Friday, March 14, 2014

Quilting Changes Everything

By Jennifer Keltner
Executive Editor, American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

Quilting Changes Everything…that’s the tagline you’ll find on the spine of every issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and the name of a column that regularly appears in our magazine since 2010. 

But more than that, Quilting Changes Everything is our mantra. It describes the impact and the joy that quilting brings to the lives of those that share our passion for this craft.

Quiltmaking is powerful. In our everyday lives, we are subjected to so much technology that is new and different –that we sometimes overlook the power of creating a beautiful object that can be enjoyed every day for its design, it’s individual elements.

When you make something, you put a part of yourself or your surroundings into it. THAT piece of yourself makes up the most important part of the finished project. Each of us, I’m certain could think of project we created with our hands that helped us through a joy or a struggle in our hearts—a happy addition, an illness, a challenge.

And what we see when we look at that item, whether it is complete or not, isn’t just the pieces or the handiwork…but the story behind it. And often the most interesting thing about a handmade object is its story. It’s what we share with one another when we talk about it. Where we were, what was happening in our lives at the time, who we were with when we worked on it.

Those are the stories we share in our Quilting Changes Everything column. Stories of our staff making and donating pairs of pillowcases to local homeowners in conjunction with Rebuilding Together.

Stories of young women like Sarah Ely, who made a pillowcase for her friend Kristen Kirton (in a hospital halfway across the country)—and discovered the world of quilting by making a pillowcase

And the thousands of quilters just like her who’ve changed the lives of so many by making and donating pillowcases as a part of the American Patchwork & Quilting One Million Pillowcase Challenge. Click here for more information

And even simple stories about the time a Brownie troop took up the learn-to-sew challenge and the joy that resulted from their efforts. 

For most of us, we’ve crossed the line. Quilting isn’t just something we do, it’s who we are. We are quilters! We are passionate about not just what we make, but for whom we are making things. Think about those things in your life for which you would say “if I lost that it would be irreplaceable.” Do you say it about something that has great monetary value—or is it more sentimental? Chances are, those things you picture are the handmade treasures you own. And what animates us, is the stories we tell ourselves and others about those pieces. The quilts and other items we create are narratives of our lives—connected with our thoughts, special events, and distant memories. And that’s why for me (and I suspect, many of you)….quilting changes everything.

Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark

No comments: