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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > What size cutting mat should I buy? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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What size cutting mat should I buy?
~for use with rotary cutters~
ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 3/25/11 12:42 PM

I've only cut my fabric with dressmaker's shears to this point, but I am wanting to buy a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I see that they come in smaller sizes and then there's a pretty huge mat! Which do I probably want? (I sew little clothes for my girls...apparel for myself...gifts...home dec mainly. I don't quilt at all at this point. So that's what I'd be using it for.)

Also, is any brand "the best" or would I be fine with just about any of them?

Thanks!

ValerieJ
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ValerieJ  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/25/11 12:46 PM

I'd get the biggest you can afford and have space for. Those little girls are going to get bigger, and then you'll need bigger pieces of fabric. The larger your cutting mat the less you'll have to move the fabric around.

I'd look for something that's self-healing, but otherwise I don't think brand matters much. Oh, and you might also want one with a grid on it. I have a mat with a grid and that's helpful.

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 3/25/11 12:49 PM

Wow, thanks Valerie!!! Those are all good points I hadn't considered.

And yes....they do keep getting bigger. Good thing I can sew and otherwise find sales!

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 3/25/11 12:52 PM


I purchased one about three by five foot from Joanns when it was on asle.. has really held up well.. Definitely vote for getting the largest you have space for on a desk.. or wherever you do your cutting..

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to poorpigling


Date: 3/25/11 12:58 PM

3x5.....that is big, poorpigling! ::giggle:: But I do have a handy space to store it and then pull out when I cut. I guess it's really too small that would be any kind of drawback, not too big...nothing like trying to cut the fabric and roll your rotary cutter along into.....the table, or the carpet, or whatever!

I will try to get big!

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/26/11 2:03 AM

I have a cutting table with a drop leaf. I mostly keep one side up, and open both sides for large projects. I have 2 36x24 mats that I stack on top of each other when 1 leaf is down. I put them side by side when both leaves are up.
I prefer the 'pinnable' style, they're a little thicker and you can use push pins in them. I don't use the pins often, but they're helpful with pattern alterations.
-- Edited on 3/26/11 2:05 AM --

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to ShantiSeamstressing


Date: 3/26/11 8:06 AM

If I had the table space for it, where it could be up permanently, I'd get one that is 32 x60 or so. When 45" fabric is folded in half, it's about 23", which is the width of a large mat. Then of course, the 60" length is easy to work with (maybe even 72" would be better because that's two yards.) But a larger mat would take up too much space in my sewing room which is 9x11 or so. So if you can, go big early. I use a mat that is from out West. It's white with blue letters, and very easy to see, no matter which color fabric I have. I use one to take to my quilting classes. It has a five year warranty, but one has recently broken, and it's about 8 years old.

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ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 3/26/11 10:04 AM

Thank you MissFairchild and Diane! I can see the consensus is - bigger mat is better! I'm glad I asked here first before just buying.

labeelady

labeelady  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/26/11 10:56 AM

I have three sizes that I use. I have one of those small fold up kind with the cutting mat on one side, ironing pad on the other. It's handy to set my iron on when I'm using the larger cutting mats. The next size up is 12 x 18, which also has a pressing pad on the other side.
The larger one I keep rolled up until I need it. It was meant to fit on top of a cutting table, which I have, but I am letting my neighbor keep it for me in her shop as I don't have room for it yet!

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AliceM
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AliceM
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Date: 3/26/11 12:17 PM

I have 4' x 8' table with a mat the same size. It is white with a blue grid on it. It is cutting heaven! No matter what is stacked on that table there is always an empty space somewhere that can be cut on. It is great for big patterns and the occasional sheet or curtains. I also have 4 tall stools around it so I can have parties with my friends. So y'all come over and we can have fun!

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