May 28, 2013

The Discipline of Discipline

Because we are leaving at the end of this week for an adventure in Spain, I wanted to get the Haze Kilim triangles cut. (Isn't that what every traveler has on her to-do list?) 

I spent this cool and windy weekend cutting triangles while listening to the first 10,000 hours of an audiobook novel called Shantaram.  It was a great combination--my imagination carried off with the main character into the vividness of Bombay, all the while creating little color stories of my own.

And before I knew it, there they were, all 570 triangles, plus a few spares. I had intended to just stack them in piles for my return, but they had me at hello, those little patches of jewel tones.  I started arranging them on the wall,  just a few,  just to see...

...and I looked up two hours later.  

 I still have to lay out the bottom row, which puts my eyes just inches above the floor molding and requires contortions reminiscent of the last moments of a limbo contest. But it will be worth it.  To me, this quilt is turning into a novel made up of lots of wildly compelling major characters and some really neat minor characters, too.
Thanks, Jude, I took the time to learn Picasa "collage."
The real trick awaits: precision sewing of these triangles. I look forward to this about as much as I do stepping on the scale at Weight Watchers after Halloween. But I am intrigued not only by the idea of having this morph into its next phase (the color stories will shapeshift yet again as I stitch 1/4" seams all around).  I am also intrigued by the challenge of discipline...can I sew slowly and carefully? Can I fix mistakes when they happen so that a short seam on a triangle doesn't catapult an entire row off its rocker? There's no crime when that happens and I am most attracted to the imperfection of folk art. But what if...what if I approach this task differently than I have other projects?

What if I impose the discipline of discipline on myself for the duration of this quilt? That's something I've always envied in others...not so much for their perfect seams, but for sustained healthy living, sustained use of mind, heart, and soul. Sustained farming of time.  You know what I mean.  

What would it feel like to intentionally impose discipline on my self in a defined (and thankfully limited) way? Can I do it? What will it teach me about the way I live? 

I'm going to take two weeks under the Andalusian sky and inside bottles of Cava to mull it over.


  1. Julie--this is absolutely fantastic. can only imagine what an amazing cloth it will be once it's intact. and i REALLY admire your dedication to precision. in fact, i'm awestruck. have a wonderful tine in Spain.

  2. thank you, Patricia but whoa, the discipline of precision is only an idea at this point. I will keeo you posted about what happens as soon as I get to about triangle set number 4

  3. it might be only an idea, but it sets stuff in motion. and that's Good.
    "to intentionallly impose discipline in a defined way..."
    i really like looking at these things. and thinking too, that we have the choice not to.
    how amazing is that.

    this tribe of alive they are! i could not even imagine what you were doing before
    and here it IS! watching watching watching
    and have SUCH a time away, come back and tell us what you saw...

  4. Ingredible! These colors! I could not even imagine to do this. A big work is waiting for you - my respect. You must be a person who loves challenges.
    A happy time for you in Andalusia, I´ve been there for several times and it is wonderful. I hope the red poppy is still blossoming.

  5. 0h my word, fantastic!!

    the colours and the discipline, the dedication to it all, cannot wait to see it sewn together.

    Have a lovely holiday in Spain