It’s been a couple decades, but I remember it clearly. My grandmother spent weeks leaning over her kitchen table, cutting away, while my mother and I kept her company. She carefully selected the hues and shapes that would one day become two king-sized quilts. Colorful swatches lay in neat, organized stacks across the whole length of the table. When she was done cutting, she left the pieces on the table. No need to move them. She knew she would start sewing right away.
The day after she finished cutting her quilt pieces, we met Blue, my uncle’s new dog. While my grandmother was greeting other family members at the car, Blue had already made his way into the house, knocked over a plant and a small table in the hallway, and made his way to the kitchen. In his quest for a sandwich I’d left on the table, he managed to pull the table cloth halfway down — just enough to make a mess of my grandmother’s hard work.
My grandmother’s gift was her patience, but it was clear that she felt defeated when she discovered the carnage. She didn’t have to say a word. The look on her face was enough. The dog was taken home.
It took my grandmother another week, with my mother’s help, to put the pieces back in order and to cut new pieces to replace those that’d gone to live the rest of their days underneath the refrigerator. This story does have a happy ending. The quilts she made were beautiful albeit not exactly how she had envisioned them. But she could have saved herself some pain if she had a designated cutting table for her project.
9 Great Reasons to Use a Cutting Table
If that story doesn’t have you running to move your project to a cutting table, here are 9 reasons you’ll want to use a cutting table for your serious sewing needs:
- Cutting tables are usually taller than other tables (or can be adjusted to be taller), which can help with keeping pets and curious children at bay.
- Cutting tables hardy. They’re specifically built to handle repeated grazing with scissors, so you don’t destroy your other household surfaces.
- Measuring is easy on a cutting table. They have graph lines to help you precisely measure small or complicated fabric pieces.
- Having a table specifically set aside for your cutting tasks helps keep your projects from overrunning your home.
- Cutting tables provide additional storage space. Many have built-in drawers. Even if yours doesn’t, you can usually store plastic tubs or baskets underneath.
- Not only are cutting tables great for storing larger items, it’s extremely handy to keep smaller necessities, such as pins and taylor’s chalk.
- Keeping your sewing equipment close together saves time. Having a cutting table next to your machine means you don’t have to run to the other room to cut new material.
- Combined with well-placed shelves or other storage, cutting tables make it easy to organize and go back to multiple projects.
- When you’re not using your cutting table — depending on the design — you may be able to fold it up or breakdown some of the components to give you more room.
When it comes down to it, cutting tables can really save you some hassle. Besides my sewing machine, this is one of the sewing tools that I don’t think I’d want to be without.