Monday, November 2, 2015

The Tao of Quilting - Juxtaposition

Ok, I realize I did whine a lot in yesterday.  I guess I am frustrated with the pieces not coming out like what I see in my head.  So when I looked at my latest attempt at BeBe's piece, I realized it wasn't all that bad.  I still think it is not my best work, so I do need to continue working at it.

Therefore, I thought it might be a good opportunity to look at this part of quilting through the eyes of the Tao.

I was searching for a relevant test when I came across Chapter 2.  It  says:

When the people of the Earth all know beauty as beauty,
There arises (the recognition of) ugliness.

This might be the classic "if there is a god then there is a devil" argument that Frank's mother would spit at me and she identified me as the latter.  But I think it is simpler even than that.

If we see a beautiful quilt done by someone whose work we love, we immediately begin to compare our own work to that beautiful piece.  And you know what?  Ours will come up lacking.

I have said to some non-quilting (and some quilting) persons when we are looking at one of my pieces, "You know, I can point out every mistake to you."

And I can.  And I bet you can point out all yours too.  But does that really do either of us any good?  What it does is to chip away at the base of our happiness, our confidence, our own precious talent.

I know Judy Momenzada.  She does incredible things printing photos on fabrics, artfully creating piece after piece that get accepted into major magazines like Quilting Arts and into nice shows like Sacred Threads and she has stuff hanging in Houston.  She can easily do what I am fighting to accomplish in my own work right now.  And I spent yesterday and most of today whining within my own head about how good she is and how I am not.

Being and non-being interdepend in growth;
Difficult and easy interdepend in completion;
Long and short interdepend in contrast;
High and low interdepend in position;
Tones and voice interdepend in harmony;
Front and behind interdepend in company.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.   Get over it!  We both have our places. Yada yada yada.......

When I finally get over myself and really think about it, I realize that we do not each exist in a vacuum.  We need to know there is good work out there so we can strive to improve our own.   I love Judy's work, it has much to teach  me.  Like with so many of my quilty-artsy blogging friends (Patty the Quilt Lady, Carol at Quilted Fabric Art, LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color just to toss our a few of my betters!) there is so much beauty out there that we all can have our place.  And we all can grow through a synergism that will make us each better as individuals.

I just have to believe it!  Work up, work true, and look for beauty in your own hand......


  1. Remember that others see your work the way you see Judy's, Patty's, Carol's, LeeAnne's and others.

  2. Glory be I feel that my work would never be good enough to go in a show, but I have thought long and hard about if that is really what I am about. I see other's people's work and find myself wishing I wish I would have made that! Thanks for the shout out, but don't sell yourself short!

  3. "Comparison is the thief of joy." I don't know who said that, but it rings true. Oh, I so get what you're saying here. This last thing I just finished is rife with imperfections (the quilting part, mostly), but you know what? I will look at it in six months, a year, 10 years from now and appreciate the point on the path which it occupies. Just like the spiderweb wall hanging in front of me right now on the wall behind my computer monitor. Like most things I've done, I can see that I've progressed since I made it. It occupies a point on a continuum. Carry on, like your last line above. I love that, btw.

  4. Excellent post! I agree with you and all the commenters.


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