Quilting is Therapy! When I had my storefront quilt store in Yuma, Arizona, I featured a local customer as Quilter of the Month and showcased her quilts in the shoppe. It was an absolute delight to see the gorgeous quilts come out of the closets and drawers to hang them beautifully around the store. I couldn’t wait each month to see the unique style of each quilter unveiled each to learn more about her.
One gal that I approached for Stitches Quilting “Quilter of the Month” having her quilts showcased in a future month was hesitant. She said that she loved piecing quilt tops together but that she rarely quilted and finished them. I told her it did not matter, that we wanted to see and display all her work. She said she didn’t care about finishing them because each quilt top of quilting was her therapy!
I agree 300% with that. Quilting is therapy! There is nothing like being discouraged in life and thoughtfully pause with beautiful fabrics, and threads to execute something your mind has envisioned. There have been many times that I have felt so downtrodden not knowing what to do, but in this confusion I would quilt and create while thoughtfully considering how to react to an event in my life. I remember those quilts so vividly and I am so deeply attached to those stitches. It was through those stitches that I decided how to rise above a situation that was challenging. Often I made quilts for other people at those times and I think that by serving another through my stitching, I was able to put my troubles into perspective.
I remember quilting while I was expecting my second child knowing that he had severe special needs (tuberous sclerosis) and wanting to wrap this child with my love when he arrived. I remember making a quilt when my little brother died to comfort my mother the first Christmas that he would not be with us. I remember making my mother an intricate quilt and so lovingly picking out fabrics and designs when we learned of her diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease. I made that quilt to manifest my love for my mother; that quilt laid over her as she progressed through the disease and I cared for her until her death. I cherish that quilt now in my home representing the bond of our mother daughter relationship.
I remember being bewildered at the thought that I was quickly going facing a divorce with three small children to care for. The youngest was three months old and the second oldest with very severe special needs. The thought of the challenges ahead overwhelmed me, but what did I do? I quilted. I quilted a simple quilt for my special needs son and as I stitched I knew that I would have the strength, dignity and resolve to face the challenges ahead.
I recall quilting in times of joy and anticipation to celebrate moments. I remember vividly creating quilts with carefully selected fabrics for people who I loved. I remember thoughtfully selecting fabrics to make a quilt for my fiancé and current husband. I wanted him to know how much I cared for him and appreciated his love. He was so delighted to see me come off an airplane with a quilt tied in a bow hoping that it was something for him. It was for him and how I enjoyed giving him something I created with my hands to represent my devotion to him.
Quilting is Therapy… there are so many challenges that we may face quietly stitching away while deciding our resolve or approach. Quilting is Therapy… in the friendships that we create as we stitch, share and dream together. I am so grateful for such a beautiful healthy hobby to embrace that helps me become a better person while doing something positive. Whether we stitch alone or with others, pull out a sewing machine, let it hum and sooth your troubles to become peace within your soul. Allow yourself to lay fabrics on the floor next to each other for hours deciding upon a beautiful combination that will express what you need to share. Give yourself the permission that no matter what you will face in life that you can still create and feel joy.
Stitch, find peace and be happy,