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.
Quilting 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 one 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 board. 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!
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