Even today, I would say that quilting is one of my biggest stress relievers, but I think I knew it way back before I finished the Grandma's Garden quilt. My other profession is teaching math, and it can bring on major stress. Many have heard me say things like "If I get fired over this, I will have more time to quilt." I love teaching, and there are many moments of personal joy found in working with middle school students, but quilting is a totally different kind of passion. An hour at the sewing machine or a morning with the longarm allows me a chance to refocus and re-energize.
When I was in one school district, we had lots of extra after-school workshops offeredd by teachers. The workshops were really recreational and not intended for professional development. I am certain the cooking classes and the exercise classes relieved stress for those that took them. I took a t-shirt quilt class and laughed all the way through it. No one missed a single class because it was so much fun. Jamie and Jon received the two quilts I made during those classes, but I have made a few others since.