textiles · exploration · misadventure


I Will Not Be Struck Down For This

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FINALLY some sunshine. Enough to light up the one particular wall in our apartment where I could possibly hang this quilt to take some pictures.


I have read that the Navajo weavers purposefully inserted errors into every work, to protect themselves from being struck down by the gods for making something perfect when only the creators are allowed to be so.

Matt and I often joke about how I’m not going to be struck down anytime soon. And you guys know me—I don’t have to intentionally insert my errors. There are plenty of unintentional ones. BUT.

That’s not a criticism of myself or of this little quilt, or a feeling or failure, or me being all, “No, it’s not very good, I know.”

Instead, it’s acknowledgment of the reality of the object, of the struggles I had to make it, what was hard, what was easy, what I learned while doing it. As usual, the field of learning was so rich that the final product becomes, to me, a palimpsest of ideas, decisions, experiences, lessons, and joy.

I have so much to say about this little quilt, but not a lot of time right now to say it, so I’ll talk more about this in a later post. But in the meantime, here’s a favorite shot that goes a long way to explain the joy.

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Seven of the fabrics in that shot are fabrics I’ve used over the past nine years to make shorts for Matthew, shorts that have been worn and loved, and are a part of our lives. The Wicked Witch of the East. Hello Kitty. The blue and red print called Germania, which is so weird and wonderful, and so perfect in this quilt I used several patches of it, and used it on the border, too. Cherries. Gorillas in the forest.

And top, center is one of my VERY favorites. That is a Brussels sprouts print, and actually came from a pair of shorts that Matthew’s previous girlfriend made.

The first time Matt and I got naked together, he was wearing those. I’ll try not to get sappy, which I’m really good at, but I remember my jaw figuratively dropping and my brain filling up with endorphins and oh migod, I really, really, really liked this boy.

So much so that I determined to continue the tradition of providing him with handmade boxer shorts. As Anna’s shorts were worn to shreds and retired, so my shorts took their place. And when the beloved Brussels sprouts shorts bit the dust, I refused to let Matt put them in the rag bin, where bits and pieces of old, beloved shorts still linger.

Instead, I have hoarded them. And look what they help create. A secret history of the best romantic relationship I’ve ever had.

Edited to add: More quilt pics &etc. here.