During the month of March, quilting and crafting are given recognition nationally as a time to celebrate and appreciate the two artistic forms and the benefits derived by using individual talents to create. It may be no coincidence that the two commemorate hands-on activities in the same month. Both require skill, creativity, supplies and/or equipment, and the use of hands. Either can be a hobby or an occupation with an opportunity to earn by selling creations or by teaching a skill.
National Quilting Month has been sponsored by the National Quilting Association (NQA) since 1991 when it designated the third Saturday in March as National Quilting Day; over the years it has expanded to the entire month of March giving quilters more time for shop-hops, shows, and classes. In 1994, the Craft & Hobby Association created National Craft Month to help people rediscover and learn about the benefits of crafting. While crafting may conjure up images of kids working with popsicle sticks and glue, crafters, in reality, are people of all ages who produce something tangible with their hands.
Quilts and various crafts can be beautiful as well as useful or not. It is for this reason that we have shows and museums to expose, share, study and enjoy the skill, art, or craft. Whether quilt or craft, both adhere to aesthetic principles by the materials chosen, shapes used, or how the various pieces come together. The completed pieces may be useful or have no purpose at all. When they provide beauty or please our sense of aesthetics, the outcome is art.
Benefits of Quilting and Crafting
The benefits or quilting or crafting are numerous:
- Relieves stress by turning on our endorphins, decreasing blood pressure and heart rate, reducing fight or flight, heart attack and stroke.
- Increases mental acuity with problem solving, math or geometry, and critical thinking.
- Meaningful work or sense of accomplishment provides pleasure rewards for the brain.
- Increases appreciation, empathy and tolerance of others and other forms of creativity.
- Builds confidence and inspires one to think ‘outside of the box’ in other aspects of their lives.
- Brings people together as they enjoy and inspire one another.
- Helps one learn about themselves and their values, beliefs, and attitudes.
- Boosts productivity, resilience, concentration and focus by boosting neurons between the right and left brain hemispheres.
Each of us has the ability to create in our own unique way. Enjoy, celebrate and appreciate whatever your accomplishment may be!
Updated February 2024, mg.