A Future Worth Fighting for: Joy, Sustainability & Quilting - Weekly Inspiration #10
12 januari 2022 
7 min. read

A Future Worth Fighting for: Joy, Sustainability & Quilting - Weekly Inspiration #10

Quilting puts joy in the everyday, and therefore makes the everyday joyful.

I had the idea to dedicate each Wednesday of the month to one of the core values of Kick Ass Quilts. This will allow us to get a good understanding of the sustainability theory of Kick Ass Quilts and to discuss each part.

And hop, something inspired me to talk on joy!   


There was a discussion in one of the Facebook groups I am a part of about this ‘sexy environmentalist’ blog. People got really mad about it because sexy has nothing to do with environmentalism.

Lightness and joy is paramount to make any kind of movement successful

And I’ve seen this in other places as well: because climate change is so serious and also a scary issue for people, it becomes a topic we also have to approach with the UPMOST seriousness. Any lightness or jokes on the subject will make it less important.

However, I’ve worked in the sustainability field for long, and let me tell you: lightness and joy is paramount to make any kind of movement successful.

Let me tell you why.

Rianne Kick Ass Quilts portrait

It’s hard to embrace anything positive when a situation looks bleak. Trust me, I’ve been there. And we are at a bad state in the world. However, that’s what makes joy even more important.

That is why I made joy one of the key values. And to explain to you in as few words as possible:

Kick Ass Quilts Quote: Any future worth having, is a future we enjoy

And that means making  joy part of sustainability.

For sustainability, we need to have joy as a vital part of how we organize our life and activities.

With that, I am not saying everything we do should be about pursuing joy, because we are starting a movement here, not a cult. Very different things.

No, I am talking about joy in everyday things that carries you through your days.

Moqingbirds quilting bee Rianne

Joy of laughing with friends, of doing great works, satisfaction after a day well spend, or of nature. The kind of joy that gives air to your life and makes all the boring and bad stuff easier to carry. The kind of joy that doesn’t take a lot to create, and is always there once you know where to find it.

Joy in the everyday as a way to embrace a simpler, slower life. Because now, joy seems to be about escaping the busy life we can’t cope with.

Sustainable joy is about not needing anything extra, and about finding pleasure in simple and available things that do not harm.

That's also how quilting fits in.

Any future worth having, is a future we enjoy.

The joy you get from quilting is the perfect explanation of what I mean with cultivating sustainable joy in your life.

Quilting gives joy by working with your hands, the feel of the fabrics, working with gorgeous colours, and you have the satisfaction of making something equally beautiful, useful and lasting.

Rianne Kick Ass Quilts piecing by hand

Quilting has several kinds of joy in one, which are also part of the 8 assignments.

Quilting is the joy of…

... doing something with purpose and meaning

... spending time with friends

... sharing the quilts you have.

... creating something that expresses your taste and values

... having a moment of reflection for yourself after a busy day

…. and add the joys you experience with quilting.

Quilting puts joy in the everyday, and therefore makes the everyday joyful.

You can use the joy quilting gives you as inspiration to find joy in other areas of your life as well.

Quilting can be the diving board for friendships, or getting confidence to pursue other things in your life. Quilt for 30 minutes a day to get a moment of foundational joy in your life.

Let those 30 minutes a day be a moment of joy to look forward too to carry you through the other parts of your day. Let the 30 minutes also be an anchor of rest to recharge from the good fights you are fighting in your life.

My online classes will teach you how to quilt.

So let us all be inspired by the soldiers from Mulan to be brave and fight for something that is worth it, only for us, it won't be a girl but a future worth fighting for!

Discussion points:

Now I’d love to get your take on my article. Let’s have a discussion in the comments. You can answer these questions to start:

  • What do you think of lists like ‘50 most sexy environmentalists?
  • What is the role of joy in sustainability according to you?
  • What gives you joy in life?
  • Which aspect of quilting gives you most joy?
About the author
Quilting has made me a stronger, more developed, and joyful person, and I've seen the same in many other people. Creativity is key to finding joy in life. There are many ways of being creative, I am your teacher in the quilting fabrication department.
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The 'Quilting Out of Your Home'  e-book teaches you how to create beautiful quilts with stuff you already own!


For example, turn the old shirts of your husband into a quilted laptop sleeve. Or turn the outgrown clothes of your children into a quilt for their bed.

If you enrol for the newsletter, you get the e-book as a gift. And I promise you I won't send spam, only the occasional tips and inspiration to recycle old fabrics into new items.

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