Quilting for Health

quilting for health

Shake up Five Placemats Pattern

Hobbies like sewing and crafting have long been recognized for their health benefits. Engaging in arts is relaxing, engaging and can have significant health benefits. But quilting, a study by Glasgow University found, is “uniquely” good for you. Read on to discover this unique study on quilting for health.

Quilting for Health

quilting for health

Rose Moss Quilt Pattern

Students interviewed a small group of  30 quilters and found that quilting improved their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being. 

The study concluded that the use of bright colors was ‘uplifting’, the activity distracted  from the stress of work, and quilting offered challenges such as maths and geometry. It also increased confidence and had an important social side.

quilting for health

Rainbow Nine Patch Pattern

Participants experienced ‘flow’ while quilting. A strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships. Sharing with others and receiving positive feedback from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation to improve quilting skills. Quilters in the study often donated quilts to charities and this gave quilting added purpose.

quilting for health

Color Explosion Quilt Pattern

Three ways Quilting Improves Health

1. Quilting for Mental Health. We know that quilting is great for mental health in particular. First you have to have a visual of the project and and decide on colors, textures and types of fabrics. If you make any changes to the patterns this often takes a lot of planning. Decisions like what dimensions to use and what size to cut the pieces are all “left brain” activities help keep your mind sharp.

2. Quilting for Relaxation. There is something peaceful about going through the motions of a quilting. I love pressing the fabric for a new project. The cutting, piecing and eventually the quilting are all familiar and repetitive tasks can lull me into a peaceful state. The gentle whir of the sewing machine instantly relaxes me.

3. Quilting to Improve Confidence. Another way quilting can improve our mental health and lead to physical health benefits is by improving our self-esteem. Developing a improving quilting skills through quilting projects can lead to a significant boost of self confidence. We demonstrate the use of skills through our projects and show them to others, receive positive feedback and are motivated to improve skills further. Also offering positive feedback to others can improve our well- being.

Do you have a personal “healing through quilting” story to share? We want to hear from you.


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5 Responses to Quilting for Health

  1. Jerry Church says:

    So much of our lives today involve “Enter” or “Send” and there is no evidence at the end of the day that work has been accomplished. Quilting is different. At the end of the day you have a finished project or something to be completed that you can view and hold, and say “I did this today”. There is satisfaction in being able to see your day’s work and something to look forward to the next day.

  2. Rita G says:

    Several years ago when I was facing back surgery the Dr. told me I couldn’t bend over or lift/carry anything during 3 to 6 months of recovery. My only question was “can I use my sewing machine”? It was guilt free sewing and I was amazed at how the time flew by. The frustration just melted away and I quilted to my hearts content. I am happy to report a full recovery.

  3. Mary Lou Jones says:

    I had first began quilting in 2002 but put it to the back burner – no time. Then, in 2006, I lost both of my parents and my son blind-sided me by joining the Marines. 13 months later he was deployed to Afghanistan. Mama pulled out the fabric and began quilting like a mad woman. I had to keep my mind busy, so I quilted and talked to God. All is well. He returned safely from 2 tours and although there are some lifelong issues we still count ourselves as blessed.

  4. I make a lot of custom quilts mostly baby. But the last 3 have been for 2 cancer (now survivers) and 1 with a Chirara Malformation. The first was for a cousins daughter that hit the family hard and I got the quilts done in record time so she would have it for her 6 weeks of cemo & radiation. While at the Mayo Clinic they stayed in short term least condo’s. They met an incrediable lady that has a very painful birth defect and she has be come my inspiratiation. I have never met her nor do I think I ever will, as she lives 700 miles away. I made a breast cancer quilt for her to give to a friend. She then ordered one for herself. I have never put so much love into a quilt. I spent hours at my embrodiery machine I added up the minutes and is was over 1500. just for the machine not any of my time typing up the words of scriptures she wanted. When I had it completed I was so afraid to let it go. I was worried it would not live up to her standards. I took the quilt to my guild meeting and to a couple or maybe 4 quilt shops. All were in awe of the work and the words of faith and wisdom. I was so moved and knew she would have all the comfort she so richly deserves. If you ever get a chance to read a poem called Warriors Declareation. Its incrediable when facing chronic debliating illness. It was and is my decree to live by with my chronic illnessess. I have tried every way I can to post the picture here so you will just have to go to my web site.
    I am a new designer with Quilt Woman under Wonky Momma Designs I will get it posted on there as soon as i can plus the Warriors Declareation.

  5. Laura Estes says:

    Over the years I have observed the reentry to everyday social ability, in a number of individuals through quilting. For some it has been the opportunity to sit in on a sit and sew, surrounded by friendly quilters and watch and listen. Others have gained confidence by starting with a simple project and absorbing skills from others in a class or group. Just being around colorful, beautiful fabric and friendly people seems to draw out even the most reclusive. Some have never made a quilt, but enjoy being in the quilting scene, collecting patterns, dreaming.

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