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Why Quilting?

What a strange thing it is to purchase fabric, only to cut it into tiny pieces, arrange it into geometric patterns, and spend hours sewing it back together.  Some would call that CRAZY!  Over the past few weeks,  I have taken a mental journey through my life, and the steps that led me to own a business in the realm of quilting, and ultimately to share my quilting life with the world.

I remembered my maternal grandmother, who taught me to crochet, then knit, and helped me realize comfort in the rhythm of handwork.  She had been a teacher, and she taught me well.  One of the hardest lessons to accept was the importance of noticing a mistake at the beginning of a project, and taking the time to tear it out and start again.   I also grew to understand that for her, and eventually myself as well, sometimes it’s not the end product, but  the process that brings you joy.

My other grandma, Grandma Moore, had a little nook in her house that felt like it was just for me.  This nook housed her sewing machine, which she graciously allowed me to use, even though I always got it all jammed up with thread.  I remember the Christmas seasons when my dad would take us out to the woods and then to the flower shop to choose greens and flowers so we could watch him build magnificent centerpieces for Grandma’s tables.  My whole life, I have been surrounded by Creation.  Not just God’s CREATION, but the act of creation–making something out of nothing.

Using raw materials and your own  hands to make something for someone you love is a true gift.  The time I have spent creating has been some of the most fulfilling time in my life.  I have tried my hand at many crafts:  crochet, knitting, gardening (not a fan of bugs or dirt), cooking, cross-stitch, the list goes on and on.  So the question remains…why have I built my business, really my life, around quilting?

Perhaps the start of my life as a quilter began when I found myself a newlywed living in a foreign land. (Ok, it was New Mexico, but for a girl born and bred in Upstate New York it seemed pretty foreign.) My mother had been encouraging me to try quilting for the past year or two, but it wasn’t until I was lonely and alone in the deserts of the Southwest that I began to find comfort in the hours of cutting fabric and carefully sewing it together.

Or maybe I’m a quilter because I have always loved fabric; the colors and patterns are so varied that the possibilities are endless. It could be that my ultra-precise and thorough personality traits lend themselves to a craft that seems to crave an exact quarter inch seam, and demand the tenacity of a marathon runner.

My quilting life may have resulted from a combination of these things, but maybe it’s the fact that life is so much like a quilt.  When I look back on my journey, I see some not-so-fun times, and some exhilarating memories.  I hear myself laughing too loud and weeping too long.   My life’s journey so far is a lot like a scrap quilt.  Some of my fabrics are too bright, some are pretty ugly.  When pieced together, though…what a blessing.  I wouldn’t be me without those ugly fabrics, and the too bright ones are those rare beautiful moments when I have allowed myself to shine from within.

Are you a Quilter?  If so, what draws you into your studio?  If not, share what you love about quilts…what does your life’s scrap quilt look like?

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