Friday, May 31, 2013

I has a question . . .

. . . and I would like to hear some advice and opinions!


My cutting mat has seen its better days. Lots of grooves with thread stuck in there, and places where my rotary cutter slips into old ruts.

Ah, me. It's been a workhorse, and I can't complain. We've cut lots of fabric together. But it's time for a new one.

Hence the problem. (Grin)  Have you seen all the choices out there? Wow, there is a jaw-dropping array of sizes and colors, and even the rotary cutters are new and improved!



I would really appreciate it if some of you wonderful Lilypadquilters could clue me in on products that have worked well for you.



If a particular brand, size or color cutting mat has helped you, or if there is a shaped rotary cutter that you just wouldn't be without, inquiring froggies and dragons want to know!


I figure this is a relationship that will last for years, so I want to make the best choice!

Love,



37 comments:

  1. I recently had to replace my mat too and you know I do lots of cutting. I bought a friskars mat, because I was tired of the dark green. I already have grooves in it where I cut most often :( I wipe down my mat all the time to get the fuzzies off and so it will "heal". I'll definitely be watching this post!!!

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  2. I really like my gray June Tailor mat. I've had it for years and I do a lot of cutting. It has held up very well.

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  3. Before getting a new mat go out and buy an old fashioned "gum eraser". Use that to completely clean out the grooves.

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  4. I have used my Olfa mat and rotary cutter for years. I really think marrying the same brands is a plus. I used my friends gray mat once, and my brand new blade dulled on the first cut. So that may be a little clue, to use the same brand cutter as the mat. As for me, I will stick with Olfa. After so many years of good service, I can't see changing.

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  5. Oh and have you turned your mat and used the back side? You really don't need the numbers if you use your acrylic ruler. You can also turn the mat vertical and change your cutting pattern.

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  6. I bought a very large mat (58x 33) from Joann's with a 40% off coupon, it's white with black grid lines. I have 8 plywood storage cubes that I put some plywood sheeting on that I had cut and the mat is on top. Great for cutting and storage. I also have a Fiskers 13x13 rotating mat also bought from Joann's with a coupon. Good luck with all the choices. ;-> Toni Anne

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  7. I have a blue and megenta color 18" x 24" June Taylor matts, but sometimes there are color fabrics I can't see on them. I have a green 24" x 36" Olfa matt that is our primary - and I cut a 8" x 8" piece from a very old matt (don't rmember the brand) that I use on an old lazy susan for a revolving matt. I rotate my matts so I am not cutting in the same areas - like Sanda suggested, the old gum eraser works well to clean and heal the matt - even an old 'onion net bag' or shower scrunchy to scrub the grit out.

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  8. I have a Clover brand cutting mat and love it, have had it many years and it is holding up really well. The only place I have grooves is where I was cutting circles and wasn't holding the rotary cutter straight and because the blade went in on an angle it left a bit of a mark (doesn't affect it's performance though). I have an Olfa cutter with the curved handle that automatically retracts the blade when you grip it and covers the blade as soon as you let go. I always used to forget to close the blade cover and this has saved me many times over!

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  9. Meant to say too that I have the Olfa rotating mat and it is not much fun to use because you need a clear space the size of the diagonal measurement of the mat so you can spin it around.

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  10. I've worn out several mats.....so far my favorite is from Martelli. We found them at a trade show...the mat has two sides, one yellow, and one purple...that surprisingly help a great deal when you need to see the mat rather than the fabric. They are also heat resistant. If you place a hot coffee cup, or lap top on it, NO warping happens. This also means you can use it as an ironing surface in a pinch.

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  11. I have the same big one that tpott mentions I think. It too has seen better days but since it's a heavier plastic-y material it has lasted a while. This is the kind that fits on top of the cutting table that Joann's sells often. I should get a replacement myself. I just saw a rotary cutter that is super easy to switch blades in - Olfa Splash. I am thinking of investing in one :)

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  12. I purchased a white mat very large at JoAnns and it lasted about 2 years, I will never buy a 'hard' cutting mat again. I have had a smaller Olfa for years and it hasn't worn through the way this one did. Recently it cracked, so hubby cut part of it off and I can still use it. My cutter is the titanium Fiskars cutter, it cuts so smoothly and I do not like the ones with the loop type handles, they are difficult for my hands to grip!

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  13. My mat's not great, I'm going to turn it around and renumber it with sharpie though as all my grooves are on the left (I'm left handed). I'm about to buy a small cutting mat though so I can turn it when squaring up blocks that are 12" and smaller rather than twisting my wrists or slipping with the ruler and having to line up again. I think it will make trimming more enjoyable.

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  14. Great timing for this post as I've been thinking of getting a new mat. I didn't have good luck with my Fiskar mat, but my Olfa mat has lasted a long time. I've had it at least 8 or 9 years, but it's getting kind of worn now. I use a mat scrubber (it's a round thing) to clean off the threads. I love my Martelli cutter and didn't know there was a mat until I saw the comment above. I'll be watching this post closely to see what everyone is saying. :O)

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  15. I had a Fiskar mat that rotated (sort of, it kept jumping off the spinner thing) and after a short while it was full of ruts and parts of the mat have fallen out. I guess you get what you pay for, I'll never buy another! My Mr. gifted me with an Olfa mat and cutter this past Christmas and so far so good! It's a generous 18" x 24" and I can cut on either side...bonus

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  16. I have found that the Olfa mats hold up better than the others that I have used over the years. I wish they made them in pretty colors though!

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  17. I have a Olfa mat that I use all the time and it's still holding up strong. I also bought one of their spinning mats that I can't live without. Purchased it at JoAnns when they were 40% off and I had a 15% off coupon so I scored on it. I use the Fiskars rotary cutter you have pictured. I had the earlier version and used it for years and then it broke. They have a lifetime warranty so I emailed them and after sending a picture of the broken one I was sent a new one in less than four days. Hope this helps with your decision.

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  18. I've always chosen fiskars and love the mat/cutter n ruler combo... now I read somewhere online a while ago to NEVER cut batting on the board, and after I stopped that the board has lasted a lot longer..... I don't like the blue mat you are showing, my neighbor gave me one and I tried it once and don't like it.
    reminds me, I have to change my BLADE!!

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  19. I have an Olfa mat and it is in great shape. Make sure it says 'self-healing' on the tag. And run a scratch pad~ nylon net or some other kitchen pad~ over its surface if you cut batting or flannel~ it helps to clean out the little grooves. ;-) Happy shopping!

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  20. I have a huge white mat (like an earlier commenter) that I leave on my cutting table. I use a mat simply for the mat's sake. I rarely use it for the lines. I have two small mats I take places. I read somewhere once that it's nice to have mats in different colors because of the different colors of fabrics we use. I agree with that thought process. Good luck!

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  21. I have a June Tailer (which surprises me) that has been with me for years and has easily had hundreds of quilts cut on it. Get the largest that will fit your space, a bigger one sounds great but it will be a real pain if it's hanging over edges. Self healing is very important, those plastic ones just don't last. If I have to buy a new one I would definitely buy the same one.

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  22. I have the blue one and it's not heat resistant but it's not bad. My green Olfa ones have lasted forever. I just have basic boring olfa cutters..about 7 years old now and just replace the blades as needed. It's the stupid blades that are overpriced and wish they lasted longer.

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  23. The self healing mats are great. I have gone through so many mats until this new one.

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  24. I think the Olfa mats are supposed to be better than Fiskar's, but they cost so much more that I went with Fiskar. Not only was the mat a lower price, it has the numbers printed on both sides, so it's like getting 2 mats for the price of one. I've been happy with it. I've had it at least a year so far.

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  25. I'm glad you asked this because I really need a new mat. Mine is just a cheap blue one from Walmart and it's been crumbling for months now. Little blue flecks everywhere.

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  26. Love the self healing ones - And I cut up my old ones to keep by my machine for trimming little blocks instead of having to actually get up and walk my lazy self across the room to trim.... ahem....

    Any cutter that closes itself when I'm not gripping it is a good idea to me. I am lousy about closing them, and my teacher used to call my name across the sewing classroom to remind me to shut it... Sadly, she isn't available for home reminders!

    Joann's with a coupon (or several). Definitely, for tools, I would go there if possible.

    Love,
    Thing I

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  27. I have the rotating one in the picture above, I like it but I am so used to turning my fabric to cut that I find myself still turning it. I also have a huge cutting mat - 28x52 that I use on my table. I needs a little sanding down but I'm hoping to get 2 more years out of it - I've made 2 already. As far as rotary cutters go, Olfa ergonomic 45 mm is what I use, super helpful for my crummy hands! Happy Shopping!!!

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  28. First tip, use the back side! Because of the on-line shop I have had to cut hundreds of fat quarters. I have cut through the mat. Then I flip it over and use the other side. I have tried them all and the one that held up the longest is the good old green Olfa. I will only use that one. I also use the Olfa 45 straight cutter and have for 20+ years. Good luck. let us know what you get!

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  29. I use Olfa also. All of the quilt shops I've ever been in use the Olfa mats and they cut thousands of yards of fabric. If it's good for them, it's perfect for me. The last time Joann's had 60% off coupons, I purchased the Olfa rotating mat. It's wonderful!

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  30. I replaced mine early last year and went with the Fiskars double sided yellow & green large one 36 x 23. I really like it and once one side wears out, I'll flip it over & use the other side. I could really not get by without my ergonomic rotary cutters. I have both the Grace and the Martelli 45mm . I find myself using the Grace one more these days, but like them both, hardly ever use any other cutters than these, although I own all of the different ones.

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  31. Try to clean your mat with an eraser, an oldfashioned one, before you throw it out, an eraser does miracles or your cutting mat and it turns out new. I had deep groves with lint sticking in them on my cutting mat, and it turned yout like new with the eraser.

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  32. I have to say that I have used several brands of mat and my favorite is the Olfa. It does seem to cut better and last longer. In fact I ordered a new one last week. (I had a % off coupon code)

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  33. I am going to be investing in a large Martinelli mat on recommendation from some other quilters... I like my Olfa very much but I have such a hard time cutting dark fabrics on it so I'm looking forward to cutting on yellow or purple!

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  34. I use the plain old green mat! I bought a white one that fits my cutting table, but every blade I have tried on it skips. It does not appear to be self healing, either. I love my Martelli ergo 60 mm cutter.
    http://www.martellicatalog.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=MC&Category_Code=RC

    Most of my sewing friends do not like it!

    Nan

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  35. I have a self-healing Fiskars that I've had for years.... but I probably don't cut as much as maybe you and your other readers probably do. This was an interesting post to read the comment responses' opinions. Let us know what you decide!! Hugs!

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  36. I got a Martinelli at a quilt show several yrs ago. I really like it, but the ruler that they offer w/mat is not my cuppa. They recommend you use the mat lines to ensure cutting accuracy. I do not find that works well for me. HIH Oh I do like their rotary cutters and I got both left and rt. handed cutters. They seem to help my wrists in a long cutting session.

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  37. I have heard great things about the new aqua rotary cutting.
    I personally need the 12" rotating mat and the 24" x 36" mat.
    I have a couple of smaller ones to take to classes. Green mats are still the best:).

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