The Organized Cutting Table

I’ve spent years with a cluttered, unorganized cutting table with all of its essentials either laying around or slung in baskets, and wishing there was a better way. I always wanted pegboard, but never had a place to put any. I finally have it, and here are some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago:

Cutting table organization with pegboard

And the other side:

Cutting table organization with pegboard

I’ve had the whole shebang set up and organized for weeks, and I had the idea just after I got moved in and really settled in this Studio, so this has been a long time in the making. Ikea and pegboard, what a great combo! The chest of drawers is cheap Ikea furniture that I’ve used for fabric storage and a cutting table for years, but it’s always been stuffed between other pieces of furniture so that I couldn’t access the sides.

Now that I can put it in the middle of the room, the sides were wide open, and just begging for pegboard to hang all the rulers, cutters and associated tools. I had to have Dawn take a trip to Lowe’s for the pegboard and hooks, have the pegboard custom cut to size, and then mail it all to me from North Carolina, would you believe. I looked all over the Internet for some place that would send pegboard here after the guys at the German hardware stores just looked at me like I had a third eye when I asked if they had wooden pegboard. “Metal, yes, wood, no such thing” was their answer.

It’s all worth it though. Now I have easy access to all the cutters, scissors and rulers, and see that little blue thing on the pegboard in the second photo? That’s a pencil holder that Dawn thought would be handy, and it rocks! I can put a small pair of scissors in there, and pencils and pens, and there’s a little shelf sticking out on the front that holds my favorite fabric eraser (that I use for paper, not fabric, btw; best eraser ever). Thanks Dawn, you’re the best!

The only thing I still need to do is to get a better “topper” for the chest, to go under the 24″ x 36″ cutting mat. Get this: I’ve been using an antique mirror that belonged to my grandparents since 1994 when I bought the cutting mat. The mirror is still wrapped in the brown paper from the movers that moved us here to Germany from Las Vegas; we never even tried to hang it up because like many old mirrors, this one is heavy! ITMan never wanted to try to figure out how to keep it from falling off the wall!

So the mirror has served another purpose all these years, as a table top for the cutting table. The brown paper is starting to shred on the edges, so it must be time to do something else! 😉 Maybe I’ll request that ITMan take a trip to the hardware store and have something better cut to size while I’m in Des Moines, but I’m not counting on it being high on his priority list! He probably has enough to do…

The 14 Year Quilt Plan

McCall's QuiltingHave you ever fallen in love with a quilt? I’m sure you have, but has that love affair with that quilt lasted for 14 years? Or has it been one of those flash in the pan type things, gone as soon as you’d seen something you liked better?

I’ve been hoarding the March 1994 issue of McCall’s Quilting since I bought it way back when, before we moved to Germany. On the cover was this absolutely beautiful quilt called “I Didn’t Promise You a Rose Garden,” designed by Donna Lake. I loved the quilt instantly. It had florals, baskets, and border prints that were fussy cut to make kaleidoscopic effects. All of my favorite things even now.

I wasn’t the “dedicated quilter” back then that I am now, and this was my “someday” quilt: someday I’d have the skills and the time to make this stunning piece for myself. I could see it on my bed, and I still can actually, just as it was designed for the magazine, no changes necessary. When my skills caught up with my desire, then it became “someday, I’d find just the right fabrics to make this quilt.” I’ve been hunting for the last ten years or so because “just right” is difficult to find for a quilt like this.

I’d need a floral of course, but one with just the right colors on a dark background. I’m not the matchy-matchy kind of gal, needing to make my quilts in exactly the fabrics that are shown in the magazine, far from it. But I tried designing this around a floral with a light background, and I just didn’t like it. It was going to look as if it had holes in the centers of the stars, and that just wasn’t going to make it in my book. I would also need just the perfect paisley-type print for the kaleidoscopic stars, another border print with just the right size stripes for the edges of the basket blocks and the baskets themselves.

I’ve had the paisley-ish print for a while, actually a border print itself from Jinny Beyer’s fabrics. I’d rather it wasn’t a border print, but it’s the best thing that’s come along so far. I found a floral that might do at the Heidelberg Arts & Crafts last week, and I went back yesterday to buy more, hoping that “someday” I can put it all together and make it work. I still need to find another border print in a slightly different but coordinating colorway for the baskets, so the hunt continues. Will I ever get to make this quilt? Maybe when I’m ninety-nine. Since I’ve loved it for so long, chances are I’ll still love it then. 🙂

Does an 11.5lb cat fit into a bread basket?

I’m not sure what the deal is with cats and sitting in or on whatever you’re working with. Every cat I’ve ever had or heard of has issues like this, so it must be an attention thing. “Mom’s paying too much attention to those papers, that fabric, the quilt, this book, so I shall sit on it.” It’s just life with a cat. I’ve been decluttering a bit around the house, so Shadow decided to try out the Longaberger Bread Basket that I’d emptied of it’s previous contents and left at the back of my cutting table:

Shadow and the Bread Basket

This basket fascination continued off and on all day long once he’d discovered the spot. He made himself even more comfortable toward the end of the day. Since it probably really is an attention thing and maybe what he really wants is to be famous, we submitted one of the other pics to I Can Has Cheezburger?:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

If you’re not familiar with the LOLcats, check out the I Can Has Cheezburger? site for more funny captioned cat pictures (and the occasional non-feline participant). Bad spelling and grammar in giant white letters is the norm there. I don’t visit too often, because I can spend (read: waste) quite a lot of time just laughing at the pictures and funny captions which isn’t too great for productivity! If you’re so inclined, you can click the captioned photo above to go to the page where you can vote on Shadow’s picture. With enough votes, maybe the attention seeker will make it to the front page of the site!

Then this morning, the little twerp was cuter yet as he made himself more comfortably at home, with a pose and look even more suited to the caption I put on the previous photo:

Shadow in the bread basket

Now you know the answer: yes, an 11.5lb cat can fit in a Longaberger Bread Basket, just in case you ever really need to know. He’s been in and out of the thing more times than I can count today. He doesn’t just stay in there because if I get up and leave the room, he simply must be on my tail until I come back. I wonder how long this basket fixation will go on?? Maybe I should find him a bigger one…