We're All Just a Bunch of Crazy Ladies Having Fun: Travel Motivations of Serious Quilters
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Quilting is a serious leisure activity that can bring quilters to travel long distances for their crafting pleasure. Serious quilters are a part of this social world that has not been studied at great length as of late. These quilters are ones who take bus tours, participate in shop hops, travel to quilting festivals, and even sail and quilt on quilting cruises. However, this phenomenon has not been studied from a tourism aspect. Serious quilters from all over the world are traveling to festivals, shops, and other destinations to quilt, and the motivations behind why they do this have not been researched. This study accrued data through phone and Skype interviews of ten serious quilters during the months of November 2016 - January 2017. Respondents were asked questions about their quilting history, quilting travels, and seriousness of quilting. After the data were collected and transcribed then coded and analyzed for overlapping themes to determine motivations of serious quilters. These motivations include reaffirming their quilter identity, learning about the quilting from different cultures, seeking inspiration, the adventure of novelty seeking, creating new family history while preserving ancestral history, and seeking a sense of belonging when they are around other quilters. These serious quilters traveled to venues such as retreats, road trips, shop hops, bus tours, and festivals furthered their seriousness with quilting. They created their own trips with friends, joined shop-sponsored trips, and even added in quilting destinations to other trips and vacations. These findings suggest tourism and serious leisure practitioners must consider combining their studies when it comes to studying participants who partake in serious travel. The seriousness of these quilters led to the types of travel they pursue to further their participation in their leisure activity. These research findings can be used to bridge the gap between these two fields of study, and lead to the development of theories between serious leisure and tourism travels.
Kircher, Julie Michelle (2017). We're All Just a Bunch of Crazy Ladies Having Fun: Travel Motivations of Serious Quilters. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from