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Thread: I need information on cutting mats and their care!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Gulf Coast, FL
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    1,429
    Okay, currently I am have my mother's cutting mat on "long term borrow", as in who knows when I can afford to by one of my own, and she's not quilting these days, etc.

    Now she is very protective of it, which I can understand, it's a 24"X36" and we know those don't come cheap. Normally I get it out when I need it, and leave it on the floor near where I'm sewing, but as that seems to be a main thru-of-fair for my home, I've noticed people not always being careful to step over it, or slipping on the rulers in the case of my daughter, which nearly always results in a wiggle to keep from falling.

    So I'm trying to keep myself busy and spend ZERO dollars. :D I cleaned all afternoon to make room for a "sewing area", all is left is what to do with the mat...

    I've noticed that some people here have their cutting mat on their sewing table, along with the sewing machine. My DH is concerned, is it okay for the sewing machine to sit on the cutting mat?!?!?

    In my review of our postings, I saw comment about using a green nylon scrubber to clean bits of fabric out of it and that seemed to work rather well. Does anyone know any reason why I shouldn't do that?

    When I was cutting the fabric for my daughter's baby clothes quilts, I had lots of trouble with keeping the cutting mat clean, and it was always a big effort, between fabric caught in the mat and my cats being convinced it's the best place in the world to sleep (it seemed to attract fur and dirt). After cutting all that fabric for the quilts I've been keeping it put away, instead of on the table with me. But for convience I'd like to have it on the table with the sewing machine as I have seen others do in their sewing rooms. As I'm working on smaller projects and only cutting a little will I continue to have trouble with the mat attracting dirt ect, and therefore have to deep clean it every morning?

    So maybe you can just tell me everything I need to do to take care of this mat, until I buy one for my one. I would hate for my mom to think I was mistreating it.

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Central FL
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    You can hang up cutting mats, or store them between mattress and box spring when not in use. I have one big one that lives under an area rug until it's time to cut long strips. If you find you are repeatedly cutting in the same place, you may want to flip the mat over, or at least turn it, to even out the wear.

    I don't think leaving rulers on the floor is a good idea at all - slippery, fragile, AND expensive.I have a large portfolio-type bag that holds the ones I rarely use, and my everyday ones hang from the ends of a bookcase.

  3. #3
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    AZ/Utah border
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    I've noticed that some people here have their cutting mat on their sewing table, along with the sewing machine. My DH is concerned, is it okay for the sewing machine to sit on the cutting mat?!?!?

    I don't think that I would rest my sewing machine on a mat for very long, for fear that it would leave an imprint. If the mat gets that imprint, it may not cut very straight! I have several sizes for the various projects I have. I have a small one that is to the left of my sewing machine for little trimmings. My biggest one lives under my bed. The only other thing under the bed is a few dust bunnies, and my baby kitty to chase them! :lol:

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NE Pa.
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    If mats are exposed to heat of any kind it will warp. So always hang it up on the back of a door, slide it under the living room sofa or under your bed. Never let the sun lite hit it. Also if you blade is dull it will do damage to the board. I would not rest my machine on the board either. My DH drilled two tiny holes in the end of my board so I put some string thru them to hang it up. I also hang most of my rulers up on a peg board in my sewing room. they to, will snap easily and break if stepped on. These things are expensive and need to be well taken care of. Marge

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Gulf Coast, FL
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    My goal with this is really to have the mat out where I can have constant access to it as it's difficult for me to go pulling the mat out from under the bed or any of the numerous other places I've tried to stash it. The table that I sew at only recieves diffuse lighting. I have room to have it beside my sewing machine, but was trying to work out having a bit more room.

    A year or two ago my husband picked up a brand new Vyco Drafting Board Cover, and while these are self healing they are not meant to be cutting mats. I had thought to use that on my table, but it's not worth the risk of messing it up with the rotary cutter.

    I understand the value of these precious cutting materials that was why I was trying to learn specific care. :cry:

  6. #6
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Mission, BC
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    I wipe my mat down with a wet dish cloth, and it cleans it really nice. Those were the cleaning instructions that came with my mat :)

  7. #7
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Central FL
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    There are some guidelines for choosing, using, and caring for mats and rotary cutters here:

    http://www.sewing.org/html/guidelines.html

  8. #8
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Stacyville Iowa
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    I have one of the 4 foot plastic tables that I bought for 20 , It doesn't take up too much room so i am able to leave mys mat out. Of course, my kids are all grown and the dogs don't go in my sewing room.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    36
    Hi, good for you for looking out for your mom's mat. I have an idea for your ruler's. A friend here had her DH take a wide piece of wood, hers is 6 inches by 12 inches and 1 and 3/4 inch thick. He used a saw or router to cut grooves about a half inch apart along the full lenght of the piece of wood. It was then sanded and varnished. She can stand all her rulers on end in the grooves so they don't disappear under the fabrics on her work table.
    The stands are so popular with her pals that he sells them at quilt shows and local market stalls

  10. #10
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South Puget Sound, Wa. State
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    I store all my cutting mats on their sides behind a small cabinet that house some of my supplies in my sewing room.
    When I need a cutting mat, I just pull one out from between the cabinet and the wall.
    TO clean it, I use a lint roller and a damp dishcloth.
    K

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