Why I Quilt

I love it. I have to do something everyday that gives me joy. Quilting (and sewing in general) does that for me. It brings a happiness that nothing else does. What a blessing to find that in my life and so early. I knew as a child I would sew the rest of my life.


It gives me peace. When I am quilting, I am completely at peace with myself and my surroundings. Time and trouble have almost no meaning when I am in the midst of fabric and a sewing machine. For me, quilting is better at curing the blues than professional therapy.

It makes me use my mind. Quilting involves a fair amount of math; using fractions, the metric system, division, geometry and angles. I must use my brain to keep measurements accurate. I also have to make squares, triangles, etc. match up. There are many skills I have to learn and new ways of doing things. There is always something new on the horizon. Quilting keeps me on my toes, alert and always aware. I think it helps keep me young.


It’s a way to be creative. Colors, shapes, sizes, contrast and harmony – all combine in a million different ways. How fun it is to explore the possibilities that quilting affords me. I can literally think of anything and try it out with fabric! It doesn’t get any better.


It keeps me organized. Keeping all the parts of a quilt in order can be a chore, but it does make me develop a system. The system allows the quilt to go together in the right sequence and it is different for each quilt. That way I’m able to stop and start without getting lost.


It allows me to be messy. When I’m quilting, it can look like a fabric bomb has gone off in my sewing room. And that’s okay! Allowing the fabric to speak and jump out can be a freeing experience. Try it – I think you will like it! And I don’t have to clean it up until I’m ready.

It gives me a sense of accomplishment. Making progress on a quilt is very invigorating. Every block done is a goal accomplished. And a finished quilt is a thrill beyond compare. All the thought, planning, work, ripping, re-sewing and love become a beautiful fabric hug.

It never ends. Even before one quilt is done, I’m looking forward to the next project. There is always a new energy and an eagerness to get to the next idea. Numerous thoughts concerning several quilts can be going on at the same time. Quilts follow quilts. They never end!

The community of other quilters. Sharing the love of quilting with other like-minded people just multiplies the joy. I have found quilters to be the most selfless, caring, inclusive, sharing folks on the planet. I can’t imagine quilting all alone. It is a gift that must be performed  with others. I must share. I must be taught. I must teach. I must know the happiness of a group quilting together.

Photographs for the book "Teach Yourself Visually: Quilting" by Sonja Hakala. (Photo by Geoff Hansen)

Photographs for the book “Teach Yourself Visually: Quilting” by Sonja Hakala.
(Photo by Geoff Hansen)

It is part of my legacy. I envision quilts I made being handed down to my family for generations. I have also made many quilts as gifts for family and friends. These quilts are part of me and show my love for those in my life. Like my laugh and my sense of humor, they will be remembered and talked about for many years to come.


The act of quilting itself sets a good example for the younger generations in my family. As the matriarch, I want to be seen as a productive and active elder. I believe quilting does that for me.

One Perfect Pew

I have the most adorable little church pew. It only seats two and is probably at least 70 to 80 years old. I bought it 40 years ago and have loved it ever since. The sweet seat is a lovely stained wood with curlicues, curves and an arch on both ends.


The pew has been in almost every room of the many houses I have lived in over the years. It is so cute and I have never seen the need to change anything about it. It always fit in wherever it was and made a statement by just being itself.

Lately, however, I have been wanting to update the little pew, make it new and different. So I daringly painted the ends an alabaster white.


That was a bit too white though, so I added a dark brown grey glaze to tone down the white and emphasize the details. That was just perfect! But then it was a little too matte, so I waxed the ends. Now they absolutely glow!

The little pew was asking for even more update. So stenciling it was! I used a French store address on the back panel. The paint I used was again a dark brown grey, that shows but looks very vintage in my home. Now the pew is really perfect!


pew-stencil-closeuppew-stencilTo be honest, I was terrified to attempt to paint and stencil that piece of furniture. How glad I am that I did. I have learned from experience that I seldom regret the things I try to do but often regret the things I do not try to do. Bravery often pays off.

So be brave, even it’s just with a paint brush!

Grand Things Kids Say

A couple weeks ago, Gramps and I took Mac to the lake in the boat. (It is still very hot here is Texas!) We went all around the lake and then decided we would beach the boat so we could do some swimming and wading in the cool water. Mac had his life jacket on and jumped over the side of the boat, making a very large splash. His comment – “What a huge displacement!”.

Thank you Science teacher!

A Look At A Book 12

Not So Tall For Six written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer is a wonderfull book about being brave and smart and big at heart.



Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. She might be small but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.



When that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners



Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming book


As a child author Dianna Hutts Aston was afraid of clowns, ducks and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.

Illustrator Frank W. Dormer says he is not afraid of anything. Well, maybe he’s afraid of rickets. And scurvy. He overcomes his fears by sitting in the sun with a tall glass of orange juice.



What are you afraid of and how do you overcome your fears?