Quilters worldwide make quilts for many reasons. Reasons may include income, for charity or community, for personal satisfaction, as school projects, for therapeutic help, and the list goes on. But the real question is are you a happy quilter?
No matter why you quilt, does it bring you joy? Does it improve your life? Do you look forward to your quilting time each day?
Like you, I live in the real world. I work full time, clean my home, shop, cook, mow the lawn, try to keep neat flower beds, etc. My days are busy.
Right along with that is what is going on around me and us. Co-workers who are toxic, rising prices on everything, car repairs, family tragedies, illness, and weather-related issues. Toss in the mix the rising crime rate, politics and politicians, and just the general bizarre things going on in the world.
It is certainly easy to give into despair and depression.
Quilting makes life better
However, in my own life (and yes, opinion) quilting is a place and activity to retreat to from the stress and craziness of the world outside.
I long ago decided my home and garden would be my shelter and safe space. Either place allows me to draw a deep breath and leave the outside world at the door. This also means I am very protective of who or what comes into my safe space.
As a medical professional, I see daily how people allow themselves to be stressed and even mentally ill by not having a place or activity to retreat to for peace and quiet. Yes, I know that can be an oversimplification of health issues, but it is a starting place.
If we have somewhere to go and something to do that brings us peace, we can be much happier. So back to my question – are you a happy quilter?
We all have certain quilting activities that we like better than others. However, as my grandmother would tell me, we choose to be happy. So, while I like piecing better than ironing the seams, both make me happy because they are steps to having a finished, useful, and pretty quilt.
I have a quilting buddy that “pets” her fabrics when she has had a rough day and needs to feel relaxed and happy. You can laugh, but it works for her.
Are you a happy quilter?
Honestly, what parts of the quilting process make you happiest? What parts are not your favorites? How can your attitude toward the less favorite parts change to make you happier?
To be a happy quilter you need to recognize how the parts of quilting make you happy.
For many years, I absolutely abhorred binding my quilts. I would put it off as long as possible. Then one day I realized that if I would change my attitude about binding quilts, they would be completed faster. Wow, I could use and enjoy them sooner! Ok, so it still not my favorite part of quilting. But I have figured out that I can bind and watch my favorite old movies while I am binding – what a great excuse to view those fun old movies. Now binding makes me happy.
Whether you quilt alone or with others, enjoy the process. The quilt certainly does not have to be perfect, but it should bring a smile to your face and happiness to your heart. Maybe there is a funny story about the quilt. Or it is made with the “perfect” fabric that you love. It could be your absolute favorite pattern. And the list goes on.
And for those quilts you just can’t get happy about – the solution might be to give it to someone who will enjoy it. There is no rule that says you have to keep every quilt you make.
Maybe you have a desire to move on to some other crafty activity. It is alright to make a change. Choose something and go for it. No guilt – really.
For those of us who continue to quilt – be a happy quilter.
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
FB 9-7-23/P/I 09-07-23