First and foremost I quilt because I love the joy it brings me and those to whom I give my quilts. I love to see someone snuggled up with one of my quilts; and I love to see the grandkids picking through the pile of quilts, trying to decide which one to use that night. I love the idea that they all know they are getting a hug from me every time they use one of the quilts I've made.
I love the excitement of picking fabrics and the bit of uncertainty that the fabrics I've chosen will "work." I love the excitement of cutting that first piece and then hand-stitching that last binding piece. I love putting the blocks on the design wall and "playing" to see what looks best. I admit that this is probably where I lack the most imagination but I have people who are helping me with that. Thanks Jerry and Jack!
I also sew because I love to teach quilting. There is so much joy in teaching someone a new technique and watching as their fabric choices are sewn together to create a beautiful keepsake for a loved one. I love the excitement they express when their blocks measure the desired size, thus meaning that they have found that elusive 1/4" seam allowance. I love to see students proudly display their fist completed block and be thrilled and excited to keep going. I love it when it's time to go home and they don't want to because they've had so much fun and don't want to stop sewing.
I love to learn about quilting. I love to read everything I can about the history of quilting as well as new techniques and fabrics. I love to learn about other quilters and their life experiences and what has brought them to this place in their quilting lives. I love that they are willing to share their creations and talents with others.
I love to learn while I teach. I learn to be a bit more open to "different" color or fabric combinations. I learn new ways to do things because I always watch how others cut, pin and sew. I love to learn new uses for household items that you would typically not find anywhere near a sewing machine. And of course I then love to share this new-found knowledge with others. I love to learn about the many makes and models of machines out there in the quilting/sewing world; and I especially love it when I can show someone a new feature on their machine.
And I learn patience as I work with students who are new to quilting and just "don't get" what I am trying to teach. That forces me to slow down, evaluate my method and come up with something different. I always make notes and thank the student for his/her patience. When I go home, I practice what we did so I can be a better teacher and my next set of students can reap the benefits of my new skill set.
In short, I guess I love just about everything there is about quilting.
Amy Gibson who blogs over at Stitchery Dickory Dock and is the author of For Keeps, a wonderful book that is all about being intentional about quilt making. It is so easy to get caught up in the deadline for our quilts that we often forget to enjoy the process of making it. Amy helps to re-root ourselves and the reasons we quilt.
Here's what Amy has to say about her book.
"I believe that a quilt, or any item, becomes memorable not simply because it exists, but because it carries with it something worth remembering–and that is precisely what For Keeps is all about– creating beautiful quilts that accumulate meaning through everyday use, and become memorable keepsakes that your children and children’s children will treasure.
The book features 12 quilts and 4 patchwork keepsakes, from my family to yours. With easy-to-follow instructions, beginners can dive in with confidence, and quilters of all levels can be inspired to make items your family will use today and treasure forever.
Snuggled under on movie night, spread out in the park, or tossed in the back seat for that family road trip– these are everyday quilts soaked in priceless memories."
Perfectly explained, isn't it? With that thought in mind, Amy has created the “For Keeps” pledge:
Don't you love that? I sure do. You can take the pledge HERE.
You can even print out the pledge for your sewing room. (I've already done that!) And to top it all off, Amy is giving away a free quilt block pattern for those taking the pledge.
Whether you take the pledge or not, evaluate why you sew/quilt and be sure that at least one of the reasons is for YOU!