I read something the other day that said that people who are grateful and count their blessings are happier and have better control of their temper. So this made me think of quilting (ok, granted – what DOESN’T make me think of quilting?!). I’ve often heard that quilters as a rule tend to have lower blood pressure – which always seemed interesting in a contradictory kind of way. I mean, the very act of quilting – the cutting, ironing, sewing, ironing again (we should have great skin from the free, frequent steam facials we get on a regular basis – and yes, I’m an acknowledged illegal steam user!), layering, quilting – most of it involved sitting, maybe standing, but very little aerobic activity. And most quilters worth their thread love chocolate. So you would think our blood pressure would be sky high. All that tedious attention to quarter inch seams. Think about it. I remember my first reaction to being told that seams were 1/4″. I thought the instructor was crazy. Coming from garment 5/8″ seams, I felt restricted, constrained, and thought I’d never get a perfect 1/4″ seam. But I did – we all do eventually. And then there’s the seam ripping – you know, for those infrequent (cough, cough) moments when the seam isn’t perfect. Or that moment when you step back to look at the finished quilt top and realize (expletive inserted here) that one block is turned sideways – or one fabric is turned wrong side out – or…..well you get the idea.
So yeah – you’d think blood pressures would be soaring. But I think it goes back to that first statement – being happier when you are grateful and count your blessings. Don’t we as quilters tend to appreciate the fact that we have such beautiful fabrics to fondle, so many terrific patterns to choose from, as well as more tools every year that make the entire process easier? Don’t we count among our blessings our fellow quilters that support us, encourage us, and celebrate with us each completed project or skill mastered? Are we in better control of our temper? You bet – we’ve tempered the frustration of exacting patterns with a completed quilt that is a lasting work of art, tribute to our love of our craft and perhaps of the lucky recipient. We’ve tempered the demanding, long hours required to complete a quilt with the joy that viewing, receiving, touching that lovingly stitched creation brings. And are we happy? I know I am. I am forever grateful my sister-in-law wheedled me into taking that first quilt class with her. Thanks to her and that moment, I have a craft – a calling – that feeds my creative soul and allows me to leave a testament to my love of fiber for future generations to share. What about you? What blessings do you count? What makes you happy? Take a moment, feel the sun on your face, hear the breeze blow through the trees, fondle a fabric or two, and share with someone what you’re grateful for!
Outside the Line Designs, www.otldesigns.com