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Thread: cutting mat

  1. #1
    Super Member ruthie's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    I have an old cutting mat, probably around 25 years old. It has got very cut up and it isn't self healing anymore, or at least not very well. Any ideas on how to rejuvenate it? I love it and really don't want to get a new one.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Ruthie .... I don't know of any way to rejuvenate these... I had to break down and buy a new one recently....I bought one that is usable on both sides this time....so now when I finish using it, I hang it up with the side I was using facing out and then I know to turn it to the other side the next time I go to use it...that way one side isn't taking all the beating.

    I had BIG chips coming off my old one so was running into those with the cutter and ruining my blades.... you may find that you go thru blades less often with a new mat too!

  3. #3
    Super Member ruthie's Avatar
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    Thanks Patsy, I do go though a lot of blades. Guess I'll have to break down and buy one :cry: It hurts though, there are so many other wonderful gadgets to buy. But I guess you have to prioritize. :?

  4. #4
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    If you continue to use the old mat it will dull your blades. Buying a new one makes your blades last longer. Like everything else they wear out. I know one lady who treats herself to a new mat everyyear on her birthday. It is well worth the inverstment. Marge

  5. #5

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    Ladies
    Just a FYI, I recently found out. A office supply sells, self healing mats. Yes they are cheaper. I checked it out for myself. I payed 50.00 for my mat at JoAnns, The large one. That was about 5 yrs ago. But I went to office depot the other day and altho they did'nt have the really large one, the had several different sizes, lower prices, as well as various rulers. I'm buying myself a new mat at the office supply, I save money there to spend more on fabric. And I mite pick up a couple of extra rulers, they have nice metal ones.

  6. #6

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    i too had to give up my old matt bought a new one then donated my old one to the grandchildrens craft closet that way when they are cutting ,gluing,painting i don't have to worry about my table and my old friend is still being used

  7. #7
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    I can understand your reluctance to get another mat. I bought one (smaller than my home model) to take when I go to "off campus" quilting affairs. The outgassing from the darn thing is unreal. That being said, I would rather put up with the outgassing than a mat that is not performing up to what it should be. I NEVER want to fight with my tools.

    M

  8. #8
    Leslee's Avatar
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    Awful, isn't it? I think it's the rubber in the cutting mat. Smells like a sack full of skunks!

  9. #9

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    hi all, i take my old mats and use it to glue things on fabric and if i am making a crayon quilt i use the old mat to color on, i also use it when i'm sitting down watching tv with my husband in another room drawing lines for HST. a new mat is good investment
    happy quilting Annette

  10. #10
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I make sure to use the 40% or 50% off coupons I get for JoAnns when I need to buy a cutting mat or ruler, saves quite a bite of money. I have the 24" one and also the really big one, which they had on sale for $20 a while back.

    They will also take coupons from Michael's, but not for fabric.

  11. #11
    CRH
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    I was recently advised at a large quilt show that Olfa cutting mats were the best for NOT dulling blades. She said especially the white ones were hard on blades, and didn't recommend Fiskars or Dritz. Has anyone else heard this??

  12. #12
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    CRH, yes, the white mats are horrible for dulling blades quickly! :evil: One of our local quilt shops used to use one and we all learned to avoid using it because of that problem.

    I find I end up buying a mat every few years, though I like the idea of buying one every year for my birthday.

    You ladies have come up with some great ideas on recycling old mats. I've got one that would be perfect for when my grandson (due in a few weeks) is old enough to start drawing, painting, et cetera. The other one that I have, I am still using the back but the front is shot. When my mat dies I turn them over and get new life from them. (Remember, you're not supposed to measure using your mat so the plain back works just fine for cutting.) I do have projects that require glueing and using the beat up side of the mat for that is an excellent idea!

    I just love all the different tips and ideas I pick up from you ladies!
    ~Tiffany

  13. #13
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    The white one is bad for blades?!?! :evil: I bought one on sale at Joanne's at the day after Thanksgiving sale!

  14. #14
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    I bought a mat a while back and it had triangular chunk come out after 2-3 uses! They sent me a new one. Another smelled so bad I couldn't take it! Now I smell before I buy. :lol:
    I'm so glad for the color tip. Mine is now an awful yellow on one side and pink on the other-- :shock: but I've been using the same blade for an incredible amount of time--a year? That's never happened before.

    I saved on old one for cutting batting for ragged flannels--they seem to wreck a mat.

  15. #15
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    Does your Michaels carry fabric? Ours here in GA. doesn't carry fabric. They carry the sewing supplies but unfortunatly no fabric.

  16. #16
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    Tiffany I haven't been quilting very long so I haven't heard. But what is the reason why you aren't to measure using your mat?

  17. #17
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    yeah, I have been cutting batting on my mat also and having a time getting it off. Hate that batting sometimes.

  18. #18
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum
    ...I've been using the same blade for an incredible amount of time--a year? That's never happened before.

    I saved on old one for cutting batting for ragged flannels--they seem to wreck a mat.
    A whole year!?! :shock: Girlfriend, treat yourself to a new blade. You deserve it! A whole year. Good grief! I have to use a new blade at least once a month, twice if I'm working on a lot of projects, especially charity quilts.

    I have a used blade that isn't too bad and I use it for cutting out paper, plastic templates, stuff like that. It's clearly marked 'Used' with a sharpy pen so I don't get it mixed up with the fabric blades. I keep the cases they come in and store them in that.
    ~Tiffany

  19. #19
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    I have a new cutting blade...but I refuse to open it until the other is useless. :lol: Usually a blade will drive me nuts by not cutting the whole peiece-oh how I hate having to recut it and it's all out of line from me trying to pick it up. :? This cutter was headed to the used stuff drawer--but when I switched mats it became like new again.

    Tiffany--I don't quilt as much as I'd like--but it has seen a lot of use. Besides that I hate getting used to a new one--and I'll cut myself!! :roll:

  20. #20
    Senior Member HisPatchwork's Avatar
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    I purchased a large mat that smelled like skunk! I contacted the company and they sent me a replacement mat and it was fine. They said something about how it was handled in the manufacturing or curing process that caused the problem.

  21. #21
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum
    Tiffany--I don't quilt as much as I'd like--but it has seen a lot of use. Besides that I hate getting used to a new one--and I'll cut myself!! :roll:
    Well I certainly can't argue with that. :wink: I have to tell you, I put a new blade into my rotary cutter yesterday morning in preparation for the all day quilt sew-in. Darn thing felt odd and I thought of you every time I used it. :P :D
    ~Tiffany

  22. #22
    Steve's Avatar
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    I agree with mary705, wait till you get a good coupon and go for it. It's one quilting item that's well worth the price of admission.

  23. #23
    CRH
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    Quilter J: I think the reason not to use cutting mats for measuring is accuracy. The line on mats are often wider and by cutting on one side or the other on some pieces can change the size of a whole block by the time you put many pieces together. I try to use the same ruler for cutting a project for the same reason- I tend to position and cut more consistently.

  24. #24
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Sorry, somehow I missed this post completely. :oops:

    The lines on cutting mats are not accurate. Some are better than others but almost all of them seem to have at least one area that is off. What you can do to check your mat is to take one of your rulers and simply lay it over your mat and try to match up the lines. You may notice where the lines on the mat drift from one side or the other compared to the lines on your ruler. I used to use the lines on my mat. I would be super careful to measure and cut everything out just right but there were times my pieces wouldn't sew together right and I used to get so frustrated! It wasn't until I took an Intermediate Piecing class that I learned mats are not printed accurately. I measured my matt and was stunned when the differences added up to about 2 inches, with one area between the 16-18 inch area on my mat really being off. :shock: It wasn't easy but I forced myself to use only my ruler for measuring and I have to tell you, my piecing has become very accurate since then. Yay! I will typically use one line on the matt to line up my fabric, but otherwise I measure everything with my ruler. It does make it easier when flipping a used mat over and using the blank back. I simply draw a horizontal and vertical line with a permanent marker and I'm good to go. :thumbup:
    ~Tiffany

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