Why Random Acts of Kindness Matter to Your Well-being
I have made this quilt as a gift for someone and wanted to share my make and reasons why I sew.
Small acts of kindness resonate in all our lives. For example:
The Love Hormone
Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Just as you can pass on a yawn, you can pass on a big fat smile.
You can feel stronger, more energetic after helping others and feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth. I love seeing a person open a gift, its the best part for me.
“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. I really want to help people as much as I can.
Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!
Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller!
Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population! Works for me!
Creates an increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
Depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.
Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. Acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels.
Sewing can help mental health
Engaging in a mindful activity like sewing can help us pay attention to our thoughts and feelings, which can improve our mental health.
1. Allowing yourself some “selfish” me-time
2. Spending time away from your smart devices to prevent sensory overload
3. Being mindful
4. Accomplishing something
5. Improving Body Image & Increasing Self-confidence
6. Effective coping strategy
This is a win, win situation for me, I get to spend time doing something that I love and I see someone happy as a result.
We have a few family Moto’s, my favourite, most important two are the ABC’s:
ABK (Kicking K): Always Be Kind!
ABC: (curly C) Always Be Clean
Sewing for mental health
The making process starts with sourcing the materials. This is my favourite part of starting a new project, especially when the project involves Liberty cotton. I buy my pre-cut squares from ebay: Liberty squares
I am making for a boy, so wanted to make a blue quilt. It is very floral, so to be honest a girl would love too. I needed 187 x 2.5′ squares and 28 x 5′ squares for the border. I also need a back panel, I wanted this to be a contrasting fabric, so decided on the Liberty Zoo Print. This I would also use for the edge binding.
The making process:
I had to use some maths here, eeek! I needed to know my quilt size and how many squares I would need. I looked online at the average size for a Cot-bed quilt and decided on 100cm x 70cm. I needed 2.5′ x 17 rows of 11, and a 5′ squares for the border 7 x 9, squares. I sew my squares 0.5cm seam allowance, making the rows first, then I match the seams and sew the rows together. I then press the seams open, using my mouse iron: This iron is perfect for quilting, as it is the perfect size to iron each seam individually. I then pin the border squares together and sew. Finally attaching the border squares to the smaller centre ones, the corners are tricky to sew, I make sure I snip the corners 0.5cm from the edge before I pin.
Ironing the quilting backing fabric
I then cut the iron on quilting fabric to the back, you iron from the centre and work your way to the outer edges. I use a medium weight wadding. I add this to both the square and plain side.
Quilting lines on front and back.
Be warned this is a mission. it took me the best part of a day, 42 x 29 rows on each side. These measure 2cm apart, one row sewn in the ditch of a square, the second being half of a small square.This makes it quite east to navigate, as the presser foot edge is 1cm away from the previous line.If you want to become a master at sewing straight lines, this is the perfect task to do so. Once I started I didn’t want to stop, although my back was aching by the end. This you also start from the centre and I did this on the plain back and patchwork sides.
Making bias binding.
I bought 1 metre of Liberty fabric for the back and this was enough for the quilt, leaving enough to make my own bias binding. I cut several 5cm bias stripes and sewed these together to make one long strip. I then used my binding tool:
I sandwiched the back and front wrong sides together, then pinning the bias to the edge of the plain side. I pin to this side, as it is a visible top stitch. You trim the seam allowance, before attaching and top stitching.
I loved making this quilt and really hope my friend loves it too. The cost did add up in the end, so to sell these, the final price will be high. It is a bespoke piece, so given enough time, am willing to make them to order. I will add this to my Etsy page and my website soon.