07 July, 2009

"Let's Talk" Tuesday...

I had the great privilege last evening of gathering with some of my best quilting friends at a Guild meeting to hear a marvelous speaker, Linda Cantrell, from Asheville, NC. Linda is an amazing applique artist and a hilarious presenter. She showed, in her slide presentation, an enormous work table in her studio and the small amount of space available on which to work due to the piles o' stuff. I can relate, I'm sure we all can. Today's question is actually a three-parter, and one where honesty counts:

What is currently taking up space on your cutting/worktable? How much space is available on which to work? Do these items have anything to do with your current project?

My table is 45" X 72". Sitting on the table right now are the following items: a snippet basket (for threads), three pincushions, a book and two magazines, two paper sacks (one full of fabric strips for making clothesline baskets, one empty!?!), 100 feet of clothesline, a wet-erase marker and a vinyl sheet for auditioning continuous line designs, a spray bottle and a rag, 2 marking pens, the laser light off of Sundance, a straight edge tool, a software CD and design collection book for my embroidery machine, an empty cardboard tube, a bottle of eye drops and an empty coffee mug. These items take up approximately one third of the surface area, (that's not much in all honesty!) the only reason there's that much space is because I cleaned the table off on Sunday morning before the family arrived; I have drawers into where I can sweep (literally) the clutter! Just Saturday night this table was covered with various and assorted piles of fabric, rulers, books and magazines! The only things on the table that I need out right now are the spray bottle and rag, the wet-erase marker, the clear vinyl sheet, the straight edge tool and the snippet basket. These items assist me as I am custom quilting the Red Star quilt currently loaded on Sundance, I can turn around and reach them comfortably. Everything else on the table was drawn there by a powerful magnetic force, the very same force that attracts clutter and objects to all flat surfaces in our home. It's a daily battle I tell you, I'm doing my best.

"...and sew, let's talk..."
What's taking up space on your table? Do you dare to share?
Life is Good!


14 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

On my cutting counter, I have 1/2 available for cutting. The rest is designated for storage - clear stackable project boxes with fabrics for current and future quilts, clear boxes with my threads, and the almost antique land-line telephone. The 1/2 for cutting also contains a tiered vertical paper organizer that I use for my rulers (against the back wall), cutting mats, and a Brooklyn revolver cutting turntable that is home to my rotary cutters... like your's, this open area is a magnet for leftover pieces of fabrics, etc. ... always colorful!

blushing rose said...

Since we are preparing for a yard sale ... not much space is left on any counter in the kitchen. It's a mess actually .... TTFN ~Marydon

SpinningStar said...

I just set up a cutting cart, with wheels, so that is actually clear and ready for trimming blocks. It has a ruler and a rotary cutter.

My old cutting table has now become a worktable and about 1/2 is taken up with items that are always there - a radio, vase with small scraps of fabric, cup with colored pencils, small decorative box with 3 rolls of honey buns on top, a lamp, a glass pickle dish with sewing notions, another glass dish with pins and a container with needles and some decorative, quilting related knick-knacks.

Also on the table is an iron, small pitcher for water and a small ironing pad, some leftover blocks. On one side of the table, I have a comfy chair to be able to sit down, watch TV, read and quilt. Within reach on the table is a pad/pencil (with numbers all over it), a magnetic pin holder and coaster. This weekend, I was sewing, ironing, then sitting down and pinning blocks together - while watching the tennis matches. The blocks are on the design wall or by the sewing machine. So, yes, the stuff does relate to my current project.

Oh, there were also two timers on the table, now returned to the kitchen for the next time I put something in the oven.

However, I will confess that I just finished cleaning up my quilt room, so the extra fabric is back in the stash closet and the scraps were finally trimmed and organized. I am trying to keep my tables and room clean and available for a project.

Liz

The Calico Cat said...

Since I now share my stewdio with the baby, I am back to cutting on the floor - so I pick it up as soon as it is done. Not that every flat surface is completely cluttered mind you...

Loris said...

I am fortunate to have a huge 4'by 8' cutting table. I have plastic bins piled up at one end of it with projects to start and a basket with Christmas fabric that I sorted oh..like 2 years ago..and have still not figured out where to store, a large pillow for the cats with blankets for them on top of it, a large piece of wood that has a turning cutting mat on it that I never use, 2 other things for the cats to lay on and finally, 5 inch flannel blocks that I just laid out to put together for the new baby coming into my nephew's family. There would have been more at the end of the table but I lowered the plastic bin 'towers' by storing a couple of future projects upstairs.
sorry..but you asked ;-)

SubeeSews said...

My cutting table is a converted 48X72 glass top dining table. My carpenter friend raised it 6" so I do not have to bend over too much. ( I am tall )
The table is in a corner and I have access only from one end and one long side. At the very back I have 42 bolts of my favorite quilting cottons. They are all in a line down a long side and around the corner against the wall. At the corner I have a 4 shelf open storage unit that houses speciality rulers and special cuts of fabric that I want handy. My favorite thing is from Pampered Chef. I bought one of those turn around thingies for utensils and have all the long tall things in the holes (from scissors to tall skinny rulers to pens and pencils, crochet hooks, chalk) All are in arms' reach. I have a piece of fabric on the table that I am fussy cutting sewing machines from for my GFG quilt. Only needed 4 more but had to get it all out of course. My cutter and the template and a pencil complete the ordered chaos.
I just ordered the book "It's a Wrap" to try the basket technique. What type of closeline do I need to buy? I want to be ready for it when the book comes!
XOXOXO Subee

*karendianne. said...

The powerful magnetic force on my table is pretty much limited to Dresden stuff and it's hard because I'm reaching 75%... and you know what that means! *not sure if I've talked about that*

Anyway, the table is clear with the exception of reds and browns. Conveniently, someone needs a basket for a birthday in batiks. Just in time for my 75% weak spot.

(ps: Susan taught me that deal about keeping the table clear. It works & I'm getting rigid about it, too. Here its convenient. Not for ANY OTHER area in the house. At all.)

Clutter Bug Love, *karendianne.

Karen Newman Fridy said...

I've never seen your studio in anything less than perfect order! Mine, on the other hand, has (2) 8' long tables still 3/4 covered with junk that I'm sorting/cleaning out plus another 8' table that is supposed to be for ironing and cutting (which is actually in pretty good shape compared) *sigh* Seems like about the time I get it mostly cleaned up I make a mess all over again...

qltmom9 said...

Currently, my featherweight, iron, mat to iron on, an empty suitcase (intended for organizational use),and my 5yo dd are on my table!!!

Doesn't sound so bad, BUT that table is in hte middle of my living room because I'm organizing and making room for it in my "studio".

Dd assumes it is there for her and it usually has quilts draped so she can play "tent".
Lucy (in IN)

Libby said...

I use my ironing board for my cutting table. It's the one thing that is at the perfect height for me - then I just have to work around cutting large setting triangles.
There's nothing on my 'cutting table' right now. Actually I packed up my stash over the weekend in preparation for our move. It was a little sad. But . . . . I was pleased that the number of boxes did not alarm me. That means I can go out and buy more stash - guilt free *s*

LauraQuilts said...

Goodness, Mrs. G - busted! I have my DH's drawing board as a cutting table, back when engineers drew on mylar instead of CAD. It's a wonderful table, 42" tall, 3' x 6'.
I have a big Olfa cutting mat (underneath of which are several things without which one cannot do, template plastic, some quilting stencils, flat things) in the middle, two ruler racks behind it. To the right are spool towers and thread boxes, I know they are there because I remember seeing them before they were buried in fabric. I have a box with a filing frame (to hold hanging files) on the left front side of the board that needs to be installed in the file drawer of my desk, but I have all this fabric in that drawer and it all needs to go somewhere...percentage-wise, I'm cutting on about 25% of the available space, but it's working out so far!

Salem Stitcher said...

With everything that's been going on in the past few weeks and being out of town for most of it, my cutting table has once again become the dropping off point. There are books I have bought to study purposed, a baby quilt that needs to be delivered, fabric that needs to be "filed" in the drawers under the cutting table, stray blocks I'm going to send to Klaudeen Hansen for her judging class and if I remember correctly, there is a cutting mat under there. As LauraQuilts said... busted.

Quilt Memories said...

I'm so glad you asked that question this week as I am out of town so couldn't possibly "fess up", cause I truly don't know. But I am sure there is precious little cutting room ,I am sitting here trying to visualize that table and all I see is a mess! I think I probably need to do a lot of work on that table.....Maybe next week *** sigh**** Instead of signing this as Bobbin, perhaps just "Messy" would do. Hope to be at guild meeting on Monday, DH said we should be home in plenty of time for me to make it, so we will see.

Nan said...

I have two tables that sit side by side, and they are covered with: 2 fat quarter bundles by American Jane, a folded quilt that needs to be quilted and bound (it's been sitting there for months), fabrics that I've used recently in projects scattered here and there, a pincushion, a small Ott Lite, rotary cutter, a kit I received and haven't put away, patterns that I want to make sometime soon, and Moda Bella solids in a bag that I use from time to time. In other words, it's a MESS!!! I push the piles aside so I can use the cutting board, and make more of a mess. I also have a basket underneath the tables that I put projects in that I want to work on in the near future.
One of my favorite sayings is "Creative Minds are Seldom Tidy"!