Happiness is having the right tools for the job.
I brought two small 12×18″ cutting mats to this residency. What I saved in shipping costs is lost in time and accuracy. I’m constantly re-positioning the mats and fabric, snipping threads in the gap between the mats, and can’t trust the mats’ printed grids to line up.
The uses and limitations of my sewing ruler is also clearer. It’s great for cutting seam allowances (always 5/8″ or 1/4″) and holds up very well to use and even dropping it! The density and hierarchy of information is just right (a principle that anyone whose used a tape measure with too much info can attest). But, while cutting ninety-six 6-7/8-inch squares for a checkerboard flag, I wished I had a square quilter’s ruler.
As I learned from my Portland Sewing lesson, you don’t adjust the shape as you’re sewing; when you sew, trust your cuts. Accurate cuts and tools means I get closer to actualizing things as I envisioned them.