Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why bother to sew a handmade quilt?

Ah, such a question! Thank you to Madame Samm for giving me,
Deanna from WeddingDressBlue, the chance to share a few ideas.

If you blog, you may know that blogs have a statistics page where you
can see how many visitors you have had and where they came from.
One part I always find interesting is the search terms people
entered that brought them to my blog.

Last Tuesday, some lucky (unsuspected perhaps uniformed )
soul used the search:

Why bother to sew a handmade quilt?

For a second I thought, “You know, they might have a point. Why bother?”
After all you can buy a “handquilted” object as W*****t for $40. Then,
I shook myself back to reality and said, “There are a lot of reasons to sew a handmade quilt!”

Sew, here they are, my Top 10 Reasons to Sew a Handmade Quilt:

#10. Skills
Hands busy and brain sharp. Quilting is so simple on the surface,
but there is always a new technique or trick or skill. You need to
know very little to get started, and you never stop learning once you start.

#9. Beauty
As skills have already been mentioned, remember that it doesn't
have to be perfect to be beautiful. In fact, if it is too perfect, it might not look handmade anymore.

#8. Stories.
Oh, there are always great stories. Single scrap of fabric or
heirloom quilt, they all have stories. And the stories come in so many
forms and last a long time. The wedding quilt that was accidently thrown
away at the reception, for example, or why not to pass scissors across a quilt while group quilting.
We all have them, don't we?

#7. Socializing.
Call it cooperative work, camaraderie, socialization, a bee.
Whatever you call it, it is a unique way to meet interesting people and learn new things.

Discussing our next quilting bee!
6. Creative
Economists call us consumers. I really don’t like that word. I would rather
be a creator. Wouldn’t you? To be doing something that will last is a real solid pleasure.

#5. Therapy.

So much cheaper than the kind that involves a couch
and medication. Really, without quilting I would have to go there-for sure.

Did you know:
Quilting lowers your heart rate therefore reducing blood pressure.
It helps you to sleep better (of course this not does refer to menopausal women)
We have fewer cold and influenzas ( maybe because we would prefer to stay home then shop and travel
is that just me? lol)
Quilters wounds heal faster, oh sew true.Quilting provides us with a lot of time to get to know ourselves,
we think, plan, dream more. We are HAPPIER!

#4. Magic.

You know the moment. You hand over the quilt and they look at you,
sometimes with tears in their eyes, and say, “You made this? For me?”

#3 Patterns

Oooo…Ahhh…so many great ideas. And I get to build my stash
as much as I can.

#2 Fabric

Sometimes you just can't resist buying more
and more and more....Need I say more?


This is kind of like #4. But with a little extra. Nothing says love
like handmade. Maybe that is the magic? It is certainly why I quilt.

I am sure you can think of many more...
but this is why I quilt...

Sew…Why do you quilt? Why bother? Is it worth it? Just asking?


  1. Of course its worth! It is an outlet for our creativity- it is VERY satisfying cutting up all that beautiful fabric into little bits and putting it back together so it looks even more beautiful! Congrats Deanna on your guest spot!!! Suz

  2. sew true... :) great post.. i smile while reading this because it is so true.. especially #5.. owh well.. all are so true!
    i learn to quilt/patchwork & sew handmade so that i can recycle/reproduce whatever i have in hands..

  3. This is the loveliest blog post! You really summed it up so well! I agree with every word. Thank you!

  4. Wow! You said it!! I've been asked many times why I don't just buy a quilt if I want one. I need to quilt. It helps fill that creative part of me. It keeps me calm when I worry or get stressed. It brings me so much joy when I give a gift of my hand made quilt. I do it for myself, and to share with others. When I create a quilt and put all those hours of work into it, then finally get it done, it's bliss!!! The reward of taking the challenge and making it to the end is just the most amazing feeling. Thanks for this wonderful post. Hugs Ariane

  5. I'm with you on the love, therapy, creativity, socializing and skills. But I add its a Heritage craft that needs to be kept alive. The repurposing is just like our foremothers(fathers) in making do with what you have. The new fabrics and new designs add to the creativity of the old standard blocks of long ago. Thank you for a thought provoking post.

  6. I had the same fleeting thought today while in WM and seeing a collection of new quilts they had. I like your list though and totally agree. It is mostly the LOVE and you can't get that from a WM quilt. ;)

  7. Ditto...Ditto..Ditto...Nothing can compare to the beauty of a REAL QUILT. It has just been in the last 2 yrs. that I could bring myself to machine quilt. I did everything by hand. MY daughter's QUEEN size wedding quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted. However, I have come around to the idea that I want to make more than ONE quilt per year so I've yielded to the machine but I still love the feel of handquilting! Great Post!

  8. Great reasons to create your own quilt. I know I always feel calmer when I have time to sew. Even when I had a stressful day at work, if I could spend some time sewing I could wipe out all the stress of the day and feel enthusiastic about the rest of the day.


  9. I think you have covered it all - but for me its mainly for Therapy, Relaxation and Socalising. Its something to do to keep your hands busy while you are waiting or watching TV. And it is not always the end product that is important - its the journey there.

  10. Such a good post! I agree with all the reasons...adding two more...Uniqueness (one of a kind)(may go with #6) and just because I Like To! Quilting never gets old!

  11. Quilting is cheaper than therapy!!! I love fondling fabric.. is that wrong to fondle fabric??? *W* I like the smell of it, I like tracking down an elusive piece.. the only the I dont like about quilting is when I use that last piece of a fabric fabric, its like saying goodbye to an old friend.. *sigh*

  12. You said it!!
    What a lovely post, thank you!

  13. You are totally right. I love your story !

  14. It has to be a non-quilter asking that question "why bother" if they were a quilter they wouldn't ask. It's so dam addictive, once you start that's it you are hooked!!! Interesting about the blood pressure I am going to Drs tomorrow to have mine checked...will see what he says!! Linda

  15. Why would I Hand Quilt?
    Therapy for my ADHD... just Stay Put, Don't Move, and Concentrate 8^{
    Rather a therapy for me.
    May be some day I will really like it. There is something to look forward to!
    Irene from Amsterdam

  16. Well, I completely agree with you, but it is more much than just therapy and passing on skills: it is also very important to todays economy, just look at all te fabric we can choose from nowadays, it is not only about recycling old stuff anymore. Wether you pile all your quilts on your own bed, or spread the love of making and sharing with loads of others, I think it is mostly in the love of making and giving that we get out peasure. At least I do! No matter what method you use, be sure your gift will be very much apreciated by the lucky recipient.
    Lotte van der Linden.

  17. Wonderful post ....
    Each time I undertake a dream job is unique, creative and done with love.
    Happy stitching!

  18. what a nice post! i agree to nearly all your reasons! i especially liked the 'magic' reason...:)
    but what i really can't hear anymore (and finally have to tell) is that quilting-therapy thing. honestly. yes, quilting IS a wonderful way to keep things balanced, but NO WAY it's a substitution for therapy (medical or other kind) for really ill people. if quilting does the trick for you, you never would HAVE to go to a psychiatrist.

  19. Great post! Quilting and creating anything with fabric is my art form.

  20. Amen Sister! You have hit the nail on the head, and I too, love looking at the stats and seeing where readers come from and what they search for. It's my first stop of the day!

  21. Great post! I think you hit all the reasons for me! I am sew much happier if I am making something!

  22. quilting is my artistic outlet and also I have to have my hands busy all the time it seems - I can not just sit and do nothing - I love creating.

  23. All those reasons and a million more! Thanks for the reminder.

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  24. Well said Deanna!! Thanks for a great post.

  25. All of those reasons you listed, and for memories. I am hand quilting a Hexagon quilt, so that when I'm long gone, my family will have that quilt, and say..your grandma made that, your great grandma made that....one stitch at a time with her hands.. I'm sure they will be baffled as to why..but I know. I want them to have something from me to them with love.

  26. Good Morning Deanna, ahhhhh don't you know it, this post is an absolute delight. You touched on highlights that without a doubt is the thread that ties us all together. I would go as far to say, that quilting is the richness of a very fulfilled life - I sew wish I caught the fever earlier . Our young ones have won the lottery who are experiencing this now.... This post brought many smiles...

  27. I love 4 and 1!! They are so true, I have seen tears to jumping up and down on a bed in excitement after giving a quilt. It truly warms your heart :)

  28. I quilt for all the reasons you stated! Unfortunately, I have a bad cold right now, so I guess I should go spend time in my sewing room so I can get better!

  29. Very good post - thank you! I quilt because I like making something that is unique to me. Good or bad, it is me. I felt that way when I taught myself to knit. The first think I knit was a complex patterned sweater for my boyfriend (now my husband) who was away at boot camp. I remember thinking that I took that ball of 'string' and made something from it. It was (and is) a great feeling.

    Hugs - Marie

  30. Great post !! I sometimes ask myself the same question....and now I have the answers ready for myself!! As a beginner, I often feel frustrated, then see all these beautiful things and get inspired again. I just posted "A few things I have learned about quilting!" but I have sooooo much more to learn!

  31. Oh, I have one more reason to add. When I hand quilt in front of the TV at night, I don't eat and snack! Quilting helps with weight watching!

  32. I agree with every, single one! There is just nothing like it. :)

  33. Wonderful post, and all so true. Even my hubby notices that I am happier when I am working on a quilt. There is such a warm feeling I get knowing that all those I love are sleeping or resting under a quilt that I made with love.

  34. I fully agree with your post.And I just enjoy the time in stitching and quilting to calm down and let my thoughts go around, thinking of this and that. It is like being refreshed again!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  35. I started quilting to do something different. I put it down for a few years (college - need I say more?) Then picked it back up in Mid 2010 when my 'real' job became too stressful. I can't afford to take a leave of absence, but I did have multiple totes of fabric... so, there it began - again. Now, I can't turn it off. Between September and Christmas there were six quilts completed, five handbags created, 9 little handbags given, 15 sets of pillowcases finished, two skirts given as gifts at Christmas... and a partridge in a pear tree! HAHA! I have the bug. I am a little overwhelmed reading through this - I did all THAT in 3.5 months?!?!? But I sleep better at night, I can embrace my 'real' job again, and I can participate in quality time with my almost-two-year-old, I can hang out with the husband and not fall asleep too early. These are a few reasons why I sew - and yes, there are more! ;-)

  36. It is definitely worth it. Love the reasons you gave. When I read it to my hubby, he asked "where's my sewing machine". I just might have to get him one. Great post!!

  37. Quilting is a creative outlet for me. It allows me to do things "my way" and see how my color choices, pattern choices play out. It also connects me with my mom and granny and countless other women who "made do" and made their own quilts.

    It's lovely to hold a quilt that you made and see all of that effort come to fruition. Sigh.

  38. "The List" is perfect. I've been quilting for almost 40 years, eeek, and have loved every moment.

  39. Worth every stitch for every reason you listed!!

  40. All very good reasons. Especially number one, Love. When I'm making a quilt for someone, I'm always thinking of them and I know how much they will Love the quilt.

  41. Yes to all of those reasons. Plus the feeling EYE get when I send off a big box of quilts to a charity. That kind of giving is as good as getting, if you know what I mean. Lovely post.

  42. Ah, the magic... Not every time, but this Christmas, I gave a quilt to my daughter's first school teacher, and she was blown away. That's why I keep quilting and giving to others.

  43. All of those reasons and more! I suffer from panic attacks, and if I can calm myself enough to sit at the sewing machine (I always keep something to work on by the machine), I feel better within a few minutes. Such a creative outlet for relieving stress!

  44. Why to I quilt? Because I enjoy it!! I agree with all 10 reasons and I love to know that #5 will keep me healthy so I can still enjoy this wonderful gift for years to come!

  45. OMW!!! This is an AWESOME post. All of the above with a HUGE measure of pure JOY, JOY, JOY!!!

  46. What a beautiful post! I'm so glad you took the time to write it out. I totally agree with your ten points.

    I love to sew and making people happy is a feeling beyond compare! I hope to give away a quilt one of these days...I just have to finish it!

  47. Beautiful sentiment and wisdom shared here! I found myself nodding my head the whole time and especially echo that quilting is my therapy too! This really makes me want to run over to my machine and get 'er going!

  48. Well you just made my day. What a great post! I agree and I quilt for those reasons and there is this inner satisfaction of giving a part of yourself in the gift. It is also a quiet place to go from the busy and/or demands of life. My sewing machine is never put away and I use it most every day. Lot of stories for personal healing time and going through bad time with loved ones were tied around a quilt that you worked on to help your mind through that time. Thanks for the post and thoughts. Love Lois

  49. Well said!

    Quilting...to "get" it, you have to do it.

  50. For me your list hit a lot of the major reasons why to quilt. For me it is fulfilling the urge to create and to use my brain to learn new things!
    But most of all it just makes me happy!
    Thanks for the post

  51. Love says it all. Good post. :-)

  52. Love all your reasons, but as the sufferer of a bad fabric addiction...I make quilts so I can buy MORE beautiful fabric.

    I feel it is a gift to sew, so I therefore I quilt. Don't want to waste God's gifts.

  53. tears in my eyes reading this post... bravo, my dear

    and the # 1 ~secret~ reason to quilt - a place to "stash" your chocolate for those sleepless menopausal nights when the rotary cutter is put to work big time

  54. PLEASE SEE COMMENT #20 from Julia:

    Julia, thank you for taking the time to comment on my post “Why bother to sew a handmade quilt.” I apologize for my insensitive reason #5. Your kind, but to-the-point remark was a great and humbling reminder. I really appreciate you bringing it up. There are true, grave mental illnesses and I am very grateful for professional help and the advances in medication that allow so many to live their life in a way that wasn’t ever thought possible just a few years ago. Please know how much I value your comment and I will not say “quilting is therapy” again. Rather, I will say what is true: Quilting is a great stress relief for me.


  55. What a great post Deanna! I quilt for me, for the creativity that drives me, for that magic moment, the stress busting, the pleasure in giving something made with that one person in mind, and oh so many others, I think it's the glue that holds me together!

  56. All those reasons are so true. My favourite saying is "material is medicine"...

  57. Thank you for the lovely post. I relate to all of these reasons for making a handmade quilt. I also enjoy using my mathematical skills. follower MarciaW.

  58. I love hand stitching....nothing is more soothing than sitting in my chair with a glass of iced chai tea latte, the fire going and the tv on an NCIS marathon (what can I say, I'm a Mark Harmon groupie) and my hand sewing in my lap! blessings, marlene

  59. I like #6 Creative as even if you are working with a kit from a pattern you still put some of your individuality into every item you make. You can't buy that :)!

  60. I totally agree!! Great post!

  61. Creativity, fun, something to do with my hands, gifts for people (oh yes, that look of "oh wow" when you give someone a quilt), enjoyment, and, uh, yes, possibly the fabric.

    I'm a computer programmer by trade, but when I go home, I put that away and get creative! Writing, cooking, gardening, and, of course, quilting! I love the process of planning, colour, and design! Trying new techniques, and always the expression on the face of the recipient!

  62. I couldn't have said it better myself. I feel lost when days go by and I haven't had a chance to quilt, sew, cut, create.

  63. All the above reasons for me. I am driven to quilt by the urge to plan out a quilt and see my plans to reality. It gives me a sense of control and the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a quilt is so gratifying. It almost compensates for the guilt I feel over not finishing so many others. There's always another one waiting in the wings...GREAT POST

  64. Re. post 20 and 58. I have clinical depression. I have had it most of my life. I have a bout of it approximately once every two months with varying severity. Handcrafts, including quilting are part of my therapy. So, the term quilt therapy is true for me. Taking part in activities we enjoy helps keep all people mentally healthy. Deanna, I'm glad quilting keeps you off the psychiatrist's couch. It is not a pleasant place to be. Your post is wonderful. It made me smile.

  65. This post was just what I needed today, thanks!

  66. It feeds my creative soul and brings me comfort in ways that no other pastime does- not even blogging which I love. There is something about handling fabric that is different than other ways of creating.
    I loved your reasons- they are so true.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Warmest regards from Western Canada,


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