Quilting as Therapy

My sewing room is my happy place. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, when I walk through that door my mood instantly lifts and I’m just happy. I don’t even have to do anything in there – sometimes I just sit, stare at fabric and think. It’s the brightest room in the house, it’s full of sunshine and fabric and I love it.

Generally, I work to keep this blog a happy place too. I mean, who wants to visit and read a mood killing, depressing post? I wouldn’t. Occasionally though, topics need to be discussed that aren’t all sunshine and roses.

While I don’t think this post is actually a mood killer, it does come from a place of sadness. It has to, because the sadness I feel is the inspiration for this mini quilt.

Neutral 2 inch squares pieced background

Lately, there have been so many brazen acts of cruelty and hatred happening in our world. So much. One right after the other. Seems I can barely catch my breath from hearing of one, when something else happens. And last week, when I heard about the police shootings in Dallas I sat down and just cried. How much more will there be?

Straight Line quilting texture

After the massacre in Orlando, it felt good to be able to donate a quilt to Quilts for Pulse. It was my way of dealing with the sadness I felt at so much human loss and suffering. Such a small gesture, but those small gestures add up and an entire community and city will know how much love is still in this world.

Remembering that feeling, I decided to try to use quilting as therapy once more to work through all this sadness I feel.

Those white scraps I talked about Wednesday? This is what they look like now.

Tearful Mini Quilt

I love, love, LOVE the way this came together. The background is exactly what I hoped it would be. It is light, and full of hope for the future, and represents me – how I usually feel about my life and those around me.

I have been wanting to make a neutral colored quilt for a really long time and now I know when I make it that it will look exactly as I hoped it would. So I have started cutting many more squares for a much larger quilt.

The appliqued tear drop symbolizes the deep sadness I feel. So much sadness I can barely contain it. There are days that I’m not successful and the sadness comes pouring out in the form of tears. I didn’t want to cover the quilt with lots of tear drops; this one large shape represents all the tears that I have cried.

When I initially quilted this piece, I left the tear unquilted. But it just didn’t feel right. It stood out too much…it practically screamed ‘look at me’.

Tearful MIni Quilt Applique

Tear Drop Unquilted

Then I realized, even though I feel this deep sadness, underneath is optimism – I still have hope for the future. And that hope must shine through my tears. That’s when I added quilted lines on top of the tear drop, to symbolize the hope that lay underneath and that it will work its way back and conquer all the sadness.

Tear Drop - Quilted

Tear Drop – Quilted

Now when I look at this piece, it doesn’t scream at me. It speaks gently, and helps me see that yes, there will be dark days but there is also hope for something better.

This quilt soothes my soul and I’m so glad I was able to make it as I envisioned it.

Tearful Mini Quilt

If you’re still here, thanks for reading through to the end and allowing me to share a deeper piece of myself. This quilt really has served as therapy for me, and I am happy to share it and its’ story with you.

Have you ever made a quilt that has helped you through a rough period of your life?


Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday,  Crazy Mom Quilts and a new linky, Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts



About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
This entry was posted in Friday Finish, Mini Quilts, Quilt Finishes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Quilting as Therapy

  1. Pingback: “I Cry” Won’t be Going to QuiltCon… |

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  3. Shellie says:

    The quilt is beautiful!! I know your feelings mirror mine and many others. You are such a caring and generous person. I feel blessed to know you!

  4. Terri says:

    I agree with the other comments – lovely quilt and beautiful expression of how you are feeling. I made a quilt that was definitely therapeutic for me when my husband lost his job suddenly and life wasn’t good at the time – spent a lot of time crying and praying while making that quilt. I look at it now years later, and I think it is the best one I have ever made. It is hanging in my home and does give me hope – a reminder that God is faithful.

  5. Sue F says:

    You expressed yourself so beautifully how could l not be touched deeply by your words and your quilt.

  6. Shasta says:

    There has been lots of bad news, and before we are done going through the grieving process for one piece, there is another piece of bad news. Your quilt is a beautiful way to showcase the pain and grief for all the things that have been happening lately.

  7. I feel your sadness, Beth. I think every morning, “Not another one.” There has been a lot of tragedy and sadness, and to every victim is connected a family with ties. Someone’s child. Someone’s significant other. A neighbor. A friend of a friend. The link from us to them is usually closer than we imagine. These are not strangers. They are our brothers and sisters.

    I think we all need to find strategies to help us cope. Quilting works for me, too, but it’s more than the product, like you say, it’s the process. It’s turning our grief into something we can understand a little more. Letting it work it’s way from sadness and anger to a little glimmer of hope that things will get better, and we’ll live in peace with each other.

    I think you’ve created a statement with your quilt, and i was so happy to see the stitching soften the tear. In all ways.

    Hugs to you,

  8. SarahZ says:

    This is a timepiece of your heart, so well accomplished and well spoken.

  9. Kate says:

    It has been hard to watch the news lately, way too much bad stuff going on in the world. My sewing room is where I can refresh and maintain my sanity, most of the time. Your mini is a perfect reflection of how it often feels these days. To many tears for issues with no easy solutions. Thanks for putting words to the feelings many of us have. It’s comforting to know that one is not the only one that has to take her glasses off and find a tissue when the news comes on.

  10. Jenny Coyle says:

    Oh you are so right, everything that is happening is just devastating and we have to wonder what has happened to people looking after people? Now we’ve got the truck disaster in France, that too made me cry to hear of…those poor poor people. It is happening too often. Fear is replacing Care, but we can’t let that stop us from living our lives and thumbing our noses at these criminals. I love the teardrop on your quilt, what a lovely tribute to those who have been affected by any of these terrible hate-crimes.

  11. Mary says:

    It is beautiful and expresses the feelings so many of us are experiencing these days. Even in our deepest grief there will be the bright patches.

  12. Hope, yes, always. We must have hope for the future. Lovely quilt. Thanks for linking up at Finished or Not Friday!

  13. Tish says:

    Everything about this post is beautiful. Beautiful words and a beautiful quilt. Beth, the subject matter may be deep and dark, but you leave us with a sense of hope and love for the future. My fear is that terrible things will continue to happen, but as long as we hold on to our hope and love, the evil cannot win.

  14. This is beautifully done, Beth, and it resonates very deeply with me. I am so glad making the quilt was helpful for you.

  15. Lisa says:

    I have been crying as I read this post. It’s just been one thing after the other and I can’t even take them in anymore..Pakistan….France…..I don’t think we would be human if we didn’t cry. Thanks for expressing your feelings so well in this post and for sharing the beautiful quilt.

  16. Michele T says:

    This is a beautiful quilt and a touching story! Quilting and creating in general is very therapeutic.

  17. kittywilkin says:

    This is such a beautiful, heart-filling mini quilt. Sadly, it’s also so timely. The terror in the world just continues to come. I, like you, will continue to try to accentuate the positive, be the bright spot to help bring lightness to the dark. It wouldn’t be hard to just sit and cry at all of the horrible things that happen in the world. Thank you for the reminder to not only hold on to hope, but to also help spread it to the rest of the world.

  18. Such a beautiful quilt and heartfelt post, thank you Beth. I really struggle to find the right words to say about these horrific recent events but you have expressed it so well. I think quilting in general has helped me through many difficult periods in my life. It always manages to soothe and calm me down when life becomes stressful.

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