Quilting and Mental Health
Hobbies are good for you. Some people who don’t have hobbies may dismiss them as a waste of time, but anyone who collects things or makes things knows that these activities are anything but a waste of time. Aside from the pleasure they bring, they can be a source of comfort or therapy for people who are struggling with mental health issues.
I wrote an article a couple of years ago for NextAvenue.org on the mental health benefits of quilting: The Creative Art of Quilting. Readers widely shared this piece among quilters who already knew about the benefits that quilting provided.
Several years ago, I started writing a book on the long-lasting effects of abuse, and this was the introduction:
The book stalled but I do plan on picking it up again some day. But the thoughts lingered and just after my mother died four years ago, I got an image in my head of a quilt I just had to make. I had to. The image haunted me for two weeks. When I wasn’t thinking of anything specific, the image came back to me. So I set to work putting it in fabric.
This quilt is of a girl who is broken. Then, as time passes, she starts to put the pieces together again and is once again whole. But I used black stitches on purpose because, although she is whole again, the scars are there.
When I first completed it, my husband pointed out that the background made it hard to see the girl. That was the point, I responded. That was the point.
Have you used an art or craft to help you through a tough time, to help you heal?
And if you want to know how I quilted healing, here is a short video explaining my thought process. The spring 2020 issue of Canadian Quilter published a photo of this quilt in their feature on quilts with inspirational words.