The quilting industry can be divided into a few categories including the shops that sell quilts, the mass produced quilts, and those who produce handmade quilts for their own purposes, either for art, sale, decorative use or as a gift.
Stores that sell quilts may either sell handmade ones, or mass produced quilts. This can include anything from clothing, to bedspread sets, comforters, duvets and baby blankets. The quilted material is sold in several different types of patterns, fabrics and styles. In these stores, they often sell bot antique-style color blocking, and more modern pattern styles where the different fabrics are woven together. Additionally, these shops should carry the material required to make your own quilt, bedspread or baby blanket. This includes everything from basic starter kits that contain patterns, thread and yarn, to decorative sets containing not just batting, but material choices like cotton and wool, ribbons, and other materials.
There are large factory companies that compile both of these sets, and create their own quilts to be sold in stores. These come in patchwork styles, or other simple patterns that have mass market appeal. Here, large portions of fabric are cut, then sewn together by machines. These factories are useful in creating wraps, clothing, bed sheets, and more. The finished quilts are then shipped to stores, where the consumer can buy them.
Finally, we have the true practitioners of the craft. These are the individuals that still use quilting to preserve family history, create an artistic piece of art, or simply make a living off of their handmade products. These weavers and sewers have preserved quilting at its best creating unique, inspired pieces that may lack mass market appeal, but are firmly within the tradition.