Wednesday 1 May 2024



This was a difficult one for me. I thought about music but did not want to make a music quilt. Then I googled 'harmony in art' and figured out that anything that was pleasing to the eye was harmonious - not helpful. The other thing I thought about was people relations but, to me that has been done a million times and is almost a cliché. So I was stumped until I was looking at the wall one evening and realized I had the answer:

Aikido – The Way of Harmony – is a Japanese martial art that was created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 20th century. “Ai” means harmony, unifying. “Ki” means spirit or energy. “Do” means way or path. Ueshiba sensei’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attackers from injury. The practitioner uses the energy or momentum of the attacker, usually merges with it and taking control before either throwing them away or putting them on the ground with a joint lock.

A little personal history: I began practicing aikido in 1969 and practiced for 30+ years off and on because of moving around a lot. I had instructors (sensei’s) from the west coast to the east coast and the Midwest of the US and achieved black belts in two styles the art (one from Schools of Ueshiba and the other from Shin Shin Toitsu AKA Ki Aikido). Here is a photo of the quilt as it is now hanging beside some of my certificates. I loved practicing, especially when I was the only female and could throw the males around. J Making this quilt brought back a lot of good memories.

I did not do a lot of sewing for this piece. I printed the kanji onto fabric then sewed, with black thread, around each segment. In the past I did a couple pieces of appliqued kanji but these were a little too complicated.

This last photo is of a painting that my husband did of me in 1993.


  1. Great idea, and an original way to think about the prompt. I love what you did with this. Barbara @ Cat Patches.

  2. I found the thought process of this prompt interesting as well. Your ponderings brought you to a good place, with a nice quilt and a little walk down memory lane.

  3. I love how you were able to tie the prompt to your personal history! And your quilt is a nice addition to your collection of aikido objects!

  4. I really like your piece and I enjoyed learning about Aikido – The Way of Harmony. I had no idea. The painting your husband did is wonderful too :)

  5. That really resonated with me as flexibility in action and thought seem rare these days - keeping your balance while moving the energy around you really does seem the essence of Harmony.

    1. From Ruth - google doeing the anonymous thing again!