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Thread: What size cutting mat and rotary cutter to buy?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kryssa's Avatar
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    I'm taking a beginning quilting class and the supply list says to buy a rotary cutter and mat.

    What is a good size for a beginner to buy? For the mat, it needs to be portable because I'll be taking it to classes.

  2. #2
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    I would recommend a 12x18 cutting mat and a 45mm rotary cutter for class. You will want a larger mat for some things; but this size is great to transport because it fits nicely in a tote bag. The ergonomic Olfa rotary cutter is great and I am a big fan of Olfa self-healing mats. I think JoAnns has alot of stuff on sale right now also.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Kryssa's Avatar
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    Thanks! What about scissors? What brand and size is good to have?

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The only mat I own is 12 x 18. I wish it were bigger some days but it always gets the job done and would be great to transport.

    I have basic Fiskar sewing scissors. I'm sure there are much better ones available, but I didn't want to make a huge investment until I found out if I would stick with quilting or not. So far, so good. Quilt #3 is ready to be sandwiched tomorrow and Quilt #4 is about half pieced.

  5. #5
    shaverg's Avatar
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    I love my gingher scissors. I have the black ones very affordable and excellent scissor, I actually have 2 pair. I use the 24" mat. and a 45m Olfa rotary cutter.

  6. #6
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I'm going to second Mamaw's comment. When I bought my first cutting mat, I was told to make sure the mat was green, self-healing. I think now that was to make sure I bought an Olfa mat, which seem to preserve the life of blades the best and are self-healing longer.
    My favourite cutter is by Fiskar's, and is similar to Olfa's ergonomic one but smaller. I love it and never suffer hand fatigue from it.
    Gingher makes good scissors. The last time I looked in Joann's, they were a reasonable price. Basically, any scissors that are comfortable for your hand will be good. I'd be more inclined to buy myself a tiny pair because I snip more little threads than cut with larger shears.
    Welcome to the world of quilting. Have fun!!

  7. #7
    Honey's Avatar
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    I agree with mawmaw on the mat and cutter. I have a pair of regular Ginghers and a small pair I keep by my machine. When I am on the go I have a pair of Fiskars that I carry with me. I have a friend that has almost as many scissers as she does fabric :!: We all have our individual foibles :oops:

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have a mat that is 17 x 24 and it has a handle. I believe it is by June Tailor.

  9. #9
    Super Member tigger5464's Avatar
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    I need to invest in a larger self healing mat myself, but currently have a 12 x 18 size. My rotary cutter is 45mm and I love it. As for scissors, I've invested in the spring loaded by fiskars. The best investment I've made so far, and the easiest on my disabled hand. Small enough to snip threads but also enough to cut fabrics when needed. Have fun quilting :D

  10. #10
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    At a recent class, there was a newbie who sat next to me. She had bought/brought a 12x18" mat and a 6" ruler which were not quite big enough. I would suggest a mat at least 24" long so, when cutting a strip (where fabric is usually 42" wide) from selvage to selvage, you can fold it in half and, now measuring 21", it will fit on the mat. This is also why a 6x24" ruler is best, in my opinion.

    As for scissors, I keep a small pair at my machine to snip threads and a pair of Fiskars on my cutting table. Just make sure no one uses your scissors for something other than fabric; it does make a difference. Using a Sharpie, or some other permanent marker, I label mine on the blade.. "Fabric only" ... "Paper." Glad I did. The last time I tried to use the paper scissors on fabric, it was a struggle!

    One last note... label your mat, ruler, and scissors with your name before going to class. With so many of us buying the same tools, things can get mixed up very easily.

    Have fun & welcome to our world!

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