15 6 / 2012
Long have I known that quilting is good for my soul! It has seen me through many rough patches, provided me comfort and given me companionship. When my children were very small and I would come home from a horrid day at work, they would run from whatever corner of the house they were in shouting “mom’s home, mom’s home” throw their arms around me and at that moment my wretched day would melt away and everything was right with the world. My children are grown now, but I can capture that same feeling when I sit down to my little sewing machine and take a stitch. It is as though the stress melts away and it is just me with my little sewing machine surrounded by fabric and the glory that is quilting.
I am intent on the project at hand, cutting, piecing, and sewing. Surrounded by colourful hues and fabric textures my creativity is flowing and my project is coming to life. Completely immersed and at the goal line I don’t realize how the hours have slipped away until I glance at the clock and realize that morning comes early. Shall I pull an all-nighter and go straight to work or should I try to catch a wink or two, oh maybe just one more seam, or block. Other quilters know what I’m talking about.
Quilters are kindred spirits, kind and generous of heart. They promote goodwill in their communities, support numerous charitable organizations and are always thinking of their next project for someone else, naturally. The quilts they make bring comfort and love to those who receive them.
People of all ages and walks of life are embracing this hobby removing the stigma that is only for old ladies. Young designers have injected the fabric world with inspiration and men like Ricky Tims have taken the quilting industry to new heights.
The medical community is recognizing what we quilters have known all along that quilting is in fact very good for us.
· Quilting lowers your heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration.
· Quilting helps you sleep better (unless you pull an all-nighter)
· Quilting floods your brain with dopamine and serotonin – happy brain chemicals
· Quilting decreases stress. The repetition is a ‘cognitive distracter,’ which will distract you from stress giving you a sense of accomplishment that increases the reward chemicals and decreases the chemicals related to stress or anxiety
· Quilting offers challenges in mathematics and geometry.
· Quilting increases confidence and has an important social aspect.
In short, the soothing rhythms of quilt making allow us to process whatever challenges we face and to listen for that still, quiet voice that brings compassion and guidance. Quilting is about love and relationships. It is life-affirming and life-giving. Quilting is excellent therapy. Ask any quilter. Each and every one of them and their quilts have a story to tell.