Monthly Archives: March 2011

Is knowledge only ever intuition?


Am getting started on the subject of transcendence, and it is already bugging me. Though it is entirely possible that I am annoyed about stuff from work today and I am transferring my feelings of anger and frustration to the text. Highly likely since I don’t remember being this annoyed when I read it this morning.

According to Sartre knowledge is only ever intuition. Even things like logical deduction lead to intuition. Which just seems to be wrong, at least it does if you take the common definition of the word. I would think of  intuition as feeling rather than knowing, but maybe I am wrong. Maybe knowing is feeling. However, since Sartre defines intuition as “presence of consciousness to the thing” perhaps what he is saying is that knowing is experience.

I have two blocks for show and tell. The first is the block I was sewing on the train on Friday. I actually finished it Friday night but then forgot I had done it. The second is one that I have been piecing using running stitch. I finished it on the train today. It actually went together a lot better than other blocks I have done by running stitch in the past. It was a lot less stretchy and my seams seemed to match up better. I think that is because I found a better way of pinning. Though I have to say that pinning and un-pinning on the train was not fun.

253 T quartette

154 Indian Plume


I had so many plans for today and I did quite well to start off with. I made a block, and pinned the top I made yesterday for quilting, and then I went to the movies and have come back completely worn out. So I am giving myself the rest of the day off. I may do some hand quilting later tonight while watching something completely mindless on tv.

The block I did today got me thinking about things though. See photo below. Basically its a swastika, and there seems to be a lot of them in the book. Now I know these quilt blocks pre-date the use of the symbol by the Nazis, and are based on the original hindu symbol. However, the Nazi use of it has imbued it with so much meaning in modern society that I don’t know that I could ever possibly use the block in a quilt. That’s the power of symbolism I guess. 

I was thinking I could save up all the blocks that contain swastikas and put them all in one quilt, but then I would be stuck with what to do with it. Plus if anything happened to me and someone was sorting through my stuff and came across a swastika quilt what would they think. 

Let me know what you think? Have you ever made or seen a quilt that contains swastikas? How did you feel about it?

211 Rolling Pin Wheel

19 March 2011


I haven’t done any reading today. I started the day with the best of intentions too.

It has rained here most of the day, so I have spent most of the day sewing and reading a magazine. I did do a bit of cleaning and got groceries first thing so I feel like I haven’t been totally negligent. I only did one block today, but I did put together a small quilt top from the fabric I got for my birthday.

I can’t write much more than that as I have my one year old nephew clambering round wanting to unpack all my fabric and play with all the computer bits he can get his sticky little hands on.

Quilt top

184 Delectable Mountains



Started a new chapter this morning, and so far it has just been a recap of the arguments so far and a preview of what the chapter is going to be about – transcendence. Basically it is about how people can have access to knowledge about the world outside of themselves.

I didn’t get much done on the train, sewing wise, mostly because I kept forgetting how the block I was working on was meant to go together. So there was a bit of unpicking. Eventually when I had a spare seat next to me I managed to lay it all out and figure out which bit went where. I didn’t get it finished but I did make a block when I got home on the sewing machine.

204 Peace and Plenty

Heres a photo of the block I was doing on the train. I took a photo so I could refer to that rather than having to keep putting it all back together.

Finished a Chapter


Will try not to have a whinge tonight, I know I have been doing it a lot lately, but I am trying to be more positive. I need to celebrate the small wins, and not be so impatient. Things take time. You can’t expect to read and understand a six hundred page book in one night, or make 1000 quilt blogs with no effort.

So, today’s blog is about celebrating the little wins. I finished a chapter. Woke up way too early this morning, read my two pages and then realised I only had another two to go til the end of the chapter. I had extra time so I read them too. Sartre and I have now, hopefully, put the topic of temporality and the failings of psychology behind us.

I got a fair bit of sewing done on the train too, I finished one block and got a good way towards finishing another. I finished two more on the machine when I got home.

222 Houndstooth scrap patch

209 Dutchmans Puzzle

205 Old windmill

16 March 2011


Am feeling a little vindicated. According to Sartre psychology fails to unify the individual, leaving nothing but a series of nows with no explanation for how they are connected.

I am still struggling with the reading, mostly because I am so forgetful and I have a tendency to completely forget stuff I have read only hours or days before. Which is not good when the stuff I have forgotten is being used to justify the point that is been made now. In some ways thinking of myself as a series of unconnected nows would explain the shonky memory better than thinking of myself as some smooth unified being. If nothing connects the nows, it seems perfectly reasonable that some of them get lost along the way. I don’t know, I’m not making much sense tonight.

On other fronts I am doing a little bit better. The cold is still in gradual decline, it is sticking around just enough to make me a little bit miserable but not enough to incapacitate. I am doing a fair bit of hand sewing on the train during my commute and am trying to work myself up to doing some machine sewing. 

I have been thinking about starting to put some of the blocks together into a quilt. The problem is that some of the blocks are hand pieced and some are machine pieced and I have never been really confident about joining the two. I have been thinking that perhaps I could tack the machine pieced ones over a square of cardboard and join by hand, but that would be rather time-consuming. If anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them.

232 Arabic Lattice

221 Houndstooth

It’s my birthday

It’s my birthday! Which isn’t really that interesting. All I have done today is exactly what I would do on a normal day. Well, except for the fact that I went out in my lunch hour and bought myself some fabric as a present for myself. Since it was half price I am feeling rather pleased with myself. There is a photo below, just to shake the normal blog thing up a little.
I did do some reading this morning. Sartre is still on definitions. This time defining psychic states. He seems to define psychic states as a mix between reflection and unconscious behaviour. I think he is covering the field of psychology, and I am guessing he is leading up to the bit where he explains what is wrong with it. Perhaps I shouldn’t second guess like this, but it kind of makes sense. If you are saying that there is only one thing and that is experience or phenomenon, then psychology would seem to be the natural study of experience and the path to knowledge. If he wants to make existentialism that path instead he has to show that it can do something that psychology can’t.
Only one block today – a really simple one I English paper pieced on the train.

218 Windmill Reflections

14 March 2011


The cold is almost past. My nose has almost stopped running and all that is left is a cough that sounds like I smoke 2 packets of cigarettes a day.

Sartre is kind of annoying me at the moment. He had a whole page about the ego, not just about the ego, but actually defining what the ego was. Mostly this bugs me because it’s the first time he has actually clearly defined any of his terms in this depth, and with that level of clarity, in the 180 odd pages I have read so far. There were other topics that needed it more.

Only one block today. Mostly because my handpiecing blocks are getting more complicated and I was running late on my way home from work because I stopped off to get some wool (and groceries – but they are no where near as important or interesting). I just found out someone is having a baby, so I am going to knit some booties… and make a quilt of course. 

202 Pinwheel variation

Busy, but am I doing the right things?


I’ve had one of those days where you are incredibly busy but at the end of it you think – Oh drat, I forgot to do that thing I meant to do, the really important thing. The problem is I’m not sure what the really important thing was.

I only got one block sewn, but I did do a lot of cutting out. I didn’t do a lot of reading, but I started a glossary (link to the right) of words that I have had to look up (there will be more, those ones were just from the first 2 pages). It’s kind of strange but some of them are words that if I read in a novel I would know what they meant just from the context, but because of the way Sartre uses them you get the urge to check that you are sure. Others have specific philosophical uses and others are foreign language words. It should come in handy because usually I have to keep looking the same words up, because I forget them. Now I have a handy reference.

201 Pieced Star

12 March 2011


I am slightly less head-coldy today, but am back to feeling really tired. I could just be hungry. I went to a Southern Cross Quilters meeting today, and after I got back I started cutting out some blocks for hand piecing and I didn’t want to stop until I had enough to last me a week. So, I haven’t had dinner yet. 

I didn’t do any reading today, but I did get three blocks done.

953 f

962 K

959 i