Four reasons why quilting is good for mental health

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Ask any crafter and they will tell you that crafting is good for the soul. It has long been thought that craft based activities can help people improve their health. Many crafts are being harnessed by mental health campaigners such as the charity Mind, to increase wellbeing and help with all kinds of mental health problems, as demonstrated by their Crafternoon intiative. The organisation Knit for Peace has conducted research to find out more about the health benefits of knitting, while The Yarnfulness Project aims to find out more about why crafting is so beneficial to wellbeing.

Studies into quilting have already shown that it can actually help patients regain mobility, particularly if they have had a neurological deficit from a stroke or brain injury. More recently, specific research into quilting has shown that it has positive benefits on mental health and wellbeing too.

1. The Power of Colour

It’s clear that quilters feel that colour has a huge impact on their state of mind. The creative use of bright colour is psychologically uplifting, as well as satisfying to the eye.

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Estuary, Janet McCallum.

2. Mental Agility

Quilting is challenging, requiring concentration and the mastery of new skills. What better way to keep your mind in fine fettle than undertaking a challenging quilt involving designing patterns, measuring dimensions and tessellating pieces?

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Wheels & Spokes, Rebecca Handyside

3. The ‘Flow’

If meditation isn’t your thing, you’ll be glad to hear that quilters report the experience being in ‘the flow’. Losing yourself in the creative process engenders positive feelings which last beyond the actual activity, as well as reducing anxiety and helping with pain management.

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4. Community

Whether physical or digital, quilting can strengthen social networks and a fosters sense of community. The shared interest of quilters offers friendship, support, inspiration and motivation. Quilters are a sharing, friendly bunch!

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Research published in Journal of Public Health, Volume 34, Issue 1, and the Journal of Occupational Science, Volume 7, Issue 2.

 

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