Messy Quilter

Less than a month ago, I cleaned off my cutting table and promised myself to keep it neat and tidy.  Here’s the site that greeted me this morning:

Even with my twisted way of thinking, this is not neat and tidy!  I’m in the middle of a project and these fabrics are all being used.  Maybe today I’ll finish this quilt top and put all the yardage away and stick all the extra squares in their respective plastic boxes.

Less than a month ago (same day actually), I picked up all the fabric that was on the floor.  I have a terrible habit of pulling fabrics to audition for the next quilt, spreading them on the floor, and leaving them there . . especially if they don’t work and I’m not going to use them.  When I put everything away three weeks ago, I promised myself that I would put all the fabric back on the shelves if it doesn’t work or, if it does work, I’d stack it with the pattern in a storage bin.  Here’s what I saw this morning.

The greens/browns are for one project.  The pinks/corals are rejects from the current project which is spread on the cutting table.  The little Christmas print . . don’t have a clue why that one is there.  I guess it fell out when I was pulling out another fabric.

And yet another project spread out in the floor.  This is the one I’m going to do next.

I guess I’m just a messy quilter!  What can I say?


  1. 1


    My you are brave……… No pictures of my cutting table. I can only see a 6×10 section of the cutting mat……… With three projects going I just keep layering it on.

  2. 3


    I think there is a saying somewhere “All the best quilters are messy ones!”
    If there isn’t then there should be!

  3. 4


    That is a “creative mess”, so it doesn’t count as a “real mess”! lol I think that you have to pull it out and look at it for a few days to make sure that you really like before you begin to sew. Anyway, look at the beauty that comes from your mess! Keep making messes, I love to see what you create! :~)

  4. 7

    pdudgeon says

    maybe you might think about having a planning and cutting day for your quilts once a week, just like you cook once a week…

    have a day when you do nothing but pull fabrics for the next project, get them cut up, labled, and ready to sew. make a kit of it with directions on what you are planning, and then put it in a bin or a bag so it’s all ready to go–just like you do your meals!

    then take a tip from Keryn and Merith and have a trash bin to sweep all the left over bits into. when the trash bin is full, dump it out on your cutting table, sort thru and cut up the leftovers into squares and strips.
    my guess is that you have the clutter because you haven’t a ready place to put it, and you don’t want to stop in the middle of a creative stream to deal with it.

  5. 9


    Thank you Judy for letting me in on your cutting table, now I like mine. It looks something like yours. ;))
    It’s our space and we are working and creating here, so isn’t it OK?
    Happy Thoughts

  6. 10


    I found my cutting mat on my cutting table the other day. First time I had seen it for a month. Then I found what was holding everything out of the dirt ….. there is a floor in there too!

  7. 11

    gardenpat says

    Every time my sewing room and cutting tables get cleared off and emptied, another project needs to be started or someone sends over more fabric for me to sort and put away!

    After my knee replacement surgery in Dec, I will hopefully move my sewing room to what are currently 2 rooms on the second floor of the house. DH is going to knock out the walls separating them so I have a sewing room that is over twice the size! Does that mean that it will take twice as long to get cluttered with fabrics??? (I don’t think so!! LOL!!)

    It’s all part of the creative process though! Since you have a designated room for your sewing, I would say- Be grateful for that and don’t worry about the disarray unless it’s to the point that you can’t find things! As long as YOU know where everything is in there and have room to work- it’s fine!!

  8. 12


    I agree with the other comments. It looks like you’re being creative. I don’t know about you but I don’t always remember what fabrics I have so I need to pull them out to be able to see if they will work. I got some clear plastic “purses” at the dollar store that work great for storing “projects”. I use them to keep all the fabric and stuff I need for a work in progress.

  9. 13


    Looks a lot like my sewing space, I like the ‘creative mess’ school of thought. Who ever thought I was so creative, but I guess I must be!! LOL And I’m in the BEST company!

  10. 14


    Looks like my sewing room – I’ve been tempted to clean up but then figure why bother until I finished my free pieced letter border – THAT’s a messy process!

  11. 18

    Trish says

    I had the same problem with my cutting table and, since I don’t have an actual sewing room (my dining room is my sewing room), and since the cutting table could be seen from the living room, I eventually just gave up, cleaned it off and put it away (back beside the couch) to use as a side table. I figure my adult children might move out *some* day so I can have a sewing room, and then I’m sure my cutting table will “disappear” under stuff again!

  12. 19

    The Calico Quilter says

    If all your fabric is in boxes in the closet, how do you know what you’ve got? As for the filled tabletop (I refuse to call it messy, you’re “in-process”, and in-process is not a neat state), that’s why they make doors – no one else has to look at it. If you’re comfortable with working there, it’s not a mess; if it’s bothering you, maybe you need a new organization system. Whatever it is, don’t get the guilts over it. If there wasn’t fabric on the table, you wouldn’t be making anything, and that would be sad.

  13. 20


    I’m going to go back and read everyone’s comments later. There could be a suggestion there that I need to read because mine usually looks like that, too.

    You’re not alone! 🙂