Thursday 29 September 2016

Craft is good for the soul

Following on from last week’s post, I thought I would look deeper into why learning something new makes me feel so happy, and why it’s essential to make time in our busy lives to discover something we didn’t know before, or to try something way out of our comfort zone. And I’m not talking about bungee jumping or cave diving here, but something a lot more accessible to us all – craft.

Whether it’s knitting, crochet, dress-making or like me, ‘cutting up fabric to sew it back together again’, creative hobbies give you so much more than just a finished object.

Recent medical research has found that not only do creative activities such as crafts relieve stress, anxiety and even depression, but they can also improve happiness and a sense of wellbeing. The activity of sitting still for a couple of hours and concentrating on just one thing can do wonders for your mental state. Just being able to shut out life’s problems for a little while can bring a great sense of peace and mindfulness which let’s face it, we could all do with a little of these days.

I know the same can be said for doing the daily crossword or Sudoku puzzle, but there seems to be more to actually creating something - be it a handmade quilt, a knitted scarf or a crocheted egg cosy - working with colour and different textures, having to make creative decisions, or even mathematical ones – and then at the end, to have a finished item made by yourself, that sense of accomplishment when you can say proudly “I made that” – can surely only be a good thing, right?!

These kind of crafts that stretch your knowledge are also said to be great for maintaining your brain’s cognitive skills, after all, your brain is a muscle that needs to be used constantly to keep it in good condition. We have got to keep learning and pushing our boundaries, our comfort zones, after all, isn’t that is what life’s about? For living? What a waste it would be to just stop – no new experiences, no great accomplishments, no understanding of new ideas. Crafts can give you all of this, and so much more, I haven’t even touched on the community and sense of inclusion that these activities can evoke.

With so many online resources at our fingertips these days, it's so easy to have a taster of a new hobby before devling into a local class or workshop. YouTube is a great place to start – if you would like to learn more about quilting I strongly recommend the Missouri Star Quilt Company and the Fat Quarter Shop for some great free tutorials.
And of course, you could always start with my Quick & Easy/Beginner’s Quilt tutorial and pre-cut Kits. For more about the basics of quilting, from the equipment you need, to which fabric and waddings to use, check out my free tutorials.

And if you're already quilting/knitting/crocheting, here's to a long, creative and very happy life... but don't forget, there's always something new to learn just around the corner.

This week I'm linking up with these great parties:
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation



  1. I'll agree, it is very fulfilling to learn something new, or to master a skill to advance to another level. Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

  2. Great post, I totally agree that creating and learning is great for the mind and the soul.


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