I am blessed in so many ways: a loving husband, fun and "normal" families, and numerous stray cats that keep us entertained, just for starters! I have a job that I love, and I look forward to Mondays and getting to go to work…in my sewing room. I've decided to share 30 days of thankfulness about things that make my job easier and more enjoyable.
Days 1 and 2: Rotary cutters and self-adhesive mats
I grew up on a farm, next door to my grandmother, and she quilted every day…the old fashioned way, with scissors and cardboard templates. On the quilt below that she and I made, I was instructed to carefully trace around a cardboard square with a pencil, getting as many blocks as possible out of each piece of fabric, then cutting each square with a pair of scissors. It was hours of work (and not very precise when it was being done by a bored pre-teen). It worked though, because nearly 40 years later, having survived high school, college and later years as my bed quilt of choice, it has now been retired to a couch quilt and still warms me when needed.
Mats and cutters come in a variety of sizes, which makes cutting fabric from large pieces of yardage down to the smallest blocks much easier. These two are my smallest, but they are handy when trimming block edges next to my sewing machine.
Cutters come in different styles, as well, for ergonomic fit, color (dang! my favorite, new aqua colored cutter wasn't in the pictures!) and different style blades are available for those who want to use them for more than fabric. Note here…I did not buy duplicates, but rather inherited them from my mother when she was no longer able to sew.
My largest mat covers my portable cutting table, and I leave it in place at all times. In addition to having measuring increments from left to right and top to bottom, it includes markings for different angles, as do many other size mats.
This Fiskars mat is a favorite because the yellow mat fits on the black base turning it into a turntable, like a lazy susan. I LOVE this feature when squaring up blocks. To be really honest, I also like the color. Can you ever get too much color in a sewing room?
So that sums up my first two days of quilting gratitude. I should also offer some gratitude to Yoshio Okada who invented the rotary cutter in 1979. That information surprised me, as I didn't think it had been around so long. I think it must have been several years before it really caught on in the quilting world, or Grandma never knew about it!