Quilting reduces stress

Quilting reduces stress for me and beats a lot of other ways I've used to reduce stress.  Ever engaged in retail therapy?  Uh huh, me too, in a major way at one point in my life.  In the long run I found it didn't really reduce my stress.  Ever tried to eat your way to less stress?  Sigh, me too.   How about hot baths?  Now that's one that I really like because even if you don't reduce the stress, you are at least clean!  Housework for stress reduction?  I know it's strange but this used to be a big way for me when my first marriage was ending.  I always felt better by the end and heck that house was clean!  How about running to reduce stress?  Ha ha, I am just kidding I haven't run in decades.  If you see me running there has to be free fabric involved.  I do swim, that is a really good stress reducer but it's not like I have a pool in my back yard, that is more of preventive stress reducing for me.

qiorezQuilting reduces stress nowadays for me, even just thinking about my sewing room brings me to a better place.  Remember that quilter's block I was having?  All I needed was a little stress and up to the sewing loft I went.  I finished the second Baby Boy space quilt - all bound and done.  I started the New York City project and I got going on the quilting on the Heart Quilt.  I decided to use templates to stitch a big heart and a little one in the middle of each heart square.  I also stitched in the ditch around every square, every lattice rectangle and every corner stone block.  I am free handing  hearts in every black lattice work rectangle and every cornerstone block.   I have finished qiorez2one row and one bobbin!

For the borders, I continued the geometric design.  I am free hand quilting squares and rectangles in the grey, red and black borders.

When I quilt on my Longarm, I have to concentrate.  I have to anticipate my next move, where I want to end up and how I am going to get there.  I think about it and plan and I experience flow.  I love that, when you are truly just in the moment, not thinking about anything else.  I quiet all the voices in my head, all of the to do lists or should have self recriminations and I just quilt.  Blissful.

If I don't have anything on the Longarm to quilt, I don't find piecing works as well to reduce stress.  I tend to let my thoughts wander when I am piecing and they sometimes just like to go over to what is giving me stress and roll around in it.  I find the creative part of quilting works better for getting my mind off of things.  I do Pinterest but before there was Pinterest there were real articles, patterns and quilt ideas.  I have all of mine organized and I am not talking about a digital bulletin qiorez3board.   I have a plastic file box and I keep pages, sketches, patterns and ideas in here.  And yes, I do have the file folders labeled.  Hey!  I am a teacher, we like organization!  I like to poke through it and let my thoughts go wild.  I have been known to then run wildly over to the fabric and fling those doors open and just have a rush of creativity, the flow of design and inspiration.

These are my favorite good for me ways to reduce stress and if they don't work, well, there is always chocolate!

Sew happy!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, biking and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, I prefer not to share that. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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