Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Clean Slate

When I returned from the retreat last week I knew I had to do something to my cutting table.  I had fabrics piled on the edges, around the front.  I was lucky if I could use a 9" ruler to cut anything. 

I buckled down and worked my way through lots of the scraps littered on both sides of the table.  The side closest to the ironing board I also cleared of all papers and miscellaneous tools and assorted junk items no longer being used. Unfortunately I didn't take any before pictures. But I've taken two pictures to show the after. 
First up is my collection of squares and strips after I cut for a couple of days.  I usually cut squares at 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2".  This time I added some 3", 3 1/2", 4", 5" and maybe up to 6 1/2"  I have a shoe box I keep squares at 3 1/2" and bigger in.  My main strip sizes are 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2".  Again, I have a shoe box with 3 and 3 1/2" strips in it.  This cutting of scraps was made much easier by my purchase of a Gypsy Little Gripper. It was amazing to me how easy it was to position the ruler over the odd sizes of fabric I was using.  I found it at a quilt store near where we were retreating.  

When I am making blocks for the FCQ Equilters or block of the month lottery blocks I check my cut up squares and strips first.  Sometimes I can find what I want.  Other times I go to my fat quarter stash.  Because I have a long row of bookcases on a short wall I can use the top of the bookcases for my fat quarters.  I keep them folded, by color in baskets and box tops.  I have way too many fabrics there and I keep trying to use up some and thus need less box tops of baskets but it doesn't seem to work.  I still have some fat quarters and bits and pieces of fabric I can not put in the containers.  Sigh.  Maybe another scrap quilt should be in my future. Oh, wait, I did just start a new one.  

Look at that wonderful expanse of clean cutting mat!  All of the things I like close by -- pin cushion, note pads, pens and pencils, and my chicken cushion for bigger pins are ready to go.  

Now to pick a quilt to work on.  And, may be, may be, I can keep this picked up better.  I'm not showing you the other side which was fairly well cleared of scraps at the same time but now hold vintage sheets, little girl's shirts and boxes of strips from the quilt guild.  Sigh. 

Happy Quilting All!  Is it time to clean off your cutting table? 


  1. I love a clear cutting surface! I love any clear surface but they are rare in my house. I did clean off the cutting table 2 weeks ago and have done a pretty good job of keeping it far.

  2. Want to stop by and clean off my cutting table for me? Gads, how does it get so cluttered!

  3. I'm jealous!! My rooms a MESS, but I don't think it will get much better till I get back from Houston.

  4. Oh how nice to have a clear and clean cutting surface! I really should give that a try one of these days. I've got blocks and bits all over. Well maybe finishing up a project or two might help me! Thanks for posting the sizes of the scraps you cut. My box under the sewing table is starting to fill up and I'd like to do something with the bigger pieces. I've cutting 2.5 squares and strips, and 5 in squares. but I think the 3.5 might be a good size to try too. Oh and loved the quilt you finished up at the retreat, so beautiful

  5. It's always so nice to walk into a clean sewing room. You have room to mess it up again.


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