My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Quilt Cutting Station

I've been in my new quilting studio for about six months now and I finally feel like I'm getting some order to the chaos.

When I first moved in I immediately set up my Sew-ezi sewing machine table and the two trestles I use and got to work.  Then everything else moved in around me, clutter happened and chaos began.

As we are using it as storage for furniture that can't go on the boat, it filled up pretty quickly and I've been sorting and shifting things around ever since.  The flat has two poles in the main room, which really annoy me effect the possible furniture configurations (see here for photos of the empty studio).

But I think I've finally sorted out a layout that is working.   I can see it staying this way for a little while and today I'm going to show you my cutting station part of the set up.

We don't have Ikea in NZ so there was no melding together several kitset units or anything fancy.  In my art gallery/studio I had a display table made of an old boat door, painted white and laid across two  huge chunky bits of wood.  So I set it up in my new studio as my cutting station, but it was too low.

I had a brainwave (probably from seeing all those cutting stations set up on the top of Ikea drawer units) to use a couple of old sets of drawers that I was already using for notions and paint etc.  It makes it quite tall, almost 98 cm, but a good height for me at 168 cm tall, especially if I wear shoes!  I also slipped another desk unit underneath for extra storage.  That consolidated some of the furniture that was taking up valuable floor space in my studio too, an added bonus.

*Hey Dad?  Recognise that drawer unit?!  It's one you made - was it the old telephone desk when we were kids?*

The table top is slightly wider at one end than the other, which is why I have the end unit below turned around and facing out - it gives the table better support.

I have my cutting mat on top at one end, and it's a really sunny spot (as you can see by the difficult photography), so when I leave I always shut the curtains so I don't get a warped cutting mat or faded fabrics if I leave them out.

I've put some 3M hooks on the other end unit for my most used rulers and my large rotary cutter.

I use the top of the table for holding all the necessary junk that collects when I'm cutting a quilt - patterns and notes, fabrics, pins, pencil case - it can become a bit of a mountain of junk but I cleaned it up specially to take photos!

The chunky bits of wood went outside onto the deck.  They were all natural to begin with so a bit of weathering won't hurt them if I want to use them again.  And I think I'll add some more 3M hooks to the other side of the smaller end unit for a few more rulers, a tape measure and my scissors.  I'm always doing the 'scissor pat', you know - when you pat down the fabric laying all over the table to find your scissors?

Yes, I'd love for it to be bigger.  I'd love to have two cutting mats end to end.  I'd love to have a table that I could adjust the height of with the push of a button.  But until I win Lotto, this is working well.  And heck, it's better than using the dining room table!

What's your cutting station like?


  1. Excellent use of what you have and I find my sewing room is constantly evolving as I discover better ways to use things. Thank you for sharing.

  2. What an awesome work/playstation!

  3. I think your cutting station is ingenious! Love how you have hung your rotary cutter and rulers onto the outside of the sets of drawers. Very handy. I don't have room for a cutting station in my sewing room so I use the dining table. That means I am up and downstairs a lot, but that does help with my Fitbit target. Always a silver lining!

  4. The old style of making something useful out of pieces "hanging around". I love this sort of thing, My cutting station changes regularly because I constantly think I have come up with a better workable plan for whatever sits on it! I changed things again today and may post a photo when it's tidy!!

  5. I've still got my main cutting station set up on top of our large chest freezer... stole that idea off you before :o) but I changed the ironing board area, removing the legs and attaching the top onto a shelving unit. Makes it a bit taller, which is more comfortable to use, and I have useful storage space underneath!

  6. I can't tell the height from your photos, but I believe you when you say it is tall enough. Having a high enough cutting table is the BEST. I use an old microwave cart that my husband made and I couldn't bear to part with when we remodeled our kitchen. The top fits a medium sized cutting mat (18x24 in??). There are two shelves and a small drawer, which may still be filled with kitchen stuff. It also has wheels, so I can roll it around, which I do sometimes.


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