Quilting improves your health

The following is an excerpt from a June 13th article in the Daily Mail Reporter from the UK.

But quilters, it seems, have every right to celebrate their craft after researchers found that it is ‘uniquely’ good for you. A study found quilting improved well-being in ways that physical and outdoor activities could not, and offered a creativity that had been ‘stifled’ in the modern world.

They interviewed quilters and found the activity helped their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being, particularly among older people.

The use of bright colours 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.
Professor Jacqueline Atkinson, co-author of the study and a quilter herself for five decades, said: ‘Doing something that engages you and that you enjoy is key. As adults, we don’t often do enough that includes fun and play.
Graduate student Emily Burt interviewed 29 members of the group and the transcripts were analysed for the study, published in the Journal of Public Health.
Beneficial: The researchers said more consideration needed to be given to hobbies, from reading to train spotting, and their potential for enhancing well being.
It concluded that: ‘Whether it is growing vegetables, knitting a jumper or discovering a new scientific formula creativity may be fundamental for well being and has received little attention so far within public health.
‘Exploring creativity and what people do in their everyday lives, which they deem creative, may be an important avenue for well being promoters.
‘Additionally, more consideration needs to be given to all hobbies, from reading to train spotting, and their potential for enhancing well being.’

Craft Scotland said interest in quilting amongst younger Scots was increasing but there was no measure for how many people take up the hobby individually or in clubs.
She said: ‘We’ve definitely seen an increase in groups doing quilting socially but also individuals.
‘Historically older groups of women did quilting but women in their early 20s are getting together and children’s groups are also taking it up.

‘People are investing in quality pieces of quilting, but also looking to make items themselves and re-use materials they have in their homes.
‘I can only see the popularity increasing.’
The craft industry contributes around £3 billion a year to the UK economy.

photo courtesy Barbara Brackman

Now we didn’t need a study to prove that to us, did we?
Several years ago there was a therapist in our area. She was also a quilter. She would hold monthly “Therapy” sessions where everyone would gather around a quilt frame, hand quilt and  talk. Maybe this is why our grandmothers didn’t need  a therapist. I  have another word for a therapist, A LIFE COACH and we could all use one. Or maybe we should just pull out our grandmothers quilting frame
and invite a few friends over!
One more funny story – I hope my husband doesnt read this. When the kids were younger I told my husband I needed therapy. Now of course he assumed this meant a therapist and I didn’t tell him any different. So I took some $$ and went to lunch with a friend, spent time at the boookstore, or any other theraputic thing I wanted 1 day a week. It really did help! and I think my husband probably helped a little more around the house because he thought I was loosing it!!
Maybe it is time for more therapy!!


  1. Anne says:

    This article is so interesting and validating! I think I am going to have to link to your post, I want to make sure all my quilting friends read this article.

  2. Wow – they are documenting what I already had experienced with quilting. I became ill almost 13 years ago with a disabling disease and turned to quilting to keep from going crazy with so much time on my hands. I hand piece and hand quilt and it has truly made a huge difference in my life – both mentally and physically. Thanks for posting this.


  3. Barbara says:

    Love your brand of therapy! I think creativity in general, whether it's quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, creating Art. Well, they're just all good!.

    Hugs XX

  4. Lee says:

    Amen, sister! I'm an occasional quilter – mostly a cross-stitcher, but I can relate to your "therapy" observation. I've found that when I'm among a group of friends and we have needles in our hands, we're more likely to divulge what's in our hearts than if we were just sitting face to face and chatting somewhere. What is it about having our hands occupied that seems to allow us to speak more freely?

    I think having busy hands allows for comfortable quiet time, also. The group can get quiet and it doesn't get all awkward, you know? We learn to be at peace with no conversation, too.

    Well, I could go on and on, but I'll just end here by saying: Thanks for such a thought provoking post!

  5. Jo's Corner says:

    Wow! I just became your 500th Follower! I love this particular post, as it gives me hope! I have cancer, terminal is the prognosis says my doctors. I however, don't agree! I intend to live a long long life! I am a newbie to sewing/quilting. But, I simple Adore fabric! When I'm feeling down, I drive to my local quilt shop and spend hours just soaking in the beauty of the fabrics. I take my camera and take photos of the designs and the sample quilts that are displayed. I really would like to have a quilt for my bed, both when I'm at home or in the hospital. If there is someone who would like to make a quilt for me, I would be so happy! I have lots of fabrics, thread, etc. that I could send.
    I just happened across your blog today, certainly not with the intention of requesting a quilt to be made, but I believe He led me here! If you'd like to contact me, you can email me at jomoseley57@gmail.com Thanks and have a Lovely Weekend! ~ Jo

  6. Deb says:

    What a great post!! I may need to link back to you regarding this post!! I think it needs to be shared with the world…of course, it will be "preaching to the choir", as they say!

  7. We didn't need the study to tell us what we already know…however it is a good one to share with our hubbies especially after a visit to the LQS! :o)

    I go to a Tuesday morning stitching group and I call it my "therapy" and I really notice my mood drops if I miss it! :o)

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