Today is National Quilting Day! Here at Keepsake Quilting we’re celebrating with the Top 10 reasons why we–as a nation of quilters–love to quilt. We asked you on our Facebook page why you like to quilt, and your answers helped us make this list. Read, enjoy, and let us know what you think.
Reason 1: The Fabric
Let’s face it–from pretty pastel prints to deep, dark batiks, we’ve never met a fabric we didn’t like.
Tips for choosing quilt fabric:
- Make sure the fabric is colorfast. If you’re not sure, wash it before you use it. (Actually, many quilters recommend pre-washing all fabric, especially if the quilt will be functional and washed in the future).
- Cotton is king. For most quilts, 100% cotton makes the best choice as it cuts well, holds its shape, is washable, and feels great against the skin.
- Be sure to use a backing fabric of similar weight (and, some would say, color) to that of the top fabrics. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to sew through when you make your quilt sandwich.
- Take advantage of fabric medleys or collections when choosing colors and prints. This way, you know they’ll go together.
Reason 2: To Give Gifts
A big part of the joy of quilting is bestowing our projects on others. There are so many opportunities for a quilted gift: weddings, a new baby, housewarming, birthdays, graduations–any time you want to show someone you care with a handmade gift.
Reason 3: For Charity
Even when you don’t know the person who will receive your quilt, the thought of wrapping them in a comforting handmade hug of fabric makes everyone feel better.
If you don’t know of a local charity looking for quilts, a simple internet search will pull up a list of organizations. Children, veterans, people in shelters, adults who are ill–they all benefit from your kind and practical gift.
Reason 4: Quilt Comfort
Think about it: In the movies when they want to show someone is at home, warm, and welcome, they wrap them in a bed quilt.
Quilts feature heavily in films that celebrate love, tradition, home and hearth–and especially a connection with a loving person.
Think of the the feminine pinwheel quilt on Meg Ryan’s bed in “You’ve Got Mail,” the “baby maker” pineapple quilt pattern in “The Proposal,” or the magnificent Baltimore Album design in “How to Make an American Quilt.” How many others can you name? Take the Quilts in Film quiz.
Reason 5: DIY Home Decor
Quilting projects make it easy to change our home decor. From a pillow to a table topper to a landscape wall hanging, all you need to do is gather fabric and quilting supplies to make over an area in your home.
Table top designs make excellent beginner quilting projects. In one table runner, you can learn how to cut and piece fabric, make a quilt sandwich, quilt, and add a binding. It only takes a weekend or two, and then you can enjoy your handiwork and show it off to your friends.
Reason 6: Artistic Expression
Other people may not get it, but quilters do: creating a picture or pattern in fabric is just as enjoyable to us as painting or photography is to someone else. And we’re just as proud to show off our quilts–hung on the walls, draped over a sofa, or spread on the bed.
Reason 7: To Commemorate an Event
Maybe it’s the way a quilt is a forever gift, or maybe it’s because events give us deadlines, and deadlines make us finish quilts! Either way, we like to quilt to honor an anniversary, a significant milestone, or a special honor.
Reason 8: The Social Factor
Who doesn’t love the company of other quilters? Guilds, quilt shows, quilting friend groups, social media–it’s so much fun to share ideas, get advice, and compare fabric stashes.
Reason 9: Relaxation and Mental Health
Many recent studies have shown that quilting is good for your health–but quilters didn’t need experts to tell them that. Anyone who has thrilled to the sight and touch of a room full of fabric or enjoyed the meditative concentration that comes from hand stitching a binding knows that endorphins and relaxation don’t just come from running or yoga.
Reason 10: Who needs a reason? We just love it!
Be sure to share your love of quilting by tagging your KQ quilting projects on social media with the hashtag #myKQ and #nationalquiltingday.