My Hobby: Quilting

I like to spend my precious free time in my sewing room. This is my opportunity to tell you, dear reader, about how the process and attention to detail I use to create a quilt reflects the process and attention to detail I use as a UX researcher.

To be fair, that is true. Both quilting and UX research require rigor and organization and I do utilize my professional skills in my hobby, but to be honest, I quilt so I don’t choke people. It can be frustrating to be user focused on a team that is product focused. It is rare that I am not advocating for making information more readily available to the user and using the language they use to describe it and getting push back from the team. Quilting is my solace from work and life frustrations. The gentle whir of my sewing machine is soothing. Playing with bright and beautiful fabric can lighten my mood and helps me restore my equilibrium.

Lena-quilting
First Quilt

I paused in writing this to look for scientific journal articles studying the efficacy of quilting/textile arts on reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms. I like to have facts behind my assertions that quilting DOES reduce my anxiety and symptoms of depression. It’s easier for me to quiet intrusive thoughts when I’m working on a quilt. The references can be found at the bottom of the page.

I am a self-taught quilter. I made my first quilt in 2006. I’ve progressed my skills slowly over the years since my first quilt. I value a completed quilt more than a perfect quilt with perfect quilting. I doubt I will ever enter one of my quilts in a quilt show, but they are cozy and warm and that is all that matters.

One of my favorite parts of quilting is attaching the binding. It is sewn onto the front of the quilt by machine and I hand sew it onto the back of the quilt. My sister’s dog enjoyed the process too! I was making the quilt for my sister for Christmas and her dog continues to enjoy snuggling with it.

I made a floor pillow for my daughter when she was 8, she’s 16 now and still uses it although her legs dangle off the end and its a little worse for wear.

Quilting Pillow
Quilt Twisted Leftovers

This is my most recent quilt finish.

I called it Twisted Leftovers. I made too many blocks for my sister’s quilt, these are her leftover blocks. This is a very bright and happy quilt. It’s draped over the back of my couch, my cats like to perch on it, plus its an easy way to keep cat fur off the furniture!

Another way my professional life has influenced my personal life –

I have a kanban board to track my quilt projects! I have an embarrassingly long list of projects I have started and not finished, most quilters do. The kanban board keeps me focused. I track my progress and celebrate my wins.

Quilting Kanban

I post the good parts of my life on my Instagram account:

Wrong or no access token.

References

Kurt D. Kausch, MS, PhD, RN; Kim Amer, PhD, RN (2007) Self-Transcendence and Depression Among AIDS Memorial Quilt Panel Makers in Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 45(6):44-53

Sinikka Hannele Pöllänen (2015) Crafts as Leisure-Based Coping: Craft Makers’ Descriptions of Their Stress-Reducing Activity, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 31:2, 83-100, DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2015.1024377


Ann D. Futterman Collier, Heidi A. Wayment & Melissa Birkett (2016) Impact of Making Textile Handcrafts on Mood Enhancement and Inflammatory Immune Changes, Art Therapy, 33:4, 178-185, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2016.1226647

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