thread bits // extending the markings on your cutting mat
Yesterday I had been sitting and prepping some English paper piecing, cutting diamonds and snipping away at fabric. And then it was time to go out for dinner with the family. As I was on the way to the car, I noticed that I had evidence of my previous activity all over the front of me.
"I'm covered in thread bits!" I exclaimed as brushed myself off and climbed into the car.
My brother told me that "thread bits" sounded like a blog. Or like something you'd put on a blog. Like, "Now it's time for Monday Thread Bits!" And I kind thought he was right. And in a perfect world, this would be an every Monday sort of thing. But I'm just calling it Thread Bits, and we'll see when and how often it comes around. I'm living with grace here!
I picture Thread Bits as little tips and ideas, as well as some fun things I find to share with you. Sound good? Here's our very first Thread Bit!
If you follow me on Instagram, this one isn't new to you. It's an idea I had the other day and shared as soon as I discovered it. But it was too good to keep only for the IG crowd.
My cutting mat has markings for up to 21 inches the long way, even though the mat is more like 23 inches. When you're cutting the width of fabric, most quilting cottons are over 21 inches folded in half. How are you supposed to cut it accurately when the fabric covers the markings?
Sometimes I fold it again (cutting through four layers), but that invites more chance for error. After fussing with it a bit, a light bulb went off. It's probably gone off for many people before me, but it sometimes takes me a while to catch on.
Anyway, here's the simple solution: Use washi tape to extend the markings to the edge of the cutting mat.
You could do this for all of the markings, or just what you're cutting that particular time. I was cutting 10-inch strips, so to be able to just have one set of markings (each edge!) to line up with made it even easier. And you can peel away the tape just like that!
For a very helpful series (that is certainly an inspiration for Thread Bits), check out Terrific Tip Tuesdays from May Chappell!