Friday, April 18, 2014

Why I Quilt

Allow me to wax philosophical for a moment or two. I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole crafting scene. Why do this? Why spend all of my spare time creating? What is the drive that makes me want to cut up little pieces of cloth into smaller pieces and stitch them back together?

Or spend an evening cross-stitching in front of the TV?

Or crocheting an edge on a fleece blanket?

The fact that most people now engaging in rampant craftyness are no longer doing so to survive or out of necessity is something that I currently find amazing. We are sewing quilts and clothes and cross-stitching and crocheting and rubber stamping and so on because it amuses us. We spend money (and lots of it, as evidenced by the several major chain stores and countless independents that cater to our needs) on hobbies that alternatively makes us curse and cry or jump for joy. Many of us have several projects going at a time some of which will never get finished,

stashes of fabric and supplies that we don't have a prayer of ever using up in our lifetimes,

and we obsess, oh boy do we obsess, over the next project, the latest design, and hey check out that awesome new fabric line.

In addition, the crafting community seems to be a society of givers. We sweat and bleed over our projects for countless hours and then just poof! give them away to people who may or may not care for them or even like them. Project Linus, Quilts of Valor, and the many nursing home charities are perfect examples.

I personally can barely tolerate having a finished blanket hanging unused in my closet. Its like an itch that I can't scratch. There must be someone who can use it. After all, I put all that time and work into completion of said blanket and I think it would be a gosh-darn shame if it wasted away in my closet. And yes, if I give away a blanket I expect it to get used, which means it will get worn and stained but at least someone is getting some comfort out of it, right?

The closest I've come to resolving this internal quandary about WHY (and I'm really not sure why this is so important to me) is that I believe in God, and that we are made in the image of God, and He is described first as the Creator. The drive to create new things and the wonderment and pride we feel when a project is finished, I believe are reflections of our origins as created beings ourselves. And if that isn't enough of a reason for you to craft to your heart's content, then this picture will sum it all up.

This is Irene. She lives in Nana's nursing home. Her brother just passed away and she doesn't have anyone else in this world. She is depressed and the staff at the nursing home say she hasn't gotten out of bed in a while. I had asked my mother-in-law to find a suitable home for the quilt and she picked Irene. And now, Nana has a new friend to visit in the nursing home and Irene has someone who will check on her once in a while.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Why I Quilt.


  1. You sound so much like me although my crafting doesn't include quilting! It is so wonderful to see or hear of the joy your little work of art can give a person and it spreads out like ripples in a pond!

  2. I really enjoyed this post as I read along. When I got to the last picture, I could tell this woman was in a nursing home bed, and my first thought was that I wish I had completed a quilt during the time my mother-in-law was in a nursing home. But I was only just starting to learn and all I could show her was my progress on quilt blocks. And then I scrolled a little further and saw this woman's name is Irene. That was my mother-in-law's name. I'm so happy for this Irene.

  3. What a great blog post....thanks for sharing.

  4. What a wonderful post and happy ending ! :) Love it and the quilt!

  5. I so love reading posts like this one. This picture of Irene certainly says it all. I think that crafters from all around the world are part of a community, one of makers and givers.
    Thank you for this post and for sharing this picture.

  6. I agree! We create because we are made in the image of the Creator! So happy Irene has a new quilt and a new friend. That IS what it is all about :).

  7. That is a perfect reason to quilt! I think most of us just like creating something with our hands and hearts! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  8. Oh Kaelyn, that is so beautiful - I love every word. I feel like I found a kindred spirit too. If you read the "Hello there!" page on my blog you will see a statement remarkably like your own regarding our need to create.
    God bless you and Nana and Irene!