Humility in the patchwork

Well, I just found my humility for the day. A four inch square of patchwork just took me down. No joke. If it were always smooth sailing, we’d get so bored, wouldn’t we? I’ve never met an art form that didn’t put me in touch with my humility in short order. But, $%@#!&*. I had to rip out the smallest corner of my new quilt FIVE or SIX times today and each time that little square of fabric became more and more of a mess. Weird, because it was for no technical reason or something that was beyond my reach…just simple, straight sewing. But if you lose your focus, things tend to collapse. The first time it happened I ripped it and sewed it again. By the third time, I thought of the buddhist monk raking his zen garden– the beautiful patterns raked into gravel and sand for hours and hours. And when he is done– he gathers a handful of fallen leaves and throws them onto his work. As if to say: I am not perfect. I am not in charge. I am not above nature. I am just a humble man. Things change. The wind blows…more leaves will fall soon enough. I LOVE stories like that– stories about man’s ability to attain humility and practice it is an art form. Like the Tibetan Buddhists hunched over sand mandalas for fifty or sixty hours creating elaborate patterns and images in sand. When they finish, they wipe their hands through it to symbolize impermanence. OK, so I didn’t mean to throw leaves at my quilt…but the results are the same. It is all fixed now and you can see the work in progress above. I am super excited about it. It is my newest pattern. It is the companion to my Wonky Little Houses™ Pillow pattern. The Wonky Little Houses™ Quilt pattern. It will be released and for sale in my etsy shop this month! Oh, and below are some monks making a mandala and then another erasing one.

a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan…

photo by Howard Jones

9,500 people missing from just one town. I am stunned…saddened…speechless. Watching images of the power of the sea and the earth makes me feel humble to say the least…but nauseated is mor apt. Really, there are no words for it…fear, panic, shock, pain…these words seem weightless in comparison to the events in Japan. Our hearts break for the Japanese people and also for ourselves–for the horrible loss of even a single human life, let alone thousands. read more