Quilting changes Everything for Pat Sloan
My dear friend Pat has written our article this month... I first met Pat many years ago in Houston demonstrating a sit down longarm machine - I didnt buy the machine but I never forgot who Pat was... Here's a little more about her...
Pat Sloan designer, author, lecturer, and with her weekly radio show... Pat truly is the "Voice of Quilting". She has a deep passion for making quilting fun for herself and everyone around her. Pat loves to hang out with quilters on the internet as well as visit you in person.. be inspired to get more done!
Sewing since she was a child and quilting for over 20 years, Pat eventually looked to her craft as a business. After a few years quilting she started to teach quilt making to others and then turned her skills to pattern designing. She found that she really enjoys designing and seeing how other quilters made her patterns. In 2000 Pat's designs became so popular that she and her husband Gregg formed a design and publishing company called Pat Sloan & Co. In addition to designing and publishing her work, they now travel around the country teaching and showing her quilts to quilt guilds and quilt shops. Also, Pat has had her designs published in all the national magazines, she has written 31 quilt books and has designed many lines of fabric for Moda Fabrics.
When Pat took her passion to the internet she built several quilt communities, the largest is her group on Facebook with over 55,000 quilters from around the world.
Over Five years ago Pat started a weekly All Quilting radio/podcast. I have chatted with Pat twice now on her show. You can hear her interview quilt celebrities, historians, designers (that would be me) and authors from around the world, all on your computer! All the podcasts are available for download.
Visit her web site www.patsloan.com to see all things Pat Sloan.
Below is her take on the Therapy of quilting - note: Pat has included many links with offers to the things she loves. Please click on the links to see her favourite things.
My wonderful friend Helen Stubbings is running a series this year on how we use quilting as therapy. She asked me if I'd share what that means to me, because for me, Quilting has changed everything in my life.
I've been thinking about this since she asked me. Each of us think of the word Therapy so differently. You might think of it in the healing. Therapy heals a broken heart or helps you through a difficult time.
Or, like me, you might think of therapy as what you do to keep your soul happy.
There is a great saying 'Quilting is cheaper than Therapy'. And I think we can all relate to that at some level.
My quilting is not just my small family business, it's also my hobby and my outlet, my therapy.
I used to do a lot of handwork and over years I did less and less. And I was missing that. Helen's project got me thinking about WHY I was missing the handwork.
Doing hand work was the time when I would decompress. The time I would let the hamster wheel in my brain slow down and concentrate on stitching. And I found I missed that time. That slow repetitive motion of stitching by hand.
When started to hunt for a project that would excite me I talked to Helen about her Hexie papers, which are AMAZING! They stay in the project which I love. This is a project I can take with me as it was very portable. It gives me a way to relax my brain and concentrate on something else.
Helen sent me her Hexie papers and a project was born.
I can take these babies anywhere and I take a few moments to stitch in peace.
A balcony with an ocean view is a nice place to stitch in case you need a suggestion, wink!
There is more about quilting that has changed my life.
One of the amazing things quilting has done for me is connect to me an incredible group of makers. People are make things are my tribe, we speak the same language of stitches, fabric, thread. We makers have a language that ties us together.
When I decided I wanted to do something for quilting and bring a large group of makers together, I turned to my friend Jane Davidson of QulitJane. We have run the Splendid Sampler project over the last 5 years with two books, Helen is in our 2nd book.
Bringing thousands of people together for a common project is therapy. It makes you focus on someone other than yourself. Big projects do that. And hearing the stories behind each block in booth books, is amazing, and wonderful. What is even more humbling is the stories you share with us when you make our project, that is priceless therapy. We all connect at some level to every story.
** Quilt is Splendid Sampler 2 at Jane's house in Australia as she and a group of friends went about setting the quilt layout.
Recently I decided that I wanted the challenge of learning something new I could take as handwork. Learning new things is another way making is therapy. When you are concentrating on new things you really do push the other things out of your head.
I've only ever done one cross stitch in my life, so I am now learning to cross stitch. I have to force myself to focus, which lets the hamster wheel in my brain slow down and spin quietly, so that I can concentrate on how many I need to stitch. This is super therapy for me.
It's about the journey when I do hand work. I take my time. I'm slowing getting back that peace I had when I sat and did hand applique for hours at a time.
Finding a passion for making quilts keeps me creative and fills my soul.
When I was little I knew I wanted to work for myself. On my first job I was already planning my business. It took me 20 years to explore life and myself before I knew that I had enough passion to make Quilting my life's work. Not just my hobby, but my full income for my family. It's wonderful to have something I love doing. It's not always rainbows and unicorns, but when it is, it's the BEST feeling every.
During my fireside chat the other week I asked people how they use quilting as Therapy. Here are a few of the many things people said, you can read all the comments HERE
- Sheila said Quilting is a therapy! When I’m sewing, it “calms” me. By that I mean, during the week, things get hectic with all the things we “have” to do, like bills, babysitting, cleaning, picking up grands, ball games and grocery shopping. Quilting is what I “want” to do because it calms me and feeds my creative soul! There is truly a satisfaction you get to making something by yourself.
- Fran said Quilting for me is a way to connect with others who love this tradition. Quilters are a wonderful group of people who give their time to help others. Its a way to keep me grounded in what is most important in life and remember where we came from and what's important. Quilting definitely feeds my soul no matter if I'm happy or sad.
- Lisa said Quilting/crafting/creating is my form of meditation. It calms the mind, reduces stress and fills me with joy especially when creating an item to gift to someone.
- Karen said Quilting is my therapy by giving me new words to express myself when I make mistakes, when I am overjoyed that my seams finally match, when I've found the perfect fabric, when I'm finally done with my project, when I find a new pattern to make, and when I see the joy on the faces who've received my quilts!
I loved reading Pat's story and all of the comments from her Fireside chat.... stitching and quilting certainly gives us all different therapies and in so many situations and life experiences is a saviour for many.. My passion around this mindfulness and therapy aspect of stitching is growing exponentially. I was raised to make a difference, I may not have the dollars or wisdom to take on the world as a polititician, philanthropist or wealthy businessperson, but I can take the skills I do have and use those to change peoples lives just a little bit...
and my Stitch Therapy 365 project is doing that for many many women around the world (come on guys, join in). At the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne last week I lost count of the people who came up to me to say how much they are loving their project and how good it is making them feel - there's nothing like that sort of feedback to realise that this is making a difference... and that makes me happy too..
If you feel like you need some therapy or want to join in the fun - all the details can be found here.
hugs for today