Do quilts have feelings, too?

“Quilting is my therapy.”

“Fabric is less expensive than a psychologist.” (Yeah, right!)

“Fondling fabric makes me feel good” (Okay, maybe that last one is just me).

Fabric Stash Photo

We have heard these phrases repeated again and again–because they’re true!

There is a certain something about sitting down with fabric and thread and knowing that what you are creating will be helpful to everyone along the way.

For the maker, we get that therapeutic relief.  For the recipient, a treasured gift, a feeling that they are loved and deserving of the time and effort.

But what about the quilt?

Does the fabric sit on your shelf saying “Pick me! Pick me!”?

Sunday Morning Quilts by C&T Publsihing

I was picked! And you didn't think orange stood a chance! Yahoo!!

When you choose to sew two pieces together, are they happy to have made a new friend?

Orbit by Jennifer Sampou from We Love Color by C&T Publishing

I like you; you're so fun! We should have met long ago!


When quilt blocks are up on the design wall, are they preening for their friends?

Modern Mix by C&T Publishing

I'm pretty, oh so pretty.....

When a quilt top is waiting–sometimes, a very long time–to be quilted, does it need therapy to get over a feeling of incompleteness?

Modern Mix by C&T Publishing

Aaahhh. Now I feel so complete. Thank YOU, dear maker!

And when it is finally done, quilted, and bound; dragged along the floor by a toddler; warming someone on a chilly eve;  hanging in a show with a ribbon (now THAT is preening), I would bet that the quilt feels just as great as we do. They are handed down from generation to generation, taking a little bit of the maker’s spirit with them along the way.

Over the Rainbow Quilt from Hexa Go-go by Tacha Breucher C&T Publishing

I am yours forever...

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

(Yes, I realize that is a quote from Spiderman, but it “seamed” fitting.)

What do you think? The tongue-in-cheek quilt commentary aside, what feelings does creating with your hands–be it a quilt, a toy, a placement or a hat–bring up in you?

We would love to know, so please feel free to leave a comment on today’s post.  The answers will be used in a continuing series on the emotions of quilts and those who make them….


This entry was posted in InspirationComments closed


  1. susan brooklyn
    Posted December 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    If quilts have feelings, how do you think potholders feel?

  2. Posted August 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I have a busy household with 7 children, the 4 eldest who are home schooled, and run a catering business with my husband from our home. Sitting down at my sewing cabinet is so relaxing for me, even if it’s for a few minutes. The immense satisfaction I get from making something useful, pretty, and/or needed can’t be duplicated by anything else. I know. I’ve tried. Knowing I can make a difference in someone else’s life, just by using fabric and thread for a dress or pillow or quilt or bag, brings me such joy because they know that they are loved since I took the time and effort to make something only for them! Actions truly DO speak louder then words!

  3. Posted August 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Ah, well, now you’ve touched on something that hits home with me. I didn’t think most people personified things like I do. I imagine the fabrics discussing among themselves who should lay where, what kind of block they should be in, discussing their favorite shape, and the color of their best friend, etc. I imagine my laundry hanging on the line, sometimes taunting each other — “See, she hung me first. She likes me best.” Or enjoying each others’ company — “See, we’re best friends because we’re hanging side by side, sharing a clothespin.” Or even discussing the sights — “Did you see that bird up there, that vine growing taller, those roses blooming so bright red?”

    Of course I know quilts/fabric/clothes/etc. don’t have feelings but it’s another fun way to play with fabric.

  4. Alison Schmidt
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I swear that I sleep better under the quilt that I made with my quilting bee friends from Los Angeles. I moved to San Francisco last year, and left many good friends behind, but everytime I look at that quilt, it’s like some of them are with me. And when I make a quilt for someone as a gift, I try to think primarily about what they would like to look at, snuggle up with, sleep under….when I hand-sew the binding on, it’s my last time to impart as many good wishes as I can on that quilt, so I try to sit quietly and think of all the wonderful reasons why the person I’m making the quilt for deserves such a special, personal, labor-intensive gift.

  5. Posted August 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I feel like quilting saved my sanity. When I became a stay-at-home mom after working full time for so long, I sort of lost myself for a while. I was happy to be with my girls, but I desperately needed some sort of creative outlet. Several other hobbies were tried and discarded before I found quilting, and I knew almost immediately that this was the right fit for me. I love the opportunity to design and create beautiful things which I can then share with those around me. The process itself really is like therapy for me: something which I can do quietly and deliberately, seeing progress as I go — so different from the often crazy pace of family life. In fact now I find that when I go a few days without sewing, my stress level starts to go up! It’s been great to become a part of the online sewing community through blogging and participating in online events — there are so many amazingly talented and generous people in this community. Sewing has taught me to slow down, to look for (and create) beauty in the everyday, and to enjoy the process just as much as the result.

  6. Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I so loved your emotional post. I have to say I never thought of fabrics talking between themselves.

    My fabrics all start singing when I enter my studio. I greet them all each and every morning promising to return later in the day. The pieces that I’m working on beg to be next under the needle! The tote pans exhale a bit when a new project begins and the shelves scream out please lighten my load!

  7. Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid my quilts are screaming in pain as I use the seam ripper to take out poorly sewn seams. I image they Bretagne a sigh of relief when I turn out the lights for the night and cringe when they see me coming. Poor quilts!

  8. Posted August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    The intriguing piece of something round is stunning.
    Inspirational !

  9. Posted August 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    That circular project with the colors has me really curious. It looks beautiful.

    • Allison
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      That quilt is from the title ‘We love Color’ – it IS gorgeous!

  10. MarciaW
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    While the quilts do not have feelings, the maker feels happy making the quilt (like me – gift from the heart that I created from scratch) and the recipient (picture a grandniece playing peek-a-boo with quilt I made for them) feels good using the quilt.

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