Friday, January 4, 2013

We All Quilt for a Reason




We all quilt for a reason. 

Some of us want to create something of extraordinary beauty with our own hands that will be loved and cherished by those we give them to or pass along through our families as an heirloom.  We want to leave tactile evidence of ourselves for future generations. Others find community in the groups quilters form and through that social engagement make quilts out of friendship and solidarity.  And some of us quilt as a tradition.  Our grandmothers quilted, our mothers quilted and we, as we grow older and wiser, quilt as well.  It's our tradition as well as a continuation of our history as women  - and in more recent times that quilting tradition includes men as well.

Recently I've found myself picking up needle and thread to work on slow, painstaking work for projects that have an end date many years down the road.  When I'm stressed, when life throws curve balls my way, I don't need instant gratification in quilting.  Instead I require time to lose myself in the work.  Time to ponder the singular stitch instead of the finished composition.  As a modern quilter I have the luxury of choice.  I have the choice of taking my time using the tools of traditional quilting with little more than a needle, thread and good scissors.  Or I can decide to quickly create a piece using all the modern conveniences we quilters have at our disposal now; super fast sewing machines with machine quilting frames, die cutters for quick fabric shape cutting, rotary blade cutters and high tech rulers and templates, basting glues and fusible web... the list goes on. Knowing I have these choices sometimes makes me think that I'm living during a revolution in quilt history.  Never before have so many options been at a quilters disposal to create the quilts we long to eventually wrap ourselves or our loved ones in.  Which takes me back to my original statement - we all quilt for a reason and I think for most of us those reasons are ever changing and fluid.     

And what are my reasons?  Mine are all of the above and more.  I find working with textiles a great stress reliever.  When I've had a hard day at the office or when nothing sees to be going right, I find solace in picking up my needle and thread to execute that perfect, singular stitch.  Somehow this clears my head and takes me out of stress mode to a good place in mind and body.  I quilt as a social endeavour, having made friends with women who also enjoy the act/art of quilting.  And I quilt as a tradition.  It's an art I'm now teaching my granddaughter who may one day teacher her own daughter and so on and so on.  My quilting links me to the women who have come before and will come after me.  There's a beauty in being part of that history.   

We all quilt for a reason.  What's yours?

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! I quilt for the creative outlet, the stress relief, the reminder of a slower paced life, the joy of giving something I personally labored over, the companionship, and lots of other reasons I'm sure. So happy to have found such a lovely hobby.:)

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