The quilters who made the above landscape quilts have done this a long time, but they didn’t begin with all these quilts oozing all that talent. They probably began with a much simpler type of landscape and gradually moved into these breathtaking beauties. I think, since COVID kind introduced free form piecing and quilting coupled with the fact we have lots of new quilters who aren’t intimated by what they don’t know, we could possibly have a resurgence of landscape quilts which may be as simple as this:
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
This year should be interesting.
Now comes the time when I introduce the theme for 2023. I struggled with an idea for this year. We’ve covered a lot of quilty territory since I began writing my blog. I looked at the award-winning quilts from Paducah and Houston. I listened to my quilty friends talk about what was under their needles. From all of these sources, I have decided 2023’s theme is (insert drumroll here)
The Difference is in the Details.
Why this theme?
Well, as I looked at beautiful quilts, dissected the award-winning quilts, and listened to my quilting buddies, I realized the things which make the difference between a good quilt and a great quilt are the little details. Some of these you may not even think about, as they may be second nature to you. Others may be more obscure, and they may not have even crossed your mind. But they all have one thing in common: they’re not hard – they just might take a few more minutes of your time.
We’ll talk about a lot of those little details this year! And I’ll keep you up to date on what’s under my needle. My fruit blocks are finished, and I will begin assembling this quilt with a new technique I want to share with you. I have designed the borders for my alphabet quilt and will raw-edge applique those – they’re pretty detailed, so this is gonna take a while. I will also finish my Colors of Springtime Quilt and my reverse applique project. As far as new projects go, I want to finally begin my long-put-off Sunbonnet Sue Quilt and Windblown Tulips. However, my biggest challenge this year is quilting my tops. I have three laying on my long arm, gently reminding me they’re not quite done. I have a feeling my personal theme for 2023 is Finishing, as I have several quilts which are really in the home stretch.
Happy New Year from My Studio to Yours!
Love and Stitches,