Why I Quilt
Being a twenty-something year old who looks as though she should probably be attending the classes she teaches in high school, I get weird looks when people find out I quilt. Usually following the look, I get asked why I do it, other times, I just get called a nanna, and rarely, people think its pretty cool and exclaim they wish they were creative/could sew/ had the patience to make a quilt.
So why do I do it? Well, if you’ve been tagging along with my little bloggy you will find I’m new to quilting, but those that will know me will know that I’ve been sewing since I was about.... well, since I was co-ordinated enough to hold a needle and not just poke myself with it!
As a child I would attend sewing classes in the school holidays in a little shop in the suburbs complete with lunch and chocolate teddy biscuits! We’d make pillow cases, skirts and bags. As a teenager, I would sew my own clothes, usually without patterns, and experiment with fabrics trims 'till late into the night. I’d rarely finish projects, but when I did, man was I proud. Leaving High School, I attended University and upgraded to my Brother Innovis, absolutely sure I would be using it. Sewing machines and supplies were a must have for me, even if I wasn’t using them. I was a sewer, and it was part of my life. Well, as I’ve mentioned on here before, not a lot of sewing went on for those 4 years of Uni, or last year in my first year of teaching.
So why Quilting? Well, my boyfriends mum, is a sewer, and upon meeting her for the first time I see her amidst a series of tiny fabric squares and triangles. Being a sewer myself, well I was interested to say the least! At first, like most, I thought I wouldn’t have the time or patience to do something so intricate, and the only quilts I’d seen were quite ghastly. However, I was intrigued. After seeing many of “mum’s” gorgeous quilts, I was adamant that I wanted to make one. Luckily for me, last Christmas I was the lucky recipient of a quilters starter kit, complete with Elizabeth Hartman’s The Practical Guide to Patchwork. The Snapshots Quilt caught my eye, and I knew I HAD to make it. It was simple, modern, and very ME. Plus, it allowed me to 'teach' myself in a way, as I'm used to with most creative endeavours.
6 Months later and my first quilt is done J and fair to say, I’m hooked! But we’ve come all this way to find out WHY! Quite simply, for me it is the process. The fact that I have simple and easy to follow patterns (once I got over the fact that everything was measured in inches!), the repetitiveness of the process and the fact that it isn’t clothing that I’m making for THAT weekend to wear means I can take my time, let my mind focus on the task at hand, and simply enjoy it. For someone who has struggled with mental Illness, it has been a release and has given me something to achieve. At each step of the quilting process from washing, cutting, piecing and to quilting, it is easy to see my little project piece together, and with each step as the project grows I feel like I have achieved something, while also maintaining a cool calm head, which doesn’t always occur if your crafting a piece of clothing from scratch with no pattern or instruction.
Plus, the quilting community is by far so much more welcoming than some other creative communities. I have found each quilter I have met (or read on their blog) to be down to earth, helpful, kind and inspiring.
So why wouldn’t I quilt?