Finding joy in a new hobby

By June Greenlaw

Baby boy quilt

When I turned 50 a few years ago, it occurred to me that I might want to get moving checking things off my bucket list.  One of the things that has long been on that list is to learn how to quilt.  This past January, my best friend and I took a beginner’s quilting class.  We are now quilting fools!

I was amazed at how easy it was, considering I had not touched a sewing machine since home economics class in 7th grade.  Remember, I’m over 50 now, so that was a long time ago.  I have to give credit to the teachers of the class because they were very patient, but I do believe that anyone can learn to quilt in very little time.

Quilts for Veterans group

During the class, we were able to get the top of our first quilt completely done.  When a friend saw what we had done via facebook, she reached out to us and asked if we would consider making some quilts for Veterans in her hospice center.  Of course, we were honored to do something so small for folks who have done so much for us.  We hope these veterans will sleep half as comfortably under these quilts as we sleep under the blankets of freedom they have each provided to us.

Knowing about this opportunity, we wanted to share with others and touch as many lives as we could, so we coordinated a Quilts for Veterans event.  Many awesome volunteers came together and we were able to complete 24 quilt tops that day.  Those quilts are currently be finished by volunteers and will be presented to the Veterans very soon.

Since then, I completed that first blanket we started in our class and I gave it to my 89-year-old Aunt.  I also completed two baby blankets, one for a boss at work that had just become a Grandfather and another for a niece that is expecting her first child.  I was delighted to be able to give all of them something handmade, but the quilting journey has a few other adventures to report.

I mentioned above that my friend and I took this class together.  Well, that friend and I have a mutual friend that recently lost her Dad.  We received some of her father’s clothing in the mail from one of her relatives.  We were able to use his clothing to create a keepsake quilt for her to, one day, pass on to her children.

We were very proud of all of the quilts I have mentioned, but our favorite, and likely the one that will mean the most to us forever, is one that we created for a girlfriend that is currently receiving treatment for breast cancer.  The quilt was designed with the pink breast cancer ribbon in the middle.  As we told our friend, we know that this diagnosis does not define her, but we wanted her to be able to use this blanket to wrap herself in love while fighting this battle and, afterward, to use it as a reminder of her strength.

Checking this off the bucket list has been incredibly fulfilling already, and I’m excited about all the gifts I will be able to create in the future.  I currently have two wedding quilts on my agenda, and my daughter recently asked me to make one for her friend that is ill.  I feel very blessed that God led me to this hobby because it has given me the ability to do something unique for others.  The best part of making the quilts is always giving them away!

I encourage anyone that has thought about quilting to give it a try.  It’s been a rewarding journey so far, and, as an extra added benefit, it has given us something to do while we all keep our distance from others during this challenging time with the virus.  If not quilting, I hope you will check something off your bucket list soon.

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