DISCLAIMER AND WARNINGS: Quilting may not have these positive benefits for all people and should be taken up with the support of family, friends, and retailers. Should you find quilting to be helpful to you, but annoying to your friends and family, do it anyway. Just not on the dining room table, unless the family can eat on trays in front of the TV instead. Quilting, and the collecting of fabric, supplies and tools for quilting, may be addictive for some individuals. Signs of addiction include, but are not limited to: dreaming of fabrics, knowing the names of every fabric store clerk in a fifty mile radius around your home, spending your paycheck at the quilt shop on the same day it clears the bank, leaving the laundry and housework to wait while you happily cut the fabric for sixteen quilts, seeing every item in your significant other’s closet as possible quilt fabric, and making quilts for every one you know, including the mail carrier and the neighbor’s annoying dog. Should you find yourself falling into one or more of these behaviors, find support by reading quilt magazines, and diversify by building your quilting library. It is to be expected that avid quilters will spend a large amount of their income to support their habit, and the value that the quilter feels from the creation of their quilts should be understood by all family members. If someone hides your car keys to prevent you from visiting the fabric shop, remember that there are thousands of online stores as well. Quilting can be a therapeutic distraction, not to be used in moderation. Obsessive quilting can lead to high levels of quilt productivity, and excess quilts can be donated to charities. On rare occasions, quilters have been found to be excessively distressed over the matching of colors, and the selection of values for perfect balance in their quilts. This has not been found to be life-threatening, and can often be alleviated by asking other quilters for suggestions. However, all new quilters should become aware that certain people lurking in quilt stores are highly critical, and may attempt to discourage their efforts. These unhelpful people are often informally called the ‘quilt police’ and they are the only police that you are encouraged to ignore. Quilters all react differently while developing their own quilting style, and may become obsessive about perfect corners, or may find liberation in carelessly cut triangles. These are both acceptable outcomes. Possible side effects include: finding lint and threads on every item in your wardrobe, having bags and bins of projects filling every closet of your home, breaking needles on your sewing machine, occasionally pricking your fingers while stitching, and feeling frustrated when you are not able to find the perfect shade of blue for your latest wall hanging. Eye strain may result when doing hand quilting for extended periods of time. To prevent this, quilters should take frequent breaks and run off to the fabric store just to enjoy the scenery. Or to buy more fabric. Certain quilters experience an increase in other bodily maladies, such as wrist or back pain. Great care should be taken to ensure that these discomforts are properly attributed to their real causes, such as over-use through work outside the home, or too much house work. In some instances, quilter’s families have reported that their quilter hides fabric, going so far as to label tubs of fabric as ‘holiday decorations,’ or even secretly renting storage lockers. Persons finding themselves in this situation may wish to consider counseling, perhaps in the form of talking with other quilters during a quilt shop class. Consult your local fabric or quilting supply retailer for more information.
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