Sunday, February 20, 2011

For the Love of Quilts

As I mentioned in my profile, I was an avid quilter.  I always loved sewing and began at about age 12 or 13 to sew.  My mom sewed a lot of my clothing but was never a quilter.  I became interested in quilting when I saw a display of beautifully quilted items in a mall while shopping with my neighbor.  I was a new mom at the time and had little if any money.  My neighbor told me that I could make those items, no problem.  She knew I sewed and had all the confidence in me that I could do it.  Well, I was determined to have a quilt so I bought a book, took a class and that started my 30-year ordeal of making quilts and quilted items.  I have had many hobbies from simple craft making, cross stitching, porcelain doll making, and scrapbooking but nothing excites me and gives me that warm fuzzy feeling like the soft touch of fabric and the amazing joy of what happens when you put "scraps" of fabric together and witness the outcome.  See what I mean.   

This is called Bear Claw
This quilt was made completely from scraps of fabric I  had on hand.  I started doing the quilting by hand and the piecing with the sewing machine.  After a few years well maybe about 10 I learned to do machine quilting and that was a life saver both for my hands and for my overall well being.  The hand quilting took way too long and sometimes I would only get maybe 2 quilts (full size) made a year.  That was much too slow for me and too much work.  I never wanted to part with them since I put so much time and effort into their creation.  They were like little children to me and I wouldn't give them up.  I spent hour after hour with those quilts and there was no price that could be placed on the time spent making them. 

I started making quilts for my bed and then for my childrens beds and soon my collection grew and grew.  I liked making small quilts too because they were easy to manage and I got to use a lot of my scraps and was able to finish them in a very short time.  They made such cute gifts too. 
As women we have so much to do and so many hats to juggle every day but it is important to take time to do something for yourself, something you enjoy, that gives you a sense of well being and accomplishment.  It could be a hobbie or taking 15 minutes a day for a bubble bath, maybe reading a good book listening to soft music to ease your mind.  It is important for your health to learn to relax even if it is only a small part of the day.  I know you are probably thinking I'm crazy and where would you find the time but it seems we find the time for the things we really want to do.  I can tell you from experience (here I go again with the advice) that if mamma ain't happy nobody is happy.  You need to be at peace in your soul and deep in your spirit to function properly.  You have to do something for yourself. 

If you have young children make it known that this is "your" time and set the timer and let them know that they are not to disturb you unless the house is on fire or somebody is bleeding until the alarm goes off.  Set them up with something to do while you indulge yourself either in a craft or whatever you choose.  Quilting really saved my sanity because I think I was headed for a nervous breakdown.  I am not saying this as a joke or making light of anything but I believe it to be true.  My husband and I went through 6 difficult years with our daughter due to poor choices and no direction in her life.  She ran away several times the longest for 2 weeks and we didn't know where she was.  This was while she was in high school.  I know its every parents' nightmare. Through all this drama I quilted, sewed patches and prayed.  It kept my mind off the situation for a little while and helped me focus on the beauty of a quilt, the softness of the fabric and the love I put into each stitch as I created a treasure for someone I cherished.  It helped me through a very difficult time.

This quilt was made for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday and when she passed away a few years ago, the family gave it back to me.  I treasure this so much because I knew she held it close to her each night and felt the love that I sewed into each piece.  Here is a close up of the flower
So find the time to do something you enjoy, just for you.  YOU DESERVE IT.   Life is too short not to enjoy what you love to do.  Take 15 to 20 minutes a day and bring some peace into your life, your family will love you for it because you'll be a changed person.  Until next time, if life gives you scraps make quilts.



  1. Your quilts are gorgeous Kathy!! It's one of the few things I never got into but I appreciate how much time and love goes into each one.

    I so agree we need some time to do things that fill our soul and creative spirit. No matter what else in going in my life, Ihave to read or craft or create somehow each day, if even for just a few minutes. It grounds me!!

    Great post!! hugs!!

  2. What a beautiful post Kathy!
    Your quilts are absolutely gorgeous! You are so talented, and the fact that you enjoy what you do and you put your heart and soul into the quilts you make is just wonderful! I am so blessed to have one of your quilts!
    I enjoy crafting, it is relaxing and fun. But my real "ME" time is Yoga. Sarah + Yoga = Happiness! It just brings me peace and joy in so many ways. Great for my mind, body and soul! And it does make me a better Mother, Wife and Friend!
    Thank you for sharing your works of art with us!
    Take care!

  3. Hi Kathy..........wonderful post! I just love all of your quilts.

  4. Kathy~

    I just read about your blog at Behind My Red Door. I had to pop over and welcome you to blogland and tell you how much I love the quilts you make. They are beautiful! I hope you have a great week!



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