Quilting is a wonderful hobby, but can be painful if you do not have the correct tools to work with. In addition to a fabric rotary cutter, cutting board and straight edged ruler, the right fabric cutting table can save time, money and most importantly help the muscles and nerves in your lower back to be straight when you are cutting fabric. Lower back pain can stop a quilter in her tracks and throw off the scheduled work on quilts as well as other tasks around the home.
Some quilters are used to using the table in the kitchen or dining area as a work space. This is only a temporary measure and not good for your back because these are not the most optimal height to allow for ease of cutting and they do not allow your back to be kept straight, reducing the chance of fatigue. Cutting tables, similar to those used by fabric shops, are a wonderful lifetime investment for the quilter.
There are many different fabric cutting tables on the market, the best ones measure three feet high by about five feet in length (36 inches tall by 60 inches long). They are made out of different types of materials ranging from pine, particle board to solid wood or even metal. The best ones will fold up when not in use to save space in your home and have casters on the bottom so they can be moved easily. As with any workspace, the layout is important.
Some of the tables have terrific features such as built in lights or storage for cutting tools. The most important part of investing in a fabric cutting table is to find one that you like and to make sure it fits you well and has the features you require to cut fabric easily. At the very least, a cutting table should hold a piece of fabric 45 inches wide and at least five or six feet in length. It is a good idea to invest in the largest table you can afford and that will also fit into the area you are using for quilting.
Fabric cutting boards are not just for cutting fabric, but they make a great workspace when cutting out patterns from material and laying them out, for example when it is time to put the three layers of the quilt together before basting it. A quilt table allows the space to do this and keeps the quilt at a comfortable height for you to baste or pin it before beginning to machine or hand quilt as desired.
Scrap booking, card making and other crafts are also why people invest in this type of tool for their hobbies. A good fabric cutting table will last for years and save your time, money and energy to make more quilts and other crafts for your friends and family.