I Ching Modern Quilt-along: Week 2 ~ Texting


Soon after I began making quilts in the early 90’s one of my teachers introduced me to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-step program for recovering one’s inner creativity. It was a very important book to me at that time. It helped me find my courage, vision and voice as an artist. From these beginnings my creative practice became my path to spiritual and personal growth.

The I Ching Modern quilt-along isn’t only about making a quilt. Just as the Mod Mood quilt-along asks participants to explore their emotions in relationship to color, the I Ching Modern quilt-along will ask you to identify and reflect on significant questions related to your inner creativity.

Decide on a translation and commentary of the I Ching that resonates clearly with you. If you are already familiar with the I Ching recommend your favorite version of it in the comments. Below are my recommendations.


I Ching: Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future ~ Hilary Barrett, 2010

I STRONGLY recommend this version of the I Ching by Hilary Barrett. You can buy it from the link provided through Amazon or from your favorite bookstore.  I will be referring to Barrett’s translation and commentary during the quilt-along.

Barret provides hexagrams with lucid translations of the ancient text along with insightful, and gender inclusive commentary. Her intro on how to use the oracle is simple and straight forward. She presents the I Ching not as a device for predicting the future but as:

… a voice in a conversation, that you can talk with as you would a wise friend and mentor.

The I Ching or Book of Changes – Richard Wilhelm, 1950

Wilhelm’s translation was my first introduction to the I Ching. It is considered by many to the premier translation of the text. First published in 1950 it includes a must-read foreword to the Wilhelm’s I Ching by Carl Gustav Jung. Jung’s foreword provides a thoughtful explanation of how we connect to the oracle through synchronicity. I’ll be talking more about this later, and recommend that you read Jung’s foreward even if you don’t choose Wilhelm’s translation to work with.

Wilhelm’s translation has a helpful commentary but overall his language and images are too patriarchal for my taste. Some of his mid 2oth century attitudes may seem outdated to us now, but the core content is still well-organized, comprehensive, and easy to read.

You can buy this on Amazon, but I found my copy at a used book store. Look for its distinctive yellow-clothed, hard-bound cover in the religion section. If you don’t want to purchase a book for this quilt-along you can access Wilhelm’s hexagram interpretations online. You can also read Wilhelm’s introduction to the I Ching here.

Other I Ching translations

Besides the two mentioned above there are NUMEROUS translations to choose from. Visit Amazon to cruise the descriptions and reviews. Notably interesting are these two below, written for writers. How about an I Ching for improvising quilt makers?!

The Writer’s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life by Jessica Page Morrell, 2007. The Writer’s I Ching uses the ancient Chinese divination system to provide writers with help mastering the business of writing and choosing the most propitious times to take action. Because writing educators created the book, it also teaches the storyteller and non-fiction craft with lessons suitable for both beginners and seasoned professionals.

The I Ching for Writers: Finding the Page Inside You by Sarah Jane Sloane, 2005. Each of the I Ching’s 64 hexagrams offers commentary and direction for what the future will hold for the writer. In addition to this oracular system of advice, the book outlines the five stages of the writing process – brainstorming, planning, generating a first draft, revising the draft, and polishing – and provides a clear introduction to the philosophy of the I Ching.


Last week we were RESEARCHING.

Your task this week is to decide which version of the I Ching you will be using as your text for the quilt-along. Go ahead and pick up a copy or bookmark a version you can access online.

Next week we will be GATHERING the additional materials needed for your I Ching Modern Quilt!

I’ll be posting new segments of the quilt-along on Mondays. Subscribe to the RSS feed here: I Ching Modern Quilt-along.

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9 Responses to I Ching Modern Quilt-along: Week 2 ~ Texting

  1. Pingback: I Ching Modern Quilt-along: Week 3 ~ Gathering | daintytime ~ Sherri Lynn Wood

  2. Joyce says:

    I loved the book the Artist way- I had it and the journal sitting on my bookshelf for over 6 years. I bought it when I had a corporate job- then I went back to grad school and it still sat on the shelf- when I moved again in 2010 I thought of getting rid of it who knew after a night of searching online and seeing it mentioned in an Artist blog I would pull it off the shelf- it was just what I needed at that moment in my life and I went through the 12 week journey last spring 2011 ending at Penland School of Craft. I am not familiar with the other book listed I will look into it and see if this creative exploration fits me.

  3. Heather says:

    I use The Illustrated I Ching, by R.L. Wing, and quite like it. The illustrations are mostly historical Chinese paintings, small, and in b&w, so not all that inspiring, but thoughtfully chosen, with sources referenced, so one can always go online to see more. Mostly, I like the text, which is always helpful.

    I’m very interested in this quilt-along and hope to have time to join in.

  4. Hilda says:

    I’ve been looking forward to your postings. A few years ago I participated in an online group going through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and that’s when I started blogging. I just went to my bookshelf and pulled out, I Ching by John Blofeld, which had been gathering dust since the 70s without my having read it. So I think I will delve into it, and if it’s not “all that” I’ll try your first recommendation. I’ve been looking for some weekly creative exercise and your modern quilt-along may be just the ticket. Thank you!

  5. blandina says:

    A friend introduced me to ‘An artist way’ as well, but to my shame I have to say that I never red it, maybe I wasn’t ready. I will try to find it, digging in the boxes in my cellar…

  6. Pingback: I Ching Modern Quilt-along: Week 1 ~ Researching | daintytime ~ Sherri Lynn Wood

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