the acceptance of imperfection :: Okan Arts
the acceptance of imperfection

the acceptance of imperfection


By Patricia Belyea 

VICTORIA BC  Nothing lasts. Nothing is finished. Nothing is perfect.

The Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi recognizes a zen ideal of beauty. Things change over time and become more interesting. Imperfection is valued not rejected.

This week I created a new yukata sample for my Counterintuitive Quilting class with Kitsap Quilters. I had limited time to make the quilt and at times I worked at a breathless speed. That required that I just “do” not “think.”

On Monday morning I woke up at 6:05 with the quilt top not quite finished. At 7 I began to finish sewing the top on my Bernina as I couldn’t make noise in my hotel room before that. Onto slicing up some fabric for binding, patching together the backing with the biggest leftover pieces, and grabbing some batting to make the quilt sandwich.

The back of Wabi Sabi quilt taped to the floor.

I didn’t have any safety pins so I used straight pins to secure the three layers. Then I quilted for just under an hour wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt so my arms wouldn’t get shredded by the pin points. Quickly I trimmed the quilt and attached the binding.

Trimming Wabi Sabi quilt

Of course, a seam in the binding lined up with one corner, so I had to rip out some stitching and move the seam back a few inches. The other three corners were full speed ahead.

Once I pressed the sewn-on binding, I was on my way to my parents for lunch and the Clipper back to Seattle. I hand-stitched the binding on the boat ride.

The finished piece is different than anything I could have dreamed up. It is a product of a process and certainly not perfect. Yet it has an personality that me intrigues me. And I have named my quilt “Wabi Sabi.”

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