Last night while I was sitting in my chair stitching away it occurred to me that the time I spend hand quilting is valuable to me in many other ways. Of course, the first thing is that I'm quilting, which I enjoy. But there are other advantages as well. It's impossible for me to snack while I'm sewing. Anything salty or sticky is impossible, so it helps with my diet, (I'm doing OK, down another size). I also can't really watch TV, which is fine because even though we have 500 channels there's never "anything" on.
The biggest bonus is that my stitching time is also my thinking time. It's very easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of everyday life and not find enough time to get in touch with yourself. I hate it when I don't get any "brain time" because that's when I solve a lot of problems, come up with new ideas, and just find some quiet time to meditate. Since I'm a Christian I also find it a convenient time to pray and open up my heart to God's blessings, which are too easy to lose track of. Having that quiet time everyday is a real boon to me, so I always try to find at least a little time to sit and stitch.
I've read somewhere that needlework is great for stress because it lowers your heart rate. For me it's so much more, it's often like I go into a kind of trance, letting the work and the beauty flow through me. It's so calming that although I have my share of worries, I find that while I'm stitching I'm worry free. I find myself looking forward to the evenings I spend in my chair, with my dog cuddled next to me in his little bed and my husband and son enjoying their sports or other programs. I'm part of it, and yet I can escape in my head to a place where worries fade away and creativity reigns. It's almost like a waking dream and I love it.
What I find most interesting is that once I finish a piece my attachment to it seems to go away. It used to be that I had all kinds of memories linked to my quilts. Each work brought out memories to me of what I was going through at the time. In the last few years I've noticed that that has gone away. Of course I'm in every quilt I make, they're my unique creation, but I've mastered the knack of putting myself into the piece without losing myself in it. When I'm stitching I'm in that moment and what came before and after means nothing to me. So, once a piece is finished all I think about is getting on with something new, mainly so I can have that quiet time again where my mind drifts but my hands work.
So, where does your mind wander and do you find it fulfilling? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime,