I have a book called 365 Tao. I have had it for several years and decided this year to read one page every day, and think about the word of the day in order to get inspired. Where appropriate to quilting, I will post the word of the day here for you to ponder as well.
It is really no big surprise to me that the word for the first day of the year is Beginning. It seems appropriate on January 1. The book says that before anyone can begin they have to make the decision to begin. This seems so basic, but I never thought of it like that. If I don’t decide to start a new project, I can’t begin it. Interesting to let rumble around in my mind.
The author writes that the beginning of a journey is always filled with hope, wonder, anticipation and excitement. This is also true, if you think about it. I was thinking about this in relation to the Hop, Skip & Jump quilt I started yesterday. Before I physically begin a project, but after I have decided to begin there is a lot of hope on how it will go (fast? easily?); wonder at how yardage can be turned into something different, comforting and useful; there is anticipation on the feel of the fabric in my hands and the skillful wielding of tools as well as the pleasure of seeing the pieces go together; and, finally, the excitement at starting a new project, using new fabrics and a new design.
Once you have started the project, the bloom is off. I face the reality of making the quilt; the maker is in the process. The hope, wonder, anticipation and excitement still exist, but they are very much in my head while the process is actually something that I physically do. Sadly, physical actions have to comply with the laws of space, time, physics, etc. For the HSJ project, I found that that the pieces had to each be cut individually because they use templates. It was not a surprise, because I looked at the book carefully before I started. Cutting pieces individually using templates is not bad, just different. I thought about whether or not to change the pattern to make it easier to rotary cut, too, as I mentioned and decided to leave the project as it was rather than modifying it. There is a certain calmness to templates. They force me to slow down somewhat. It is all just part of the process. The reality is always different than what is in my head, and often a splendid surprise.
Good word for the day, I think!