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Quilting Personality Research Study Results

Hmnn, wonder what is her personality type?Are quilters cut from the same swath of personality cloth? Is there something about quilting that grabs a particular part of the human personality? Are some people born with a quilting gene - a quilter waiting to happen?

Or is it an *affliction* passed down the generations (like being a Chicago Cubs fan) or one of those accidents of a certain time and place that well could have been different?

Well if you are curious as we, you may be interested in the results of a study we've been doing on Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Quilters.

If you are curious about your own Personality Type - and don't know it - you can go to our Personality Type Inventory page (go here) to take a little inventory that will suggest what might be your type letters. There's also some links at the bottom of the page to help you learn more about the Myers-Briggs model of personality types.

-- Ross & Joanne Reinhold

Distribution of MBTI Personality Types of Quilters

The following results are based on 423 quilters who took our survey and either knew their MBTI personality type or took our inventory to determine what might be their best fit personality type.

There are two sets of numbers in each cell of the 16 personality types. The first and largest number, in bold type, is the percent of our sample of 423 quilters who registered this particular personality type. Example: 9.7 % of the quilters identified as ISTJ types. The second and smaller number (& in parenthesis) is the percentage of the general female population a recognized study has estimated that identify with this particular type. Example: 6.9% of the female population identifies as ISTJ type.

How to interpret the two numbers

If personality type was not a factor in a person's election of quilting as a craft or art form, then we would expect to see little difference in the two numbers. Example: We'd expect that 6.9% of our Quilting Sample would be the ISTJ personality type - the same as the general population of adult females. But with ISTJ this wasn't the account. In fact we had 40% more ISTJs in our sample than we would have expected (9.7 divided by 6.9). So we can surmise that there is something about quilting that attracts more-than-the-usual ISTJs to the quilting craft or art form. On the other hand, we had 32% fewer ISFJs than expected in our Quilting Sample (13.2% vs. 19.4%). So as a generality Quilting is less likely to appeal to your average ISFJ.

Let's look at the table of results and then I'll comment on other trends that jumped out.

Distribution of Personality Types among Quilters


























4.7 %







Some General Trends on Personality Types of Quilters

The Personality Type most likely to be drawn to Quilting - ISFP

We had more ISFPs in our Quilter Sample than any of the other 15 personality types. In addition, the number of ISFPs was 35% higher than in the general population.

The Personality Type "least" likely to be drawn to Quilting - ESFJ

While there were some types whose percentage in our sample was smaller than ESFJ, the huge difference (3.1% vs. 16.9%) between their percentage in the general population and in our sample marks this type as the least likely to be a quilter.

Most Quilters are Introverted Personality Types (69.8%)

In the general population of females 47.4% indicate one of the 8 introverted personality types. In our sample ISFJ is the only introverted personality type not strongly drawn to quilting. Among extraverted personality types, ESTP and ENTP are the exception in that they are found among quilters in the same proportion as the general population; all of the other extraverted types aren't likely to find quilting of interest.

Most Quilters prefer Feeling and Sensing - However . . .

While most quilters are Feeling and Sensing personality types, they are found in our Quilting Sample in fewer numbers than we find in the general population. So it appears there is something about Quilting that is also attractive to Thinking and Intuitive personality types.

Comments on General Trends

That Introverted Types are found among Quilters much more often than Extraverted Types is quite understandable. The quilting process is essentially a solitary one and requires long hours of concentration on the task. Being able to work happily by ones self and sticking to tasks for longer periods of time are strengths Introverts bring to the table. Participating with others in Quilting Circles and Quilt Guilds help alleviate some of the essential solitary nature of the process. Being an Introvert doesn't mean one requires alone-time ALL the time; just more often than not. So many Introverts will balance things out by participating in a circle or guild. And for Extraverts who are otherwise drawn to Quilting, being able to interact with others while quilting is very important.

Why few ESFJ Types among quilters? ESFJ are what Otto Kroeger described as the "Hosts and Hostesses of the World" - people whose forte is organizing the activities of others and for others. If people aren't at the center of activities and their is no role for them in helping guide or organize those activities, the average ESFJ just isn't likely to be interested. While quilts are made for "people" most of the time your attention as a quilter is on operating a machine and on pieces of fabric. However, you might find an ESFJ as a leader of your quilting guild or in organizing a quilt show.

ISFJ Types are the quintessential competent caregivers, people with what Otto describes as having a "High Sense of Duty." Like ESFJs their interest is in people vs things so spending their energies interacting with machines, tools, fabrics, instructions, and designs isn't at the core of where they are at. But the products of quilting are often gifts to others so this would have strong appeal to ISFJs and since temperamentally they are suited to effectively organizing and carrying out tasks, they can competently handle the solitary nature and tasks involved in the quilting process.

The arts and crafts nature of Quilting hits ISFP Types in their wheelhouse. As Otto says " . . . they are often creative, artsy, and skilled in a variety of practical disciplines . . . ." And since a quilt is a tangible gift of comfort to another it is the kind of way many ISFP like to serve others, in a more understated way. The nature of quilting being broken up into parts and pieces also lends itself to the ISFP nature. In general there isn't pressure to complete a quilt on any time frame. When the spirit moves you, you can quilt; when it doesn't, you can do something else.

I suspect the various organizing tasks (organizing the fabrics, setting up to do a quilt, etc. ) that are present in quilting appeals to Thinking Types. Also consider that traditional quilt block patterns have a sense of order, balance, and harmony of elements about them. These characteristics appeal to the thinking mind.

Intuitive Types are drawn to certain aspects of quilting. The fact that quilting starts out with aligning individual pieces of fabric according to a pattern for an individual block, and the blocks are organized into a pattern or alignment that when finished creates a new, overall image - the connected parts come together to create a whole - fits the INtuitive mind. It is the appearance of the finished product that Intuition grasps. The design process appeals to the Intuitive mind, creating either a totally unique design or creatively adapting an existing design. Intuitive types "create" quilts; Sensing types are more likely to "make" quilts.

More on Personality Type and Our Survey Questions

We posed 4 questions about quilting to each quilter who completed out our personality type survey.

red tri See what else we discovered about Quilting & Personality Type

  • Preferred Styles of Quilting
  • Favorite Parts of the Quilting Process
  • Number of Projects going at the same time
  • Use of Quilting Patterns.

Links for More Information on Personality Type:

Myers-Briggs Test *: What's Your Myers-Briggs MBTI Personality Type?

An introduction to the Myers-Briggs Model of Personality Type

Learn about characteristics of the 16 Myers Briggs Personality Types

©QuiltingPathways.com 2006 -2011


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