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Declutter Challenge 2023 - Day 11 - Irons, Rulers & Cutting Mats


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Congratulation everyone. Today we are officially halfway through the challenge. I know that we have made many trips to the recycling and garbage and probably have a nice pile of stuff ready to donate.


Today’s challenge is about your cutting and ironing stations.


At our cutting station, we have already covered rotary cutters on Day 8. So today it’s about cutting boards and rulers. Our cutting boards deteriorate with use. No matter how good your technique, the more you cut the more permanent the grooves. So it’s time to take a good look at them. My big one I think is in its last year. If you have deep gouges, you might be able to last a bit longer by marking them and cutting in a different section but put on your brain dump to grab another when you find it on sale.



And How many do you have? How many do you need? Do they have the markings that you use? Last year I decluttered several sizes as they did not work with what and how I like to cut. I have a small rotary one that I use with sampler quilts but honestly I get by with these two 99% of the time. Storage is a big consideration for cutting boards as they need to lie or stand flat. I have made a video about cutting mats and how to care for them.



We need our rulers for accurate cutting. But we can quickly accumulate way more than our space can handle. And because of the variety of shapes and sizes, you might have them stored in several different spaces.



If you have been sewing for more than 5 years, you have probably tested out your fair share of rulers and the various brands. And most likely that the ones that you started with are not the same that you are using now. Because our hands are different shapes and strengths we might also differ in our selection of favourites.


No matter which ones you have it is critical that they remain in good shape as our accuracy in our piecing depends on them. So take a look at your rulers and ask yourself:

  • Are these broken or damaged?

  • Are numbers and increments still legible?

  • Are the corners still sharp enough to use?

You might also have duplicates? For example, I found I had a duplicate 9” ruler which I transferred to my travel kit. I also found I had an 8” and 2 ½” version of the same triangle ruler. Since neither are used very often, I’ll donate one.



And then there are the specialty rulers. In the days when we attended workshops, there was often a unique ruler that we needed. And now I have a pile that I will never use again. I just need to take a deep breath, forget about the money I spent, and add them to the donation pile.


And there are quilting rulers. I have moved mine to the studio where my long arm is. Even though i have only been longarm for 3 years I can see that there are some I might never use again.

And there are other types of rulers like measuring tapes and steel edged rulers. Last year I decluttered some dressmaking ones and several that I used to make maps back in my university days.


Now let’s take a look at your ironing station. I don’t know why, but many quilters hang on to their iron long after they have moved on to another brand. Let the old one go. If you have ones that leak, watch my video on leaking irons. If those tips don’t work, let it go.



How many wool mats do you have? I find myself with an extra one and I need to decide which size will work best to keep. Lastly, look around at those ironing accessories. The starch, the hams, the link removers. Based on the type of sewing you do, which ones do you actually need? I’m letting this sewing stick go. Open flat seams are too fussy for me.


Wow. As usual, I am surprised by the clutter I have hiding in plain sight.


So what did you find today. Don’t forget to share your photos. I just love seeing your progress. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #jgidqceclutter2023 #declutterchallenge2023 Take care and I will see you tomorrow for Day 12



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