Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a safety net

I've been working on Aili's quilt.
I am making it as perfect as I can.
Saying this reminds me that Agnes Martin said something about perfection.

"In our minds, there is awareness of perfection; when we look with our eyes we see it, and how it functions is mysterious to us and unavailable. 
When we live our lives it's something like a race - our minds become concerned and covered over and we get depressed and have to get away for a holiday.
And then sometimes there are moments of perfection and in these moments we wonder why we ever thought life was difficult."   Agnes Martin
She goes on, speaking about seeking out those moments and trying to represent them in art, and that generally those 'moments of perfection'  allude us.
I believe in those moments, but they are not exactly what I wanted to say about this baby's quilt.
I want to say something about her innocence and perfectness - so fresh and young, unspoiled by the world.
And about the responsibility and blessing her little perfect self is for her young parents.
And what I, her grand mom, want to create for her.
A place where for just a few minutes, maybe as long as a nap, things do seem to be perfect.
Almost perfect
As perfect as I can manage.
And so I pick it apart.
Re-sewing almost every stitch.
I spent all day yesterday on it.
I will be spending months, a year of my life on it probably, so that she will have it.
She will have me, for the rest of her life.
This near-perfect log cabin will touch her across all that time.
A gift of caring.
An heirloom.
A safety net.


  1. As she gets a bit older and can play with her quilt, wrapping it around herself, placing it on top of her head, covering her toys with it, she will feel and know the love of a Grand Mom's hugs...and there is safety and strength in this net of family.

  2. i love the imagery, the symbolism...

  3. I've had to re-stitch it because so many of the blocks were sewn so badly - I don't know why they were so mis-shapen, but I'm trying to fix them all. In the process, the quilt has been re-arranged and I find it really meditative to look at it. I stare at it.
    To ensure that my blocks are square, I'm checking each one with the white cardboard square shown in the 3rd photo from the top.


  4. your sense of structure, attention to detail and deep heart sewn through with time are such an inspiration Judy

  5. The ability of cloth to hold and transmit meaning never fails to move me. Every thread, every stitch, every recalcitrant piece is a metaphor operating in real time to enfold your grandbaby in love. I know she will always treasure it.

  6. What a truly blessed child she is, to have you as a grandmother. Your quilt is indeed perfect, and I'm not talking about it having exact measurements. (And BTW, we have the same glasses!)

  7. Absolutely beautiful!

  8. this is a beautiful piece, the writing, the sewing. so much love here.

  9. Beautiful, from the innocent colours to the words of expression Judy. As one grandmother to another it touches my heart. xx

  10. So much to love in this post. The quilt is exquisite, so is your beautiful granddaughter. What a treasure for her to have and to hold.

  11. You two are beautiful together.

    The colors so delicate. Tender
    Love the A Martin sense of always clearing away, paring down the imagery clutter over our light.

  12. A most precious gift for a sweet child! Blessings all around.

  13. I love the color choices here. She is adorable, with beautiful eyes. I like the ideas of a safety net, of your deep love holding her forever...and the playing with the position of each block and the designs that creates. I can see why that would be a meditation of sorts. Your work is always so beautifully and thoughtfully done. I like to hear your thoughts about try to see it through your eyes.

    But, I hear the word perfection and I think of my own daughter who is trying to work past her perfectionist self, trying to heal. We are human, and all that that entails. I wonder, can perfection be created intentionally? I also thought of some past really great get-togethers with friends...the ones where everything planned or not fell into place, so the food, guitars, conversations and laughter all became memorable. But when we tried to recreate at another was not to be.
    She will feel and know your love and that will be perfect.
    Sorry for my tangent, but I guess you struck a chord for me.

  14. no apology necessary for tangents - I think that being able to write what one really thinks is difficult and brave. Thank you for your thoughts.

    It was the realization that I had made such a mess of the blocks in my casual hand piecing of them in early March (before the baby was born)...that the result was just not worthy enough...and that I HAD to unpick them to try to make them as perfect as I can.
    And then the realization that I was aiming for perfection, and questioning that myself. Why? did I feel it was necessary.
    Answering the question gave me the words in this post - and I'm glad that I was able to articulate why I was aiming to make something as perfect as I can at least this one time.
    The word 'perfect' does scare a lot of us. Agnes Martin uses it to describe a feeling of serenity and happiness....and I like that idea.


  15. Mom this post is so full...full of you! I feel like you are right beside me.
    You are so intelligently sensitive, thank you for loving us all so deeply.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx