The easy answer to the question, “Why I sew,” is that it’s in my DNA. I come from a family of sewers. When I contemplate the deeper answer, it’s not so simple.
Quilting is Creative Expression
Quilting is a conduit for bringing my creativity to life. It is a very tactile art involving fabric and textures. It is also a visual art using color and patterns. I get joyously lost with the interplay of the visual and tactile. I want to know, where can this go?
There are many styles in quilting. From the earliest forms of quilts to designs specific to ethnic traditions to today’s geometric modern designs. There is something here for everyone to find creative expression.
I also watercolor paint, draw, knit, and crochet. Experimenting with many mediums lead me to quilting. It is through quilting that I achieve my highest creative expression. It uses all my various talents to create beautiful quilts.
Quilting is Mathematical
My favorite math in school was geometry. I loved the shapes and angles and how it all fit together. Yet, the geometry of quilting is intuitive in a way that allows even the most Arithmophobic among us to enjoy quilting. You don’t need to like math at all to make a beautiful quilt.
Quilting is Therapy
Quilting is also my therapy. It relaxes me and eases my mind. Because some of quilting requires repetition, it helps me cope with the many stresses of life. I can relax my brain and allow the “noise” to quiet down. Some parts of quilting are just plain hard work and require concentration allowing me to build focusing skills. And, it allows me to focus on something outside my problems.
Sometimes quilting helps me deal with sadness and grief. It is a constant in my life providing stability when it seems everything around me is chaos. Having lost both my parents in a relatively small window of time, the act of quilting was a security blanket to me. It is something I can return to again and again for comfort and reassurance that all is ok.
Quilting also teaches me to cope with change and face challenges by engaging creative problem solving. Ran out of fabric that is no longer available – anywhere? There’s a solution – somewhere. I just have to find it. Quilting teaches me to figure it out. I learn to trouble-shoot problems. It teaches me to move past the road block and try new and even inventive things.
Quilting is a Calling
From my earliest days of getting lost in the aisles of fabric bolts at the fabric store to now, I feel called to fabric. I’ve been blessed with the help and guidance of many talented quilters and sewers. I continue to share my knowledge of quilting and encourage others to find their quilting mojo!
Quilting is Community
Quilting is a community of charitable givers. There are numerous charities that benefit from quilters. A few that I have given to include: Quilts of Valor, The United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha, Ronald McDonald House Charities – Eastern Wisconsin and Shriner’s Children’s Hospital – St Louis.
Quilting is a community of like-minded, giving individuals. In no other industry that I have worked in have the women, and men, been so open and sharing of their experiences and talent. They genuinely want other quilters to succeed as they have. There is no hording. Well, maybe of fabric*. But, no hording of knowledge or enthusiasm for the art. They share their pathways to success. Not that you should follow the exact same path as someone else. They are willing to share the tools you will need to find your own path.
These are a few of the reasons I quilt and sew. Why do you quilt and sew?
*I take that back. Quilters even share their most precious fabric when another quilter is in need. Always giving. Always.