Spending the day cutting quilt pieces ?? Is the scrap bin or space on your shelves too crowded for more fabric? Are you really wanting to get started on a new quilt but just not getting to the cutting part? The solution maybe to block off some time to spend part or all of the day cutting quilt pieces.
This week, I was able to sort out scraps and iron for one entire afternoon. I turned my phone off, listened to music I like, and just enjoyed the process of pulling various scraps out of the bins, ironing them, and laying them flat on an extra plastic table.
A prior post on my ironing area https://indianaquilter40.com/my-fabric-ironing-area-aka-a-folding-table-for-ironing/
The next day, I got up early to get my work done. Then I was able to make a block of several hours to cut up those ironed scraps. Again I turned off the phone, put in music I like, and enjoyed the process of cutting.
a word about messy sewing rooms
I have been working from home for several weeks thanks to the COVID-19. It’s a really nice change to not be traveling each day. The downside is that I have more and more quilting ideas – which leads to an even messier quilting area.
Did I say messy – what an understatement!! I am one of those creative types who does not clean up the mess until I am done with said project. I feel like there has been just one continuous project the last several weeks. What that means is that in several weeks, the mess has grown because I continue to go happily from one project to the next.
I didn’t realize how bad it was until another quilter was here over the weekend. Her first question was, “what happened in here??” I really looked at the mess then. I am going to simply say there is no excuse (I can certainly relate to this kids book).
I’m too embarrassed to post photos, but this is the cleanest looking area. It is one shelving area that goes to the ceiling. I have dug thru here several times looking for the “perfect” fabric. I do not have a pretty sewing area – it is functional. See my post about the sewing room on previous blog: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/07/waste-not-want-not-or-tips-for.html
Just remember that I have quilted for 40 years…I did not gain all this overnight. Nor did I buy all of it. Some was traded for other items (quilting and non-quilting items). My hubby, kids, and mom-in-law buy me yards of fabric for b-days and holidays.
A MARATHON OF SPENDING THE DAY CUTTING QUILT PIECES
Do you ever have days you just feel like cutting fabric?? I tend to do marathon ironing and cutting back to back. I work with some standard sizes of strips and blocks so I can cut up a pile of fabric fairly quick with a little preparation.
Sort out the fabric you want to work with – whether scraps or yardage.
Iron and then lay out on a nice flat surface that will not be disturbed.
I personally cut fabric from the largest to the smallest blocks/strips I want from that fabric. In my case, I keep a bin of 2.5″ strips, 3″ blocks, and 5″ blocks on hand all the time. I will cut up the piece until there is nothing left but a scrap that does not fit with what I normally use.
I saw a quilt on Pintrest made of rectangles, so while I am cutting scraps I got out another bin and started putting 4″ x 7″ rectangles in that.
A word of warning: Rotary blades are sharp and will make a serious cut in your finger or hand. Always, always pay attention to where your fingers are before using the cutter. Keep blade covered when not actually using it.
A cutting area for yourself needs to work for you. Below is my cutting table. It is a sturdy 6 foot long plastic table on risers so the table is at a comfortable height. Under the table is the “crumb” bin, then a bin of colored yarn (for tying quilts) with a bag of big plastic clamps (for holding down quilts to table as I tie them). The stacked bins on the right are toys for the grand-daughter when she is here.
Here is another photo of the area. This is what works for me. When making a work area for yourself, arrange so it works for you.
That left-over piece goes into the “nesting” bag (that will later be sewn shut and given to the humane shelter) or the “crumb” box (for making string/crumb quilts). Think about the size of scrap you will realistically use for the “crumb” box. The rest goes in the “nesting” bag.
As you completely cut each size of strip or block, put it in the correct bin. Here they will stay nice and flat to be used when you are ready.
Set up a comfortable area for yourself to do quilt related activities in. A table the right height. A chair that is comfortable for you. Shelves or some sort of storage area for fabric and books. A way to organize your actual tools that works for your area and budget. Get busy on doing your own spending the day cutting quilt pieces.
I love to see how others organize their sewing areas, however, I am more about function than beauty. I have a budget for quilting and will cut corners by buying the furniture (shelves, desk, chair, plastic bins and jars, etc) at a used store or a dollar store. That leaves more money for fabric, batting, and the annual trip to Paducah quilt show.
Other links about cutting quilt pieces
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.