I Ching Modern Quilt-along: 14 ~ Advancing


It’s been a while since the last post on SEAMING the columns of the I Ching Modern Quilt together. Needless to say I have been ADVANCING slowly and it has taken me over a month to sew the fifth of my six columns in place.

The readings I’ve received have been on target, but take a lot of time to absorb. I haven’t rushed this quilt to the finished product, even though at times it’s been tempting.


Recently I found myself once again with plenty of time to work on a new quilt but without any motivation to start. I asked the I Ching:

I don’t feel like doing anything in my studio. How do I overcome this resistance?

The oracle responded with ADVANCING changing to LIMPING.

The primary hexagram, ADVANCING, asked me to consider the gifts and opportunities I have been given and how I can make the most of them. This awakened me to the fact that by procrastinating I was refusing the blessing of my talent and this time of opportunity. I found this very motivating and actually did do some work on a new improv quilt after my reading.

I had four changing lines 3-6. Each line brought another layer of awareness into view around my struggle with procrastination.  My notes:

3) As I gather confidence, from inner and outer resources I build the capacity to move on with my journey letting regret fade away.

4) Fearful motivation and limited perspective will undermine and warp my tactics. The smaller I act the smaller I become.

5) Let my regrets go, for everything that was lost or not quite realized. Do what I can and let it be, and move on. I’m much richer and more alive because I’m in motion.

6) Advancing with single-minded purpose to a single goal can spur determined action and break through fear or self-doubt, but this is not a fruitful long-term strategy.

This was all very helpful but I wasn’t happy to see that it all added up to change to LIMPING, my relating hexagram. (It’s easy for me to judge difficult readings harshly instead of accepting them as wisdom.) LIMPING asks me, “How can I see obstacles differently? Can I imagine going a different way?”

Now at first glance it seems like the two hexagrams are in contradiction to each other. How can I be advancing and limping at the same time? Well that’s exactly what I’m doing advancing very slowly… limping along.

Yes ADVANCING is what I aspire to but first I must understand this time of LIMPING and learn how to follow a path of least resistance by joining the firmness of my inner resolve with fluid commitment to turn my whole self around… and overcome the obstacle of procrastination by seeing it differently.

Applied to my improvisational work, this reading tells me not to regret decisions and let go of expectations as I make the quilt. This is hard to do but I can be confident in my talent and of continued opportunities to seize throughout the improvisational process. Some I will choose to act on and others I won’t. I will do what I can, let it be and move on! I can put my trust in motion.


So all of this is to illustrate how to incorporate the wisdom of the I Ching hexagrams. If you throw a hexagram with changing lines the primary hexagram shows what the answer to your question involves. The relating hexagram describes what the answer is about for YOU. The two hexagrams map out a landscape for you, and the changing lines stick a pin in that map to say ‘You are here!’ They are the immediate answer to your question.

Sometimes you may receive readings that are hard to understand, but do your best to let the wisdom of the I Ching slowly manifest itself in your life and creative practice. This process takes time. Once I finish the final column of my I Ching Modern Quilt I will be REVIEWING the quilt top and the lessons of the I Ching.

It’s never too late to join an online quilt-along! I’ll be posting new segments of the quilt-along on Mondays. Access the archive and subscribe to the RSS feed here: I Ching Modern Quilt-along. I’ve set up an I Ching Modern Flickr Group if you want to share images of your sketches, process, and final results.

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4 Responses to I Ching Modern Quilt-along: 14 ~ Advancing

  1. Heather says:

    As my edition of the I Ching reminds me, “the oracle may embarrass you, startle, you, tease you, frighten you, or share a good laugh with you.” I really like how deep you go with your interpretations. And the quilt is wonderful and alive.

  2. Jean Betts says:

    fascinating approach to procrastination – I’m not familiar with the I Ching but am going to try it with runes. the pure blocks of colour are striking.

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