Why do YOU Quilt?


Threads, Vintage

Good Morning, Quilters!

Last Friday we did a little time travel and answered the questions:

“What will our quilts say about us to future generations?”  and

“What do we want our quilts to say?”

Today, let’s consider another question:

Why do we quilt?

For many of us, we quilt because we have so many UFOs, spools of thread and yards of fabric.  We can’t stop now…

But isn’t there a deeper reason?

Creativity that must be unleashed?  A connection with the past?  A connection to the future?

I’m sure there’s more to it than “We love fabric…”

Vintage Sewing Notions

Spend a fifteen minutes this week thinking about WHY you quilt.

Perhaps add a page to your Quilt Notebook.

And please share…you know—

We’d LOVE to hear!

Happy Quilting and Thinking!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!






57 thoughts on “Why do YOU Quilt?

  1. For me, fabric is like a blank canvas. You start with nothing…just a plain piece of fabric & you can make something beautiful out of it.

  2. Browsing in fabric store I am absorbed in the beauty of the fabric – enjoying the color, the feel, the designs. My soul is fed by the creative process of design and fabric selection. My technical mind craves the challenge of figuring out how to achieve the results I want. My motivation is often a gift of the heart. Often my quilts tell a story or speak comfort and love to the recipient.

    • Where is the ‘like’ button!! It’s like you read my mind, and stated it eloquently. My technical mind also thrives on making sense of all the little pieces…

  3. I have to get my creativity out. Also sometimes I do it to calm down if something is bothering me. There is nothing more therapeutic than piecing fabric together for me!

  4. It’s like breathing. Necessary to life. Sanity. My happy place. My way to express love, care and concern. That’s all. That’s enough.

  5. When my sister was having knee surgery, she asked me to make her a quilt: “I need to feel your love around me.” That’s why I quilt, so that even when I am not around, the quilt user can “feel” my love!

  6. The art of quilting has become for me many things, not only a wonderful creative outlet but also a way to keep my mind working when I learn new techniques! I tend to jump right in with both feet and have a great time learning new things! Quilting is also a way to share my love, my grandchildren each have a special quilt to cuddle up in and know that MiMi loves them very much! Family have received them as a memory quilts, or because they are sick or just because I want to give them something special! Many hours of prayer and love go into each quilt…maybe it’s a little bit of a ministry too!

    Thank you Lori, I’ve enjoyed your blog but especially these last two questions, it’s been a way to change my thinking past what am I going to do with all this fabric as well as a trip down memory lane!

  7. I find the whole quilting process just so relaxing. When I finish hand stitching that binding down and take that fresh washed, soft and crinkled quilt from the dryer I can’t help but smile. That’s my happy place. I rarely use a pattern. Instead I find inspiration from pictures or just have that picture in my head and go for it. Time goes so fast it’s often 2 in the morning but “just one more block!”. I love knowing that long after I am gone there will be those quilts that hopefully will be loved and cherished and family and friends will think of me and the love that went into each quilt. I know there will never be enough time to make every quilt I want to make and use all the fabric I buy but I will give it my best!

  8. I think of quilting as a privilege. It relaxes me (most of the time), fills me with a great sense of accomplishment, AND I get to share my love with others. And, I have met so many of my special friends through quilting. Thank you, God.

  9. I love fabric. It speaks to me. It begs to be re-born into something else whether a quilt, a runner or even pot holders. Seeing the end result from where it began warms my heart and tickles my creativity. And it makes me feel happy that I have something to show for my time.

  10. I’ve thought about this question a lot, especially after some friends once asked me how I can spend all my time sewing tiny bits of cloth together?! The truth is I have to do it. All the ideas in my head demand expression, all the love in my heart insists on becoming manifest, all the techniques I hear about have to be tried. My technical brain finds joy in all the math … Angles, Dimensions, Amounts, Oh My!! My poetic brain can’t get enough of colors, patterns, and textures. Quilting is the current in the River of my Life.

    • I have always loved crafting… even as a kid… making something from nothing. I learned embroidery in Brownies, in High School Home Ec I learned sewing and made some of my own clothes. Later, when I had kids I sewed pants and dresses for them. When we were in the process of moving and my sewing machine had to be packed I came across a book with a Cathedral Window pattern that could be done by hand. I was going to make myself a queen size quilt… ha ha ha. It took almost a year to pack, sell, move, rent, buy and move in and finally settle. I worked on that little hand project in between everything. It is still only 1/4 done because although I liked the pattern I found it difficult to be consistent with the foldover part and I wasn’t thrilled with my results. When we were finally settled I wanted to make friends and went to a quilt shop asking for help… Instead, I took a class… and a quilter was born. I paid to have my first quilts quilted and as I watched her do the process I decided I could to it too. I bought myself a Pfaff Handiquilter on a frame and I was in business. I love seeing all the tops my customers bring me. They inspire me to do more and do better. I love seeing the faces of friends and relatives that recieve gifted quilts. I am working on covering my walls with hanging quilts. Each one is so unique and adds a bright spot of color on a plain wall.

    • I can really relate to this and it’s said much more poeticly than I could do. Some patterns I see I just have to do (with my own changes of course).

  11. I love to quilt and sew because I love making things for people.
    I have always been sewing, but I just started committing more time to this because I enjoyed sewing for my daughters and friends so many years ago.

    I love reading the others comments here!
    When my girls were still home and school age, I was the multi-tasking queen. One year, my oldest sister died from a brain aneurysm (smoking is evil)
    I cried for months. My NP gave me pills that I took for about two weeks. They made me a numb person so I stopped taking them. Then I decided to learn how to ice skate.
    I took lessons at the local rink and feel in love. I skated and skated and exhausted myself. no more crying. I learned figure skating all the way up to “silver level skills” then tried ice dancing. I went to many rinks around the area and met all sorts of cool fun people, including Michael Weiss (very very nice guy) I skated and skated for 16 years.
    One day, in 2012, I started thinking about sewing and making stuff.
    I quit skating. I and leaped right into learning to quilt.
    I met loads of cool people, like you Lori <3.

  12. I like creating something out of what I have on hand. Being a computer programmer by day, I rather like the math, geometry and puzzle solving of creating a quilt. 🙂

  13. I love the idea of a quilt notebook. Do you have a list of how to get started. I see that you have been doing this for a few years and want to start my own. I read many of the links to your posts but am not sure I caught all of them. Will start with why I quilt and begin the process of compiling the UFOs I currently have. LOVE this idea! Thanks

  14. I have always created in some form or another. My sewing has evolved from things of necessity (ie: clothes for the kids, new curtains etc.) to, as others have stated: gifts of love and compassion. I also have made quilts that tell a story of people who are no longer with us: a memory quilt of my MILs life, a veterans quilt to honor our dads and my grandfather. It is my way to share the past with the future.

  15. It’s funny that yo ask that question, as I was making a pot of soup yesterday, I was thinking of you, Lori, and your creativity in your quilting. I can’t quilt as beautifully as you do, and I will admit to not wanting to compete with anyone. I truly admire how you can do it sooooo beautifully. I went to a sew-in last weekend and told all the gals around me that I liked instant gratification, so if my blocks were wonky, that was ok with me, because I enjoyed the MAKING. As in the soup yesterday, I was enjoying the MAKING, not thinking about the WORK, but the finale’ and how it would turn out. I don’t follow a recipe, it is how I CREATE, and that is where I am really GOOD at what I am doing. Like your quilting, it IS beautiful to me, and I admire myself for being able to make a meal that was from my creativity. I love quilting, because it is a way for me to relax and make something and for someone to enjoy. I homeschooled all three of my children, who are all now in college and taught them to MAKE, using whatever they felt was a part of them. They learned various things, including cooking, quilting, knitting, crochet, woodwork, photography, painting, drawing on top of the physical activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, climbing, piano… you see where I am going with this… we all MAKE or CREATE, because we all have a desire to share our love with someone, and that is a way to show we care. Reading your posts, something I had never done until I discovered you a couple of years ago, is also a creative process! It makes me think as I read what you and everyone else has to say! Instant gratification! I hope I get to meet the wonderful person that is you, someday! THANK YOU! 🙂

  16. There’s several reasons I quilt. It is a way I can be creative and use beautiful colors. It is calming and gives me a place of peace. I am also able to give gifts that have a part of me in them.

  17. I was lucky as a child – I grew up sleeping under hand made quilts (usually made by my paternal grandmother). I love scrappy (no surprise:) and I love color and print texture and fabric of all kinds. Quilting, embroidery by hand, knitting … all makes me happy and calm.

    🙂 Linda

  18. I love to sew – but not good at making garments. So I learned to quilt and that has really satisfied my need to sew and create.

    • I understand that sentiment. I tried years ago to make clothes, but they never looked like the pattern cover. The last dress I made … and I DO MEAN the last dress … I wore four times. When I got home from work after the fourth wearing, I pulled it off over my head in the kitchen, threw it to the floor and stomped on it saying NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN. My husband thought I’d gone over the wall for sure. A woman I worked with had liked the dress, and looked waaaay better in it than I, being as as she was much taller and thinner. I saw it on her at work fairly often, but I no longer hated it because it was no longer in MY house mocking me. ?

  19. I spent over 25 years homeschooling my kids, which left very little time to quilt. I consoled myself by thinking, “Someday, when the kids are grown, I’m going to quilt my brains out!” And now I do just that 🙂

    Thanks for your lovely blog, Lori!

  20. There are several reasons I quilt…
    -I’m in love with the creative process
    -It keeps my hands busy while I’m watching TV, listening to music or audiobooks
    -I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m finished
    -I love the challenge of learning new things

    In addition, I have mild-moderate arthritis, Fibromyalgia and moderate-severe neuropathy. Crafting in general distracts me from the pain of these conditions.

  21. I quilt to share my heart. I love to create for others and I have great satisfaction when I give a handmade gift that is cherished. The thrill of putting together colors, textures and designs carries me through the sewing of the project. Next deciding on a quilting motif again fuels my creativity. Starting new projects give me more ways to occupy my imagination. Quilting relieves stress and gives me much happiness.

  22. I was a very good seamstress for many a year. Made all of my children’s clothes, first on a treadle, later on my first mechanical. Now, I only sew to make quilts, or try to. I am not nearly as good a quilter as I was a seamstress, but am a tad older now.

  23. I am impressed with all the reasons people quilt. I think that almost all of those reasons are the same for me. I started quilting 50+ years ago because my children needed cover for their beds. Sewing has always been my go to creative outlet. I have tried many other activities, but always went back to sewing. Now I machine quilt for others and enjoy every new customer’s quilt/design that comes my way. And, I never stop learning new things to do with quilting and making friends.

  24. I quilt to keep others warm – for charity. I love that someone appreciated what I’ve made. Also, I LOVE fabric.

  25. When I was a little girl, I had a quilt made for me by my grandmother. It wore out, but I do have the quilt she made for my parents. It was made out of my grandfather’s shirts & her aprons & dresses. I love it. For her 100th birthday I made her a lap quilt & the look on her face as she opened it was wonderful for me. So I quilt as a connection with my past & future. I love the colors & fabric. It is my art form.

  26. I began quilting last year because my friend(s) did…took an amazing class from an amazing person & it’s fun to talk to other quilters…I had, for many years, gone to quilt shows wherever I lived (Mpls, Louisville, Portland, OR) and admired quilts as art, never having time to try it myself…now wish I had made time sooner. I have always been fascinated by beautiful ribbons as well and intend to incorporate them into my
    quilt/art pieces. I used to sew many years ago but gave it up when work took up more of my time. Now, retirement has given me time to quilt!

  27. Making useful things out of materials that would otherwise be trashed is what first drew me to quilting. For 20 years now, I have been making quilts for homeless shelters, hospitals, halfway homes and other charities with a nonprofit organization in Everett, WA called Quilts From the Heart.

  28. Among other reasons, I work in a left-brain profession, and need an outlet for my right-brain urges. Besides, even with my ever-growing stash, quilting is still a lot cheaper than therapy!

  29. I am not a very good quilter and that is why I quilt… It takes every ounce of concentration that I can muster and in doing that, the rest of the world just fades away. Like a form of meditation, there is only room for breathing and quilting when I am in the zone. No worries, no stress (except in trying to be better), no cheating on the diet or anything else. It is so rewarding when I get it right, and okay even when I don’t I’m learning no matter what. I just love it!

  30. My mother loved working with her hands and spent many hours at the sewing machine making clothes for my sister, me and herself–a BIG $$ savings in those days. She didn’t make quilts, but when I’m sewing and quilting I feel a connection to her and the same satisfaction she felt by using my hands productively. She was also a painter and I admired her ability to draw and mix colors. Since I’m a musician rather than a visual artist (my “product” is intangible after the last note is sung) I’m very happy to be able to create “tangible hugs” for others or a piece of tangible art–my kind of art. Plus it’s fun and I’ve met some wonderful friends through quilting!

  31. If I’m not quilting, embroidering, knitting or crocheting I’m either unwell or I’m very tired and should be in bed. I do all these things because they give me so much pleasure. The involvement in any of them becomes almost meditative.

  32. I love the whole process from picking the design & fabric to sniping the last thread. Along with the visual enjoyment, I love the weight & feel of a finished quilt.

  33. I quilt because I must. I can quiet my mind and loose my self in the process. I look back through my Quilt Notebook and see the quilts I have made and sent out into the world to comfort and warm my family, friends and strangers. I look through my stash and remember the trips with my quilty friends, some now gone from this earth. The shows where we all bought a yard of a fabulous fabric. I spread out my pile of quilts and remember when I started them,events in my life that were happening. Quilting is in my heart and soul, I quilt because I must.

  34. I started quilting as a hobby and stress-reliever from work. My job as a CPA (now retired) was VERY repetitive – different clients – but the same chores again and again – every month – every quarter – every year – year after year after year – WITH deadlines!! – ;))

    Quilting was a change from that. The basics were the same – but there was a variety in patterns and fabrics and techniques that made it interesting to me. I may get bored working on one project but I have no deadline so I can drop it and pick up something else if I want to. I don’t have to make the same quilt EVER AGAIN if I don’t want to. And I like to say that sewing/quilting gives me something to do and keeps me out of bars at night – the joke is that I don’t drink – ;))

    • I quilt to keep my sanity. I sewed for many years making all my daughter’s clothes and mine too. At that time I needed to do that to make ends meet. Then my first husband was sick for 6 years and that’s when I bought an embroidery machine. I embroidered everything and he enjoyed seeing my handiwork. I now quilt for enjoyment. Like many others I love taking small pieces of fabric and turning them into something pretty and useful.


  35. Quilting encompasses so many of my joys technically as well as emotionally. My happy place. Even sewing in loose thread tails.

  36. What could be compared to a cold, windy, wet day…log on the fire… listening to all my favourite tunes playing on my iPod which is connected to a top sounding docking station…my faithful sewing machine purring away…the quilt under the needle behaving beautifully…my only concern is which part of the quilt is going under the needle next…my idea of Heaven!

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