I spent most of yesterday standing and cutting fabric, and am only half way through the project. As I worked, it struck me that cutting fabric is a metaphor regarding the separating that we must do for other things in our lives. Sometimes, its about cutting people or situations out whose time has come for us or them to leave.
Like cutting fabric, I tend to let that go for far too long. Its a hard act to do, this cutting away. Its not always that someone or something is dysfunctional, though sometimes that is the case as well. We simply don't have enough role models showing us how to do it, and that we will survive.
Cutting into fabric when you are using it with a pattern is wholly different than cutting the leftovers into the various pieces (I listed some sizes on my blog yesterday). Then, its the thought of "What If?" What if I need something different? or whatever.
The first pile I made from the three bins was all the smaller scraps. They were easy to cut into 2.5", 3", 4", 5", 6", 8", 10", the 2.5" strips, and the dessert strips of 5". I could imagine these easier cuts as leaving school, or walking away from low paying jobs out of necessity.
The second and third piles from my stash had larger & longer pieces, and so I was able to add fat eights and fat quarters. As I continued to the third pile of stash, it became a matter of measuring for 1/8 yard, for a 1/4, 3/8, a 1/3, 5/8, 2/3, 3/4, 7/8, and a yard.
Measuring more and cutting less, yet still cutting in some cases, and in other cases, letting the inch or two ride with the piece. Measuring was like evaluating, assessing and yes, judging. More thoughtfulness came with this part of my task, as if I had learned what it meant to cut or to say good bye, and it had taken on a whole other dimension to the metaphor.
It seemed to bring a new level of personal confidence in what I was doing. There was less doubt in my relationship to those pieces of fabric and I was aware that whatever was right would be there at the time I needed it. In fabric.
My thoughts stretched to my life, and the people in it. If how I quilt is a great teacher for my spirituality, was I learning that it was ok to cut out situations and trust that what I need at the time I need it would be there...be there because I was doing the work to clean up my spiritual and emotional stash and bring order to it?
This had become an opportunity for me to take stock of my material assets and see what counts, how I count, how people in my life count. It can be hard to believe that what is right will come to us. Its hard to make those cuts because we fear our judgment about what we are destroying to go forward. And now, onto Day #2 for the rest of the project.