Parenting is like Quilting - 8 reasons why

I am a Mom and a quilter and I find there are lots of similarities between the two.  Hang on, I know one is expensive and lays the bed all day and the other is a quilt but hear me out.  Let's examine my reasons why parenting is like quilting and see if you don't agree.

1.  First one is frightening. "Will I mess this up?"  "I want to do this right!" "I don't know what I am doing" are frequent laments of brand new quilters and parents.  "Please let me not give this child too much to discuss at future therapy sessions" was a fervent desire of mine.  The first quilt can always be re-purposed as a dog bed, the first born can seek solace with said pet.

2.  Equipment needed is expensive.My sewing room has four machines, drawers of fabric, lots of cutting implements, enough thread to circle the globe several times and patterns dating back decades.  The average nursery needs even more equipment and then you need to upgrade as time goes on.  Quilts and kids cost money!

3.  Kids and sewing are messy.  Thread all over, footprints all over - they both leave a mark.  Quilts however do not have diapers but that dryer filter can get pretty full.

4.  Lessons would be helpful.  I took lots of quilting classes and learned tons of valuable tips.  Lamaze class was a bust for me, however I have used it during subsequent dental procedures. Shouldn't we receive more training to be parents?baby

5.  Friends are invaluable. From "How do I get her to eat vegetables" to "Have you seen any teal fabrics in your travels?" your buddies will always be there for you.  Their advice varies in its usefulness but they are available to tell you what to do.

6.  Books are your fall back position.  I have a bookcase full of quilt books and have given away more parenting books than I care to admit.  When in doubt, read it out.

7.  Each requires patience.  Quilting taught me a lot about parenting.  It is every day, putting in time and seeing very little progress day to day.  You have to be dedicated and committed.  You might not win a blue ribbon in either but you will still feel pretty darn good when the mission is accomplished.

8.  Blood, sweat and tears are part of it.  I've had quilting accidents, I've taken children to the ER.  I've cried over kids' antics and sweated over how to finish a quilt. I love my kids with all my heart but the quilts, well, I didn't have to pay for college tuition for them.

Quilting helped me through the tough parenting years when I barely had five minutes a day to myself.  At the end of a year or two, those five minutes a day all strung together became a gorgeous whole, a dynamite quilt.  And those 24/7 kids, they turned out even better.  As my reward I have their rooms as quilting studios!

Sew happy!

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If you just started reading my blog you may have missed my post on teaching kids to sew.

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Tags: parenting

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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