I wrote this essay for my college english class and got an A+ on it so I thought I'd post it here for everyone to read. Hope ya'll like it.
Quilting As A Form Of Relaxation
How do you relax? Do you knit or crochet? Do you work on cars and trucks? Do you like to read books? Do you like to write books? What about crafts? Do you have a favorite craft? How about woodworking or jewelry making? What about quilting? All of these things have two things in common – they all involve (1) working with your hands and (2) relaxing. If you are stressed out about your family or your job or just life in general, you can grab some material and your quilting supplies and dive in.
Once you start quilting, you will feel the stress just melting away until there is nothing left but you and your work of art. I know many people wonder what got them so upset in the first place after they have been quilting for a few hours. Below are comments from four of them.
Inventor and male quilter John Flynn stated in an interview that the comfort for him comes from actually making the quilt and not in the finished product itself. He says that we live in an age when everyone is too busy. With quilting, you can relax and be productive at the same time. It is a time of fun and adventure. All you need to do is select a pattern and material and you are on your way. And finally, he stated that he got into quilting quite by accident. He was designing a new quilting frame for his wife and wanted to prove to her that it would work. He tried it out and found out how relaxing quilting can be and has not looked back yet.
Author and well-known quilter Marianne Fons stated in an interview that her favorite part of the whole quilting process is seeing it come out right in the design stage. Her reasons for quilting are a bit different in that she has turned it into a career and has raised her family on it but she still gets pleasure from it. It is just that her motivations for quilting are different from the average persons’.
My favorite aunt, Dorothy Keefe, stated in an interview that she prefers to quilt when she is upset about something as she feels that you cannot start quilting and stay upset about anything. It just does not work that way. She states that it beats any tranquilizer that she knows of and she has been an RN for 52 years. Although she has sewn clothing for quite a number of years, she did not actually start quilting until about 10 years ago, and has probably quilted several hundred quilts since then.
My sister, Carolyn Degginger, states that when she comes home from work and has had a bad day, she just gets out her quilting material. She stated that there have been times when she has been known to have 10 – 12 stacks of material all over her living room. She will start mixing the colors to come up with a combination that she likes and when she finds one she likes she sets it aside. She then gets down to the serious business of coming up with a design that is aesthetically pleasing. By doing this she forgets all about what happened at work and what upset her in the first place.
As for me, I agree with all four of these people. I will be upset about something and come to my craft room and start working on a quilt and I will feel the stress and anger just start melting away. It does not matter what stage of a quilt I work on, it all has the same effect. My favorite part of quilting is called piecing which is where you sew all the squares and whatnot together to make your top. I enjoy the planning, cutting, and quilting but not as much as I enjoy the piecing. At times, I will start a completely new project just so I can have the relaxation and joy of piecing a top together. I specialize in the smaller quilts so it is possible to do an entire top in one evening. There is something about taking a stack of material that does not look like much and turning it into a beautiful Lone Star quilt.
When you knit or crochet you have to count your stitches, keep track of what comes next, AND keep track of what you have already done. Some would say this is the same as quilting, however, this author would disagree with them. Quilting is a completely different ball game.