Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cut, cut, cutting

My early morning was spent sorting and cutting fabric for the next three projects, two of which are Block of the Month: The Calendar block exchange, and the BOM quilt I am making along-side a local quilter. The other is my first patterned Mug Rug, which only means I am making it with a pattern rather than random piecing like I did the first four.

Quilting reminds me of when I went parachuting in Minnesota, during the old days when you packed your own chute, jumped out of the plane on your own (without being in tandem) with it on your back, controlled the ropes and landed in a safe place. The instructors always said that if you died or got hurt, it was your own fault. You packed the chute to open correctly, you did the training to learn how to run the ropes AND fall correctly so you didn't get hurt.

Other people used to say, "Are you crazy to jump out of a perfectly good plane?"

Quilters buy a beautiful piece of fabric and the next thing, we cut it to pieces! Are we crazy??? We love our fabric to pieces!

Usually the act of cutting finishes a thing. We cut our food into  bite-sizes; we cut grass and flowers at their peak; we even cut our losses in dysfunctional relationships.

However, in quilting, the act of cutting is almost the beginning of something new and exciting.

It takes time to cut fabric to the sizes we need. The small blocks and mini quilts I began today have tiny pieces and with the best of luck, they will go together, somewhat miraculously, and form a new creation, a new interpretation of the original fabric and even the original pattern.

What each quilter does every day is birth anew. It is no wonder that many of us hold onto what we make. We put countless hours into the multiple steps it takes to learn this art, to practice this art, to feel confidence in it.

And for the next few hours, on this very cold morning, I am off to the local airport to watch some WWII birds land and take off, circle and return. No one jumps out of these planes. I know we are lucky to see the ones that didn't get shot out of the sky back in the WWII. There will be stories to hear, history to learn, and that thrills me too.

Pieces and patterns wait for me here, and one by one, they will become some fun parts of quilts to to follow after they are swapped!

The fun stories were told by these old guys who have worked around planes since they were kids. I sat on the other side of the table, just listening to all the techy talk.  And now, home again, I start with my own work.