Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Idea of Perfection

"The patchwork of her own that she had brought to show them was fingered doubtfully.  It was the one she called Shearing Shed #5, with little triangles that did not quite match up together, and big odd trapezoid shapes in many shades of grey.

It was a feature of Harley Savage's fibre art, the way she made her seam-lines not quite line up.  It was one of the things that held the surfaces in dynamic equilibrium and wittily subverted the form.  This one, Shearing Shed #5, was one of a series she was quited pleased with, that took the big simple shapes of country sheds as a basis for lights and darks to fit against each other in interesting ways.

When you had been sewing as long as she had, it was actually quite hard, getting the seams not to line up exactly.  But she already knew that many people, the ones who knew a lot about Log Cabin and Bear's Paw, only saw her patchwork as a series of mistakes.  They could not see past the facts that the seams did not quite line up, and the way the stripes of the fabrics ran in different directions, and that the quilting was just done on the machine, and not even in proper straight lines."

The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville

How I cried when I read this passage!

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