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Thread: Mat size

  1. #1
    Junior Member lynn7448's Avatar
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    I am new to quilting and purchased a 13"x18" mat for rotary cutting my squares. I need to cut 11" squares, but am having difficulty cutting this large square on the small mat.
    Are there any tricks you have learned to be able to use this size mat effectively or do I need to buy a larger mat?
    I would like to layer the fabric to be able to cut more than one square at a time, but have not been able to make a cut yet! This is very intimidating. I know, I should just bite the bullet and proceed but for some reason I just keep procrastinating.

  2. #2
    ToucanSam's Avatar
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    The mat I use most often is 24 x 36. Try Joann's, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Walmart. Check for coupons on the first three....

  3. #3
    mygirl66's Avatar
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    you could also try craigs list to see if there is a good deal on one!

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    that small of a mat would be good for taking to a class or to use for small squares, squaring up small blocks by your sewing machine ect. you of course can fold your fabric or layer it and cut multiple squares at once (with a sharp blade in my cutter i cut up to 4 layers at a time, i have a friend who cuts 8 layers at once but i loose accuracy with that many)
    so, at some point you will be wanting a larger mat but you can certainly make do with what you have, using a smaller ruler (to match the smaller mat) will make it easier too, it is hard when your ruler is larger than your cutting mat.

  5. #5
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I mostly use the 24"x36" for cutting my fabric. Only use the smaller when when doing PPing.

  6. #6
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I have mats from 6" squares on up and I like big ones for cutting at home, my pivoting one for class, or some of the mid size and the mid to small ones for paper piecing or tiny projects. Rulers are the same way, big ones for some things, small ones for others. If you're cutting large pieces of fabric then you want a large ruler and mat--small peices, small rulers and mats.

  7. #7
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    Personally speaking, if you can afford a bigger mat, go for it. I would go as big as I could afford.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
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    I have a 24x36 mat and I have a small one, its 6x12, I think. I usually use my big one, but I do get a lot of use out of that little one, too.

    I got that 24x36 Fiskars mat at Big Lots for $6!! It was priced $20 and was marked down, so you may want to check there first. That's a great deal.

  9. #9
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    I got that 24x36 Fiskars mat at Big Lots for $6!! It was priced $20 and was marked down, so you may want to check there first. That's a great deal.[/quote]

    wow that is a good price mine cost me nearly aus$100.00

  10. #10
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
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    Craigslist or garage sales!
    LaQuita

  11. #11
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie
    Personally speaking, if you can afford a bigger mat, go for it. I would go as big as I could afford.
    I agree. The better your work surface the more precisely you can cut.

  12. #12
    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go smaller than 18"x24" for home cutting...the other will work well for taking to classes and such...good luck! I use a couple of 24"x36" mats and one smaller to fill in all my cutting table space! Give yourself plenty of room to work without stress...

  13. #13
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I cut fabric on my 18 x 24 mat for years. I couldn't afford anything bigger. It involved folding the fabric. I had to be super careful though. I finally bought a bigger mat and I love it. Watch for sales and coupons and it won't be a huge expense.

  14. #14
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    I agree some "tools" are such a time saver they are a must!
    this is one of them!

  15. #15
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynn7448
    I am new to quilting and purchased a 13"x18" mat for rotary cutting my squares. I need to cut 11" squares, but am having difficulty cutting this large square on the small mat.
    Are there any tricks you have learned to be able to use this size mat effectively or do I need to buy a larger mat?
    I would like to layer the fabric to be able to cut more than one square at a time, but have not been able to make a cut yet! This is very intimidating. I know, I should just bite the bullet and proceed but for some reason I just keep procrastinating.
    The supply list I put together for a class I teach lists a 6"x24" ruler and an 18"x24" mat. There's a reason for those sizes.

    When you buy fabric off a bolt, it is usually 42" to 44" in width but, it comes off the bolt folded, resulting in fabric 21" to 22" wide. This width fits very nicely on a 24" mat. The diagram shows it better than I can explain.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Senior Member ClairVoyantQuilter's Avatar
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    Every other week, Hobby Lobby offers a 40% off coupon . . .I can even pull it up on my iPhone and show it at the register and still get the discount. Couldn't part with my 24x36" mat :)

  17. #17
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Sorry , no easy suggestions on how to make this mat work for your size squares . I know that is not what you wanted to hear . I would look for a bigger one if you can afford it with a coupon .

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlehud
    I cut fabric on my 18 x 24 mat for years. I couldn't afford anything bigger. It involved folding the fabric. I had to be super careful though. I finally bought a bigger mat and I love it. Watch for sales and coupons and it won't be a huge expense.
    Me too. After 20 years I finally bought a 24X 36 mat, and it is wonderful, but 18x24 is definately doable.

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