I found the following article as I was cleaning up a room this morning. I wrote this bit several years ago, after reading an article in a quilting magazine. I was going to send it in to the magazine, but obviously never got around to it (or got up the nerve to send it in). Seems like the perfect thing for a blog post, though, as it is all still true today.


I am probably an oddity in the quilting world in more ways than one. I was inspired to start quilting by a woman who was not a quilter. I have never taken a quilting class. My work schedule does not permit me to join the local quilt guild. But while I am a self-proclaimed solitary quilter, I am not alone. There is always some kind of sports on the TV or radio while I quilt or sew, and the fan cheers and commentators keep me company.

Sports are the perfect companion for me because TV always replays the really good action, giving you a chance to park your needle before looking up at the screen. Baseball is the ultimate quilting sport, with long periods when I don’t have to look up at all, but Summer can be a hot time to quilt. Ice hockey and college basketball have lots of action, but the commentators usually keep me up to speed so I don’t have to look up as much. Football provides a good balance and the season is the perfect time to snuggle under a quilt while I’m working on it. Which makes me wonder: do I prefer football to other sports because it’s played during quilting season?

I recently realized how important it is that I do something while watching sports. In September 2006 I was diagnosed with tennis elbow and was unable to work on any of my projects until January 2007. I simply didn’t know what to do with myself. What’s the point of watching TV if I’m not working on my next quilting project? How can people just sit on a couch and watch TV, doing nothing? I climbed the walls for months until at last my elbow healed and I could return to my normal activities. I could sympathize with the athletes who were unable to play because of a seemingly minor injury or who were going through rehab. 

Many people think of quilting as a very social activity, imagining or remembering quilting bees of old and thinking of quilting guilds today. But many of us are not able to join with others, either because of our work schedules, the location of our homes, or other isolating circumstances. I am probably not as unusual as I may think, either in my work habits or in the path I have taken to quilting. But in one way I am like many a quilter on the planet: I make my quilts to give to others, to give them more color in their lives or a warm, comforting hug anytime they need it. This is the social extension of my solitary, sporting, quilting world.

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