Cutting Mat Worn Out

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Got this new cutting mat about two months ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels. Was too lazy to move all the “stuff” I have sitting on the corners to set up the new one.

Until last night…

Tired of having to reswipe at all the worn out spots on the old mat, I switched it out. I got my money’s worth, for sure, and then some. I had used it for SIX MONTHS!!

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Don’t have any experience to know whether this is good or bad. Being a new quilter and all. Being new to rotary cutting. Let me ask the experienced quilters. Is that normal? Going through a couple of cutting mats a year.

While I was at it, I changed to a new rotary cutting blade. Same. Ditto. Got it months ago with a JoAnn’s 50% off coupon. It needed to be changed weeks ago. But was too lazy. After my fabric ends started to fray, I knew it was time.

So…. new mat, new blade. Makes cutting so much easier.

Especially easier for the blocks I am making I was telling you about.

Finally, I think I know where I am going with this. Design getting clearer and clearer.



BTW, sewing on Itty Bitty has really improved. Maybe it just needed to be sewn on and loosen up a bit. I have one less complaint. I can now advance the thread out with just one pull. No more tugging and pulling and twisting the side knob. Yippee!!

I wish I could sew a straighter line though. It seems to “hop” when I sew over a seam. But I am feeling better about it. Better than a few days ago. (3 working days and counting. 7 to go before I get my real sewing machine back.) I am thinking I will leave Itty Bitty set up. I can use it for a quick seam if I using a quilting foot on Big Jan.

I am all caught up on hand sewing. Bindings on a few placemats, mug rugs. Will have to take photos to show you.


8 comments on “Cutting Mat Worn Out

  1. Lennette says:

    You’ve been doing quite a bit of cutting and quilting Donna, so it is very normal to have to replace your cutting mat every 6 months. You might get a bit more time from your mat if you try to use only as much pressure as you need to. By lessening the pressure you apply to the rotary cutter, your blades and your mat will last a bit longer. Definitely replace your blade every time you start getting skips in the cuts (like if you nick the blade on a pin etc) or when you notice that it just isn’t cutting as well. When I’m doing a lot of cutting, I definitely have to replace my cutting mat. If you use the 36″ mat, be sure to move your fabric to different locations on the mat so that you aren’t cutting on the same line again and again. I love your color choices for the challenge block! I can’t wait to see your finished project!

    • don_mae says:

      I think I do press too hard. I have that sized mat and I try to rotate the whole thing every couple weeks and use different areas. But usually end up in the same spot due to where I position the ruler.

      Thanks much.

  2. Michelle says:

    HOLY TOLEDO WOMAN! Me thinks you are pressing WAY TOO hard on that thing. I’ve made many quilts and have had the same three cutting mats for years.

    • don_mae says:

      Yep. I am still doing it.

      And my hand hurts. Both of them. The right for pressing too hard. The left for holding the ruler in place while I press too hard with the other. LOL!!!

  3. Betty (Nana) says:

    I don’t know what to say. I have had my cutting mat 15-20 years.
    What are you cutting on yours….firewood?
    LOL! Sorry, just had to tease you.
    I use mine a lot, but it feels like a hard surface, not softer like the ones I see now.
    Now, I wore out a sewing machine in 6 months with all my Ebay orders, but not my cutting mat.
    This is one interesting blog,BTW!

  4. don_mae says:

    LOL!! Yep, firewood. I am really heavy handed. Even when I try to go soft and smooth, I end up pressing the crap out of the mat. 😀

    Thanks, Nana. I try to keep thing interesting.

  5. Crystal says:

    Does anyone notice that the mats have a very strong odor?

    Honestly, sometimes when I pass the store section where they are on display – the smell is just awful.

    I was going to get a small one for little projects, but I was afraid it might always retain that smell. Are they making them from new materials these days?

    • don_mae says:

      I noticed that too. Especially right after bringing it home. But it does go away after a while. I am thinking about a week.

      Michaels just sent me a 50% off one item coupon good only for Friday, 7-8. Now I have to decide what to buy. I already stocked up on cutting blades at Joann’s. They were half off through 7-4.

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