Sunday, June 08, 2008


I'm working on Gary's quilt. I'm on a log cabin quilt spree, it seems. I showed him the book and he has picked out a design. It is 8 by 8 blocks, which means a total of 64. I am chain piecing it, which is rather like an assembly line. I'm doing all 64 blocks at once. It is a faster way to go, but, on the downside, if I make a mistake I will probably make it 64 times. I have decide therefore that there will be no mistakes.

By which I mean of course that anything I sew, I will insist was supposed to be that way.

I also finally faced up to the fact that I cannot do the mariner's quilt that I promised Andrew a couple of years ago. I should have started on it last summer. There are just too many curved seams that really need to be done by hand. So I told him to please pick out his second favorite quilt. He could have anything he wanted -- as long as there were no angles sharper than 60 degrees. He started out with the log cabin book and made his own design in three colors. I'm very excited about it.

And that is my exciting day -- Roland took the boys to a movie. I'm not sure but it sounded like it was about panda bears and some form of martial arts. I declined.


  1. Kung Fu Panda! I don't know why, but I'm actually kind of looking forward to that one. Should I be ashamed? LOL. I have a very stocky brother-in-law who does tae kwon do and the panda kind of reminds me of him.

    You have probably already heard this, but there is a quilter's superstition that it is bad luck for a quilt to be perfect. Because only *God* is perfect. And therefore quilters will either deliberately (or accidentally) sew a (subtle) mistake into the pattern. The "Only God Is Perfect" reasoning sounds very Amish or Shaker ... but it also smacks of all of the clever, BTDT women I've known. One can imagine some sassy broad being "caught" in a mistake after all of that painstaking work and firing back that it was no such thing ... it was an act of humility and respect for the divine.

    My mom dabbles in quilting and a more serious, veteran quilter friend of hers made baby quilts for all of my kids. So I was introduced to this superstition when my oldest was born and "the mistake" was pointed out to me with this explanation.

    Happy quilting! Post pics!

    PS Have you ever checked out the quilts on

  2. A professor of world art told me that a deliberate mistake in textile arts is very common. She's not sure why it would be for that and not other art forms.

    Her husband is an art historian and he admired the first quilt I made (with my mother). I asked him if he could spot the mistake we made. He said he couldn't and I finally showed him. He said, "I saw that. I just thought you disrupted the pattern to create more visual interest."

    That is what I typically say now about any mistake, "I was disrupting the pattern to create more visual interest."

  3. Quilting is awesome! Bald Man took Little Man to go see Kung Fu Panda too, to give me a break.

  4. What log cabin book are you using? I'm in the midst of finishing a series of three blooming nine patch quilts, and I am really ready to do something different. I think log cabins are so pretty!

    By the way, there's an interesting article in the NYT about transitioning teens from residential treatment to foster families. I thought you might find it interesting if you haven't seen it already. I tried pasting the link, but it didn't work correctly. It's in the metro section.

  5. I've been thinking for a while now that I want to learn how to quilt (really want to make one for my daughter before she leaves the house!)but I'm slightly intimidated (all that precision and measuring)...did someone teach you or was it book learned? I guess I should just go a buy a beginners book...but what? Maybe Joanns has classes...should check that!LOL

  6. "That is what I typically say now about any mistake, "I was disrupting the pattern to create more visual interest."

    Right on.

    The phrase "eccentricities of the hand crafted art" stuck in my mind from the time that I read it in a catalog of handcrafted items. Love it. Eccentricities of the hand = visiual interest. HUMAN interest. I love folk art because it is so raw and un-self-conscious. So unapologetic for it's lack of credentials and yet still utterly Art, in every sense.

    Maybe the mistakes in textiles is in part because the patterns are so often repetitive and invite mistakes in the making. And/or because textile artists often think of themselves more as crafters or something "less" elevated.

    This is sort of OT, but ... I've been meaning to check this book out. Heard the author on NPR. Interesting.

    Richard Sennett: "The Craftsman" (Yale)

    Craftsmanship today can be more than just ‘skilled manual labor.’ A sociologist explains how computer programmers, artists, parents and citizens all are craftsmen in their own right. How doing a job well for its own sake gives everyone the potential to be a craftsman.

    Richard Sennett, professor of sociology at New York University and at the London School of Economics.

    Real Audio of Diane Ream Interview:

    Based on what I have read about your parenting and your teaching, I'd say you are a crafts(wo)man.


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.