Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Organized Cutting

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!" - Organized Cutting

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

Cut efficiently and with better organization. 
That is my goal!

Being organized while I'm cutting out a quilt project is sometimes challenging. I love it when I have the opportunity to cut the entire project out in one setting, but that doesn't always happen.

A long time ago, I started making a "working copy" of the cutting instructions for all of my patterns. What that means is I photocopy the cutting instructions so I can cut them apart and keep a set of cutting instructions with each fabric. I also make various notes on the copy, such as hash marks for keeping count of exactly how many pieces I've cut, dimensions of left over fabric pieces in case I can use that left over piece later, etc. 

I usually glue or tape a small piece of the fabric to the copy, just in case the paper gets separated from the fabric or life gets in the way and I don't get back to working on the project for quite a while. Doing this means that I don't have to spend time guessing which fabric was going to be used where in the quilt. (Ok, in reality, it's not that life gets in the way. More than likely it's that something else has come up and I start working on another quilt project before I get done with this one.) 

I've also been known to write out the cutting instructions on a dry erase board and as I cut, I erase that size and move on to the next one. There's something about writing things down that help me avoid cutting mistakes. I think that the larger print is helpful, and I think it helps me to simply have written it down. It's like when I had to study spelling words. If I wrote them down a couple of time, my mind remembered them better. :-)

And just because I need those frequent "rewards", seeing that I only have one more set of fabrics to cut is kind of fun. Maybe I just like the idea of a seeing a "clean slate." It makes me feel like I've accomplished something.

I also like to keep my cut pieces organized by using sticky notes.

I like to have the cut size of the fabric written on the sticky notes and then attach that to the stack of corresponding fabrics. If the quilt is one that I think I may make again, I put the used sticky notes in the bag with the pattern so I don't have to re-write them.  Yes, I know I could just use scrap paper, but I like all the colors.  :-)

I applaud you if you are one of those quilters who can just open a pattern and cut out all the pieces without having any worries that you'll stay organized. I admire you!! The rest of us have to figure out ways to help us stay on task and not make mistakes. 

What do you do to stay organized while cutting? 

1 comment:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I like the idea of the white dry board. I love colorful sticky notes and use them a lot - I don't save them as I rarely make the same quilt more than once.