During this past holiday, I spent a lot of my free time marveling at the resilience of quilters. By resilience, I mean the psychological definition: the ability to adapt well in times of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or any type of significant stress.
Although many quilters did mention that the year was very traumatic, they ended 2020 focused on the positive:
"These were my favorite quilts I made!"
"I used us XXX amount of my fabric stash in 2020!"
"I finished a number of quilts this past year!"
No sooner had the year ended when the blogs and social media sites began to fill with other optimistic topics:
"I've already started my new quilt for 2021!"
"I've joined such and such challenge for the new year!"
"I'm already working on my new quilt for ...."
It's true, hobbies are a great source of comfort, especially in tumultuous times. But for those of you who read my blog and don't quilt, let me tell you: you are missing all the fun.
Whenever I sew or engage with quilters online or via text, I feel like I've entered a new realm. It's not unlike reading a book. Suddenly my attention from the anxieties of the world disappear and I'm transported to a happier place.
I'm proud to belong to a community of folks who support each other and each other's work. We are not people who wring our hands and lament when the world has problems. We do something.
The majority of us are not curing cancer or first responders. We make hugs comprised of fabric. Giving a textile hug may not stop the pandemic or change the political climate but giving love in any form is a good enough reason to do anything.
We adress the problems and joys of our world with four simple words: "Let's Make a Quilt."
The notion is as old as quilting itself:
"Let's Make a Quilt" was a favored advertising slogan before and during the depression. Quiltmaking became even more popular when it was supported by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1934:
I've been in email conversations through the weekend with some of you. Many of us have made so many quilts that our family has had enough. I learned from my friend Jeanette a clever tactic: always keep some lap quilts on hand. When one of my kids' eloped, she immediately sent a lap quilt as a gift. She had a stockpile for unexpected gift giving.