I recently purchased and received 8 continuous yards of fabric for a project. It came rolled up as if the card stock had been slipped out of the center of a bolt of fabric, and then folded in thirds. Because of the extra folding, I needed to lightly press the fabric before cutting my desired widths of fabric, and I wanted to share how I go about handling large yardage.
I simply grab the chair that I sit to sew in and move it in front of my ironing board and allow the large “bolt” of fabric to rest in the seat. I gently pull the fabric forward to unroll and press the next section.
It does require a bit of reaching around, but it keeps the fabric from draping on the floor and collecting the inevitable dust, lint, stray threads from previous projects, and cat hair. 🙂
I then slide the chair across my work space to my cutting station and tuck the chair underneath my cutting board.
I am really happy with this process, and it has helped me keep the large yardage in a nice roll as I work through cutting what I need for my project.
One last note about my cutting station: on two sides of my cutting mat I have ridges that I can push my rulers against to help keep the rulers from slipping when I cut. As you can see in the photo above, I also like to use carpenter’s squares from the hardware store instead of typical quilting rulers. The extra length of the carpenter’s square pushing against the ridges helps keep things from sliding around much. It works for me, anyway. 🙂
Linking up to Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @Late Night Quilter.
31 thoughts on “Tip for Handling Large Yardage”
Great idea with the carpenters squares! I’ve been draping the fabric over the chair back – going to try your way next time!
What a great idea! Hmm I wonder if my husband will notice if his square is missing…..
Thanks for this information, as a new quilter it will be very helpful.
I love the cutting board idea! I’m going to show the picture to hubby!
I’m totally adopting the chair trick today. I love it!!! So simple, and so helpful. Thanks for linking up to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday, Yvonne!
I really like the ridges around the cutting mat to keep rulers steady. Thanks for these tips!
I do the chair thing too! So glad to see I am not crazy. Thank you for sharing!
The chair idea is far better, than to vigorously vacuum and use the lint roller on the floor (just kidding).
I seem to collect carpenter squares, and I have often wondered about using them for fabric cutting. Thanks for your tips!
Great tip! I sometimes do the chair thing, but most of the time I wind up cutting and the reminder falls on the floor before I can catch it 🙂
You’re the first quilter I’ve sen who uses a carpenter’s square Yvonne. That is a great solution! Also, I like your tip on using a chair to hold the yardage while ironing and cutting… Yay no more pet fur and loose threads on the fabric! I do that to hold the excess overhang when I am sandwiching a quilt on the table
Thanks Yvonne. I tend use a lot of precuts, but I always run in to the yardage issue when I make backings. It doesn’t seem to matter how often my studio is vacuumed. It collects the most astounding assortment of everything. And why is there so much cat hair in there? They’ve never been allowed in that room.
So simple, and so effective. Now if I could find a chair Bella has NOT laid on, lol! I’m confused though, are you putting the ironed fabric onto the chair (I think) and if so, where was it as you unrolled it? If it is there before you iron it and you iron, then where are you keeping it after you iron? Sorry if I’m missing the obvi here, wouldn’t be the first time!
Thanks for sharing! And lets admit that a quilt isn’t a quilt unless there is cat hair involved 😛
That is a great idea with the carpenter’s square and the ridges – my ruler always seems to slide a little toward the end of my cut.
Such a great solution! It amazes me how simple solutions escape my brain. LOL. I hate having my fabric lay on the floor while ironing large pieces. I have a large black dog and an very overweight black cat; it does not matter how often I sweep, vacuum and mop the floors, there are black hairs sneaking around to grasp onto fabrics and other projects. I will be using your ideas/solutions and see how they work for me. Also, I had a lightbulb moment when you shared your Carpenters Ruler. Again, so simple and fantastic solution I will have to get my husbands cleaned up really well or see if my father has an extra one! Great post and solutions. Thanks so much and have a great day!
I really like the ridges on the cutting table – if I had a permanent cutting area, I’d use that idea! I might get into trouble adding them to the dining room table 🙂
I love the idea of the carpenter’s square, I must look out for one.
This is genius, my fabric is forever getting covered in ‘stuff’, so annoying! And I love your cutting space, those sides bars are a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂
So many tips packed into one post Yvonne! I don’t often work with that much fabric but that method would have worked much better than how I’ve pressed yardage for backings in the past! I’ve always wondered if those metal carpenter’s squares would work well for cutting but was always afraid that if I picked one up it would eventually disappear into the basement workshop!
Clever usage of a carpenter’s square ruler!
What a great way to use the chair to hold the bulk and then move the chair. Thanks for sharing!
great idea, I hate when mine hits the floor, but I never seemed to have a way to change it.
Great idea. Question about the ironing. When you begin the fabric you are ironing is on the chair, staying clean and dust free. As you continue ironing it, I you are bringing it over to your side of the ironing board. If the is correct, do you have something on your side of the ironing board to catch the clean, ironed fabric so it doesn’t hit the floor on your side? Thanks, Yvonne.
Thanks for the tips — great ideas!!!
Why haven’t I thought of using carpenter’s squares? I might steal a few of my husbands tools while he is gone. Thanks for the tips!
I just bought a large carpenters ruler, the largest they sale for squaring up quilts because lets just say not all the time does it really go ‘square’ by eyeing it or using a 24” ruler on a 90” quilt. LoL I also think they are much less expensive. I really love the genius idea of having something for the ruler to butt up against to help with it moving around anywhere. Your mind never seizes to amaze me.
Love the cutting board set up. Who made it for you? Where would I be able to find the parts to make one? What size mat are you using? Thanks for a great and thought provoking post.
Great tip-thanks! I just noticed you have a new picture–I like it!
New to your site, How did you get a table with the groves an then the piece you put in it? Carpenter square is great too. I have fold down cutting table but it does not have those groves. Kathy