Fiber Art Fun: 15 Signs You're a Quilter

10 Feb 2014

What makes a quilter a quilter? Certainly, we are unique individuals with our own creative impulses and drives, but we do have so much in common--including a sense of humor. We asked around at the office and on our Facebook page, and came up with a list of signs that fabric art is in every fiber of your being (Facebook fans credited in parentheses).

fat quarters for fiber art
Go ahead--pet them. We get it.
(Fabric: Terrain by Kate Spain, Moda)
So step away from the sewing machine, put the needle and thread down, and see how many of these "signs" apply to you!

15 Signs You're a Quilter

1. You always have threads or fabric scraps on you, somewhere.

2. You pay more attention to the bedding than the action in a romantic movie scene. (Angelina Kendra)

3. Your neighbor is excited about her new kitchen, and you want to show off your new sewing table extension.

4. To you, parchment paper is not a baking supply.

5. You have more fabric than clothing . . . or food.

6. You pet fabric.

7. You step over all the laundry to wash the fabric first. (JoDee Bright)

8. You keep every scrap and thread. Because one day you might need it for a fiber art project.

9. You know the difference between fabric scissors and paper scissors, and woe to the friend or family member who doesn't.

10. When someone says you have great fat quarters, you say, "Thank you!"

11. The term "UFO" is not alien to you.

12. No matter where you go--hockey game, hardware store, horse barn--you see something that makes you think, "That would make a great quilt."

13. You plan your entire vacation around quilt stores that you want to visit. (Debbie Roback Nutter)

14. Your idea of a romantic destination is Mood.

15. You live by the phrase, "One can never have too much fabric.

I'm sure all of our Quilting Arts Magazine subscribers can relate to this list. If you don't already subscribe to Quilting Arts, take this as a sign that you should!

P.S. Put your tongue in your cheek and tell me your own signs that you are a quilter. Leave your comments below by Friday, February 14, 2014, and I'll pick two winners to receive a stack of fat quarters, one from Moda and the other from Cloud 9. WINNERS: dianeos and bmarie913! We will contact you for your addresses.


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Roberta B wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:46 AM

yep, guilty as charged and love every minute of this.

GA Quilter wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:47 AM

You always have a handwork project with you when you travel.

bca wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:05 AM

Oh, oh.  So many hit home.

kandis55 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:14 AM

All of the above, plus buying batting by the bolt, and some fabrics, and fusibles...and a book obsession...

TamiT14 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:15 AM

I think most of those apply to me....and I am proud of it!!

Ammer01 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:16 AM

You can't pass a fabric store without going in! (and spending an hour)

kprior52 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:17 AM

Always try to break down the blocks so I can recreate the quilt later

Steelscraps wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:22 AM

You see someone wearing clothing with a great fabric and fantasize cutting a square out the back.

Steelscraps wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:23 AM

You see someone wearing clothing with a great fabric and fantasize cutting a square out the back.

Steelscraps wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:25 AM

You see someone wearing a garment made from an attractive fabric and fantasize about cutting a chunk off the back.

on 11 Feb 2014 11:31 AM

As a TART(Textile ARTist) I find all of them apply!  Especially the petting the FABRIC~!!!!

on 11 Feb 2014 11:31 AM

As a TART(Textile ARTist) I find all of them apply!  Especially the petting the FABRIC~!!!!

janeep wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:34 AM

You map your travels to maximize fabric/quilt shop stops.

caclauss wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:35 AM

You watch a movie set in ancient times and say "wow, that's a really hard color to achieve with natural dyes."

Every time you Loki at a painting and say, "I really like that one" your spouse says " that's because it looks like fabric."

dianeos wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:40 AM

16. Your sewing machine forgets to stop for meals.

pegskev wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:43 AM

Instead of roses you would prefer a bouquet of fabric!

nradbill wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 11:53 AM

Yes to 15 plus quilting comes before other "household' tasks; as does fabric shopping etc

qmaverick wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:23 PM

Oh dear only 2 were answered no.  The sets are so beautiful.  thk

pahappel wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:28 PM

You take your sewing machine with you on vacation in case there is any down time and plan road trips around quilt shops!

dede81 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:33 PM

Like getting a wonderful pair of shoes, then finding a dress to match, I buy wonderful fabrics and then have to decide what to put them into...besides my closet!

MartiZ wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:35 PM

I confess!  Numbers 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 15.  It's such a wonderful sickness!!!!!!!

judy1785 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:35 PM

almost all apply to me as well. Seems we have a lot in common.

judy1785 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:35 PM

almost all apply to me as well. Seems we have a lot in common.

slcall wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:41 PM

My dining room table is covered with fabric and my sewing machine!!

lmarso wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:46 PM

I embrace many of these - but especially saving every thread and scrap - you never know!

Cynthia78 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:46 PM

This made me giggle! 14 out of 15 apply.

bigrig520 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 12:48 PM

When you make a pact with your best quilter friend that they go claim your fabric stash in the event of your death and vice versa because only a quilter knows the financial investment in fabric!

prlyon wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 1:26 PM

You redecorate the bedroom to go with the new quilt you want to make.

bmarie913 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 1:53 PM

Pretty sure they all apply to me - But life would be no fun if you couldn't go to your closet when you can't sleep in the middle of the night and say "Well, I could use these fabrics together if I can just find the right pattern..."

bmarie913 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 1:55 PM

I'm pretty sure every one applies to me.

on 11 Feb 2014 2:05 PM

I realized that fabric had probably become a too-large percentage of our laundry the day I realized that my husband was not only willing to fold freshly washed quilt fabric, he even knew how to fold it so it fit neatly into my storage.

on 11 Feb 2014 2:06 PM

I realized that fabric had probably become a too-large percentage of our laundry the day I realized that my husband was not only willing to fold freshly washed quilt fabric, he even knew how to fold it so it fit neatly into my storage.

Marilyn R wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 2:12 PM

I am #12 :)

MindyW wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 2:43 PM

I can relate to all 15 comments and many in the comments. Mine might be that I have most of my fabrics arranged by color so I can look at all of it and drool until I get around to adding more or using it in a project.

woody5 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 3:39 PM

I always have a small bag with some kind of hand work, that I will add to a quilt or  the English Paper piece quilt that I have going on now for a Queen Bed....I spend at least 5 hours a day in my sewing room, now that I am retired...and love every min. of it.

woody5 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 3:39 PM

I always have a small bag with some kind of hand work, that I will add to a quilt or  the English Paper piece quilt that I have going on now for a Queen Bed....I spend at least 5 hours a day in my sewing room, now that I am retired...and love every min. of it.

woody5 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 3:40 PM

I always have a small bag with some kind of hand work, that I will add to a quilt or  the English Paper piece quilt that I have going on now for a Queen Bed....I spend at least 5 hours a day in my sewing room, now that I am retired...and love every min. of it.

Raesansan wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 4:19 PM

You buy fabric by the bolt and save all your fabric samples...just in case.

mslottie wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 4:24 PM

You know you're a quilter when you hide new fabric purchases from your significant other.  Actually - that's the definition of a fabricaholic, but then, aren't all quilters fabricaholics?!

on 11 Feb 2014 4:45 PM

In a quilt class we were told not to open our fabric packets just yet and I asked "May I just SMELL it?"  I love the smell of new fabric.

on 11 Feb 2014 4:58 PM

Guilty of ALL of them!

You know you're a quilter when:

....you see a beautiful fabric someone's wearing and you ask the person wearing it if you can feel it.

LisaYo wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 4:58 PM

I am guilty as charged, especially for petting the fabric!

darrilyn wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 5:27 PM

I forget to eat.

majicfingers wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 6:13 PM

Great picks. Do you feel people clothing?

gpickens wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 6:21 PM

Oh my, eat...sleep...dream of quilts 24/7!!

billandkate wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 7:19 PM

Oh my gosh, they are all so true.  I've been sewing/quilting for 50+ years and still absolutely LOVE FABRIC and the creative process.

on 11 Feb 2014 7:20 PM

Even the novels you read have quilting themes, and heroines who quilt.  

karenadd wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 7:47 PM

I can't pass up a trip to the quilt store even if I don't need anything.

SaraQ2 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 7:49 PM

Oh, yes! They most all apply. Definitely  have a fabric obsession. (Did I spell that correctly?) Also seems to look at things with an eye towards the next quilt!

kayben wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 7:53 PM

Yes, they all apply, especially #12.  And, as for #13, I'm on one of those vacations right now!

mymarsha wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 8:33 PM

You just have to stop at a fabric store every now and then to breathe in all the colors for inspiration and buy some fabric while there!

sushi67123 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 9:59 PM

You take an empty suitcase on holidays for fabric and batting. The big one!

CarolS@25 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:18 PM

I can see myself in all the signs of a quilter

CarolS@25 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:18 PM

I can see myself in all the signs of a quilter

Threads1080 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:26 PM

Great list! Also... when you have more tools and machines than your husband!

Threads1080 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:26 PM

Great list! Also... when you have more tools and machines than your husband!

sascott wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:29 PM

On a vacation, you are the only one taking pictures of man hole covers because they would make great quilt patterns.  Guilty!

JenniferC@32 wrote
on 11 Feb 2014 10:38 PM

# 6, 9, and 13 definitely apply to me. Additionally, there is almost always a pile of fabric on my dining room table waiting to be cut for the next quilt.

jdespotakis wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 5:03 AM

Crayons and markers are no longer for little kids

jdespotakis wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 5:04 AM

Crayons and markers are no longer for little kids

mwilliams4 wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 9:09 AM

You're planning your next quilt before you finish piecing your current quilt top.

mwilliams4 wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 9:10 AM

You're planning your next quilt before you finishing piecing your current quilt top.

shirleyquilt wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 9:50 AM

almost all of the 15!

pjmockit wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:06 AM

Glad to see I'm not the only one with loose threads as part of my attire. I'm always petting fabric, wherever it may be found. To answer about knowing you're a quilter: When you know the names of fabric designers.

iamcybergran wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 12:01 PM

I am guilty for sure and still go looking for material..

kfreytag wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 12:23 PM

When your quick stop at the fabric leads to 3 more projects on your to do list.

aliceb1 wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 3:49 PM

Your in the baking section collecting cookie cutters, not to make cookies, but to make templates for your quilts.

Shelley88 wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 8:49 PM

You can't go to sleep at night because you are inventing a new pattern in your head and envisioning all the steps you need to go through to finish it.

vnishiuchi wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:02 PM

Yes this is me and then some!

vnishiuchi wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:02 PM

Yes this is me and then some!

LongmontJeni wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:42 PM

You save shirts, because you like the pattern in the fabric.

LongmontJeni wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:42 PM

You save shirts, because you like the pattern in the fabric.

LongmontJeni wrote
on 12 Feb 2014 10:42 PM

You save shirts, because you like the pattern in the fabric.

LiteraryOpus wrote
on 13 Feb 2014 8:42 AM

You know you're a quilter when you name your sewing machines...I have two, Matilda and Goober (don't ask!).

Ronda W wrote
on 13 Feb 2014 12:31 PM

You have more pictures of quilts on your phone that pictures of the grandkids!

Ronda W wrote
on 13 Feb 2014 12:32 PM

You have more pictures of quilts on your phone than pictures of the grandkids!

leebabyok wrote
on 13 Feb 2014 11:38 PM

all so true! One more for you.....

You can't use your dining room table for eating because your sewing machines and fabric is always piled on it!

SewSew5 wrote
on 14 Feb 2014 8:02 PM

When you are told you are getting a bonus at work, you uncontrollably  blurt out you are getting a new quilting sewing machine with it.

Loriealive wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 12:12 PM

I have nothing to add but just so much fun to be able to laugh at myself!  Thanx

mblares wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 12:18 PM

When your husband follows you into the quilt store and tells the owner not to sell you any more fabric and everyone laughs so hard that they almost pee their pants.

on 15 Feb 2014 1:06 PM

you look to your clothes as quilting material. you start buying 2nd hand clothes for the quilting material aspect

on 15 Feb 2014 1:08 PM

When I go out, I sometimes forget my shopping bag, or my gloves, or my car keys, but I never forget my tape measure...

Lydianna wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 1:10 PM

You've never seen a quilting book or quilting magazine or tutorial that you didn't have to own.  Your idea of a romantic present that would make you absolutely giddy would be a gift of fat quarters.  You have xxx (insert number) of quilting/sewing/ dyeing/embroidery projects going at any one time,   You curate the trash because, hey, that almost discarded plastic food container has an interesting pattern that would probably look great printed on fabric.  You look at old clothing and think I can remake that to look fabulous, or use that fabric in a quilt.    

Osuzyq828 wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 1:50 PM

I noticed myself looking at the bedding in all movies, not just the romantic ones!

Osuzyq828 wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 1:51 PM

I noticed myself looking at the bedding in all movies, not just the romantic ones!

Osuzyq828 wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 1:59 PM

Love the manhole cover

Osuzyq828 wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 2:02 PM

Love the manhole cover comment. I recently saw a milk foam design in a cup of coffee, my sons girlfriend is a barista, and sai, oh that would make a cool quilting pattern.

And another, you have thought of opening or buying your own quilt shop.

gigirp wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 2:11 PM

You get up in the middle of the night to try out a design option that just popped into your head while you were asleep.

on 15 Feb 2014 2:19 PM

While searching for a new home, the first thing I look for is adequate storage for "the stash",  sewing machine, cutting table, and design wall.  That's become as important as a functional kitchen.            

shelm@2 wrote
on 15 Feb 2014 10:09 PM

I agree with all these plus I get withdrawal if I don't get to sewing for 2 days in a row.  My favorite time is early morning in summer.  So must light it can't be waisted.  

on 15 Feb 2014 10:23 PM

The only room in the house without dog fur is the QUILTING ROOM!!!!!!!

CAdenise wrote
on 16 Feb 2014 1:02 AM

When I hide the fabric purchase from my husband because he feels I have enough.

AnnC@24 wrote
on 16 Feb 2014 6:05 PM

You buy more fabric that coordinates with your scraps so you can make a quilt out of the scraps, resulting in more scraps that REQUIRE you to buy more fabric so you can make a quilt out of the new scraps......

on 17 Feb 2014 5:03 PM

thread trash is exciting.

on 17 Feb 2014 5:06 PM

Snippets of fabric and thread trash are exciting.

ecolearner wrote
on 10 Mar 2014 7:28 PM

Haha!  I thought I was the only one who has already told my best friend she will get my stash if I die, that I was the only one with a folder for manhole covers in my quilting folder on my computer.  Guess not.  My quilting fabric is neatly washed, pressed, wrapped onto comic book backer boards, and shelved by the color wheel, but I can't find my boots.

1crazymomz wrote
on 9 Apr 2014 6:27 PM

Oh you should have no end date - just a winner every month

My signs -

When you dream in colour, textures, shape etc  which then adds up to the design

When driving a car or flying, a sunset, clouds landscape or flowering plants becomes the bases for your design

When old clothes stir up your creative juices for a quilt, quilted jacket or bag

No surface left untouched by something to do with fabric threads embellishments lace dyeing painting books patterns etc

As some said "guilty as charged"