Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Why Do You Quilt?"

 
I’ve often been asked why I quilt.  It’s a legitimate question.  After all, historically quilting was a utilitarian craft.  People needed to make quilts to keep warm at night.  Generally, resources were scarce so the small pieces from used fabrics were sewn together to make a larger piece of fabric to create a quilt.  
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Well resources aren’t scarce anymore (remember my fabric stash pictures), and I can just buy perfectly warm blankets already made ~ cheaper than I can make them myself in many cases. 
…So why do I quilt?  Why do I cut up perfectly good fabric, just to sew it back together? And why do I like to do it so much? I’ve made a bunch of quilts.  Complicated quilts and simple quilts, large quilts and small quilts.  I enjoy picking the colors and fabric textures, and the serenity I get from stitching them together (In that I feel a kinship with women of long ago).   I enjoy the creative process, and how that fulfills me.  I enjoy giving quilts as gifts... 
I own quilts that were made by my Great Grandmother, and I cherish them ~ I somehow feel a connection to this woman I never met through these quilts, and hope that someday someone will feel that connection to me through a quilt I’ve made. 

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Even after my Dad really couldn’t recognize me as his daughter any more because of his dementia, he asked me one day as I sat stitching while visiting him at the  nursing home, “Don’t you ever get tired of doing that?” …He made me chuckle.
 
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...I smiled because he asked me that question while this quilt was draped over his legs.  This simple quilt started out as a sample for the quilt shop, but when I was making it I thought of my Dad, so it became a Christmas gift for him in 2007.  You would have thought I had given him gold bars.  Even though it was a throw size quilt, it always laid over his full size bed and he used it nightly.  Then it followed with him to the nursing home as one of those cherished familiar treasures from home.   This humble quilt gave warmth, comfort, and I believe connections when those connections were both fleeting and precious.    
...So no Dad, I don't ever get tired of doing that :)
Why do you quilt?  I’d love to hear!  
Enjoy the day!
~ Dawn

11 comments:

Carol said...

What a wonderful post Dawn...I've been asked that question a million times...my answer is "It's what I do"...

quiltingfrenzy said...
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quiltingfrenzy said...

I quilt because I love to create. It also calms me in today's chaotic world, I can lose myself in my work and forget my worries.

Sieberdesigns said...

I quilt to relax, and to enjoy life. It makes me happy, and even though it's my business and sometimes I have stressors from that, I still love to sew EVERY DAY!

Gail S. said...

I ask myself that too, and my mother also asks. I quilt because I love it, because I can't imaging NOT doing it, because my treasured friends do it. And, of course, I have to use up this enormous stash of fabric that I've accumulated! :)

Terry Aske said...

Quilting is the perfect outlet for my creativity. I collect beautiful, vividly colored fabrics. I love the challenge of combining fabrics and shapes to create a work of art. I always seem to have more ideas for quilts than I have time to make them, so I expect to keep quilting well into the future.

Nancy said...

I have sewn for 50 years, mostly clothing and costuming. It was a natural progression to start quilting when a GF at the time was just starting to quilt too. I had her hand quilt my first top in exchange for baby sitting.

Magpie Quilts said...

I quilt because I have a need to do something creative, something tactile. I love being able to give a quilt as a gift to people I love and to people I don't know at all and to see how much it means to them to have something that someone made by hand. This is a great question and a wonderful post!

Pamela said...

Isn't it wonderful how quilting really gives us so much? I wrote my own blog post with my thoughts: http://pamelaquilts.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-do-i-quilt.html

It really is a special kind of an art, and my life would not be the same without being able to express myself this way.

Barbara said...

It's my creative outlet at the end of a work day - one I need to survive. I started quilting when I quit smoking over 10 years ago - I think it was a good trade.

sew_inspired said...
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