You may have heard the initials D.I.Y. and wondered what they stand for and what all the fuzz is about. D.I.Y. stands for Do It Yourself, and it is a hot trend in the craft world. One of the hottest trends in the world of craft, is an old, old tradition-quilting.
Quilting has it roots in the utilitarian needs of our ancestors. They needed warm quilts to sleep under and they didn’t have a lot of materials to work with. So they took whatever fabrics they could salvage or cut from old, worn clothes, and somehow managed to craft these scraps into quilts that were not only warm but beautiful. For a time, the craft of quilting died out. Busy modern women of the fifties wanted no part of piecing together old bits of fabric! But then the craft experienced a resurgence in the eighties. Many believe the burgeoning interest in quilting and other crafts coincided with the development of the computer. High tech, high touch, the saying goes. When we are surrounded with technology all day we long for tactile satisfaction. Fibers such as wool and cotton have become very popular because of this, and also hobbies like knitting and quilting, which have much to do with the sense of touch.
The ironic thing is that technology itself has had much to do with spurring interest in craft and quilting. Technology has created better and easier-to-operate sewing machines, found ways to cheaply produce plastic stencils, and come up with innovations like the rotary cutter and mat that are huge time savers for quilters. The more time-saving ideas craft companies come up with, the more popular quilting becomes. Contemporary quilters have the best of all worlds-access to incredible numbers of patterns, both traditional and modern, and all the best tools the craft world has to offer.
Today’s quilter also has access to so much more information than their pioneer ancestors could ever have dreamed of. Books and patterns and websites offer a constant flow of information on the craft. Then there are the television programs. With the advent of cable’s dominance, many television channels now focus on the home. And many of these home channels have a large preponderance of shows on craft, including quilting. The information explosion is a huge boon for today’s crafters and this has driven the expanding popularity of the D.I.Y. movement.
This movement has made it hip and trendy to love all kinds of craft again, which is wonderful for lovers of craft. Once something is trendy, all kinds of companies offering new products and information are sure to spring up. Becoming hip has also assured that quilts now have a place in the finest of galleries and museums. Quilters are at the forefront of the D.I.Y. movement, constantly improving their craft and delving into its history. Our pioneer ancestors could never have imagined that there would come a day when their utilitarian, functional craft was considered not only trendy and hip, but so beautiful as to be art!