Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why I Quilt (A First Person Case Study)

Last week I finished the revision of my introductory textbook, "Kraus' Recreation & Leisure in Modern Society" and got it off to the publisher on Monday morning. As part of the book, in the last edition we (my coauthor and I) added case studies. In chapter 1, where we introduce the textbook I initially asked Allison to tell, "Why I write?" as a leisure activity. I needed to change the case study so Allison's case study goes into the faculty/student resource pages the publisher provides and I asked my beautiful wife to write a "Why I quilt?" I can't give you what I put in the book, since it is copyrighted and I don't own the copyright, but I thought what JoAnn had to say was so appropriate. I did an interview with her, then wrote up what she said into case study format. Below is her response to my questions:


1. When did you start quilting? Why?

    I started quilting just before my second daughter was born. I was 26 and I didn't do a lot of quilting then. For me it was just putting 2 pieces of fabric together (top and bottom) with a middle thicker material called batting. I didn't just jump into quilting. I was raising a family of 7 children and that took a lot of time. By the time my oldest daughter was nearing graduation from high school I decided to quilt a bed covering for her, which expanded to each of my children.

2. How do you feel while you are quilting?
    When I quilt I fell happy. It's like a release from other things going on. It allows me to bring order from groups of fabrics to a structured and planned piece. I enjoy finding of fabrics that speak to me about colors, patterns, prints and how they blend together. I like to find patterns, prints, and colors that match the person I'm making the quilt for. One granddaughter likes purple and and grandson likes green and frogs. A big part of quilting is finding the right fabric. It's like a treasure hunt and the big surprise is when you find 2 colors that harmonize together, that you didn't think would. One special experience occurred when my 5 daughters and 2 daughters-in-law made quilt blocks for each other (8 quilt blocks per person, including mine) and then we sewed them individually, each with their own touch of creativity.

3. Do you lose yourself in your quilting? 
    When I'm engaged in all of the steps of quilting - the measuring, the cutting, the sewing, organizing the quilt blocks - I find a release from the day to day pressures. I'm allowed to do work on something that is important and fun for me.

4. How do you feel when you are done with a quilt?
    Most of the time I'm very happy with the quilt. I have a real sense of accomplishment. I made something that someone else may also enjoy. It gives me a wonderful feeling when you are stitching the binding at the end of the quilting process and suddenly, it's all done!

5. How has quilting helped you emotionally?
    Quilting gives me good feelings about myself. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I have a real sense of creativity. I'm not an artist with a brush and pallet, but when I'm quilting I feel like an artist in fabric and colors making designs and patterns. I can't wait for the next project. In my mind I have multiple projects in the planning stages.

6. What activities associated with quilting are important to you?
    hopping for material; reading a new quilting magazine;

7. What do you do with your quilts?
    My quilts have many purposes. First and most important it is to bring joy to others, to celebrate events, to comfort. When my oldest grandson was killed in an accident my 2nd daughter and I made a special quilt for each of his 2 brothers. When a granddaughter broke her arm she asked for a quilt to give her comfort. When a new baby is born the mother needs a quilt to wrap them in. Quilting is a way for me to share my self and my love with others.

1 comment:

Jeni Allen said...

Mom's the bestest quilter I know and I love her!