Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today I am off to Linda's to quilt all day! I am not only excited I am ready to get focused. I have a really hard time with perfection. If my points do not line up, if the seams don't match I freak. It drives me INSANE ~ This is my Achilles heal. As a struggling anthropologist I know the legend of the Spider Woman. The Navajo are renown for their amazing and beautiful blankets. After generations of teaching this technique it would be easy to see the perfection in these blankets but there is a tradition of purposefully weaving a mistake into each one. This is to appease the Spider Woman and to live a life in balance. The legend states that a Navajo woman, Weaving Woman, became a little too enamored of her weaving gift , and as a punishment disappears into her loom, redeemed only when the supernatural Spider Woman pulls out a strand to release her. Since then, all weavers have promised to make "spirit trails" in their blankets, and not to allow "pride to become master of our spirits." Instead of simply studying this legend, I need to take it to heart. When I think of perfection in quilting I think of the new Gammill Long arm machines that have the computer program. I know that a quilt that is quilted with this machine is perfect. There are no flaws. It is a perfect 12 stitches an inch in perfect symmetry, and it is not human. We have learned to achieve perfection and it is no longer our art.
Linda has pointed this out to me as well. She has talked about visiting the museum that housed the Jane Stickle quilt -
She was amazed at the mistakes. In her minds eye this was a quilt to aspire to and it was anything but perfection. Life and beauty can be found in the mistakes. So toady I keep in mind Jane Stickle and the generations of Navajo as I quilt and learn. As Scott Adams, the creator of the comic Dillber says ~ Creativity is allowing yourself to miske mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~


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