Football and Quilting

I am a football fanatic. Every Sunday afternoon during football season you will find me riveted to play-by-play action, channel flipping, and even tracking scores and stats online. College football rivalries intrigue me. I have been known to stop at high school fields when I see a game going on. Yes, football can be an obsession, and we quilters do understand obsession.  

For the first time in several years, I do not have a fantasy football team. For many years I have been involved in two leagues, and for some time I ran a women-only league. It was largely composed of football widows who decided they needed to learn enough about the game to share the experience with their significant others. It did not take long for several of them to catch the bug and become fanatics as well.  

I know that many of you find football annoying, and would never choose to watch a game. Some of you perhaps share my passion for football. In either case, please permit me to share a few reasons why I think quilting is like football.  

Quilting and football both require precision and discipline. Granted, you can play at both and have a great time, but the end result is so much better with the application of practice, skill, persistence, and discipline.  

A quilter is like a coach. Making plans, exploring line-ups or layouts, anticipating the outcome of many variables.  

Both football and quilting rely on geometry. A football field has strips, rectangles, squares, borders, and a grassy cushion for comfort. Footballs are kicked or passed along angles and trajectories. A quilt has strips, rectangles, squares, borders, angles, and a cushion for comfort too. Ok, the cushion is not part of the geometry.  

A quilter is like a quarterback. Directing, innovating, improvising, and encouraging every piece, like every player, to be in the right place at the right time.  

Quilting requires patience and enthusiasm. So does football! Many tasks of creating a quilt are repetitive or even boring, but there are moments of sheer delight and fun. Same for a football player, much practice, a great deal of time sitting on the sidelines, and moments of glorious play on the field.  

Football and quilting both require experimentation. Come up with an idea. Try it out. Adjust, tweak, test it again. Maybe you keep it, maybe you throw it out and start over.  

Color is everywhere on football fields, and in the mosaic of people filling the stands, all set against a lovely green background. Quilters love color.  

There are many levels of playing football, from casual pickup games in vacant lots, through several school levels, to professional leagues. Something for every player, and for every time commitment players have to bring to their sport. Fortunately, the same is true for quilters, be they occasional quilters, avid guild members, blue ribbon winners, or professional designers and quilters.  

Both have countless opportunities for fresh starts and renewed efforts. There is always the next game, the next season. The next quilt.  

And for me, I never believe in booing at football players or plays. Always a cheerleader, which I strive to be for all my quilting friends as well.  

And now, if you will pardon me, I hear the TV in the other room, and someone just scored a touchdown. Football, unlike quilting, has instant replay, and I am going to go watch and cheer. Happy quilting! Happy game day!


Go, Vikings! ©2010, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.

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About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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4 Responses to Football and Quilting

  1. Pat from MN says:

    First of all I agree with go Vikes!

    Yes, there are many simularities and you have named them very well. If you do not mind I will add a couple more.

    Quilters and players who are mentors to others encourage others to try different things and arrangements/techniques.

    Both can be expensive.

    Then there are the armchair quarterbacks who can do the plays better and analyze every decision. There are the “quit police” who can do a quilt better.

    Enjoy the day!

  2. Martin says:

    Go Titans! Go Quilters! Hip Hip Hooooraaayyy!

  3. Sarah C. says:

    I’d have to agree with Martin – go Titans!! And go Dolphins!! We had a good day for both teams today!! And you make very good points about the similarities between quilting and football – and Pat makes a good one about armchair quarterbacks!

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