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Thread: Question about cutting mats

  1. #1
    Junior Member Quilting G's Avatar
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    How often do they need to be replaced? it is a Fiskars and I bought it in a kit and have only cut 4 small quilts on it, but it is starting to show ware (nicks here and there). now these four quilts were made over a few years. Do the mats age as in a shelf life even if not used often?

    It is becoming difficult to cut accuratly due to the postions of these nicks. And I wondering what the best rout to take if I replace. Go cheap or will it pay to go to a more expensive brand..

    Thanks!


  2. #2
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    When you're cutting, are you pressing too hard with the cutter? Are you blades sharp, sometimes when they're dull, we have a tendency to press hard to cut. Also I've read that you're not supposed to keep cutting in the same area all the time. But, my best guess would be the first things-pressing too hard or dull blades. Maybe someone else can help you better than me.

  3. #3
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    There is a tool to use to smooth mats. It helps to heal some of the wounds! Yes, mats can wear out. There are self healing mats, some rather pricey. A good mat is a good investment! :lol:
    I cut in different areas so as not to wear a groove. But pushing too hard might be a problem. Elsewhere on this board there is a thread about using the tool to sharpen your blades :lol:
    I have had my mats for several years and they warp if not stored properly, and I have had that problem. :?

  4. #4
    quiltingchic's Avatar
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    I have two mats that are at least 5 years old I have turned one over and use the back side of it. I do not have fiskers mats, I did pay a little more money on a good mat and i think it makes a difference.
    Dawn

  5. #5
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I have one that is self healing, but I'm not crazy about it, there isn't an edge to it. The numbers start right on the edge. I've worn one dritz out but I now use it for my scrapbooking. The new mat I bought I'm rotating more, but I know i'm heavy handed. That's why I have to replace them so often. lol

    Sharon

  6. #6
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I'm sure like anything they can wear out. Mine has a few little nicks in it, but still is working fine. Try a lighter touch and maybe it will last longer.

  7. #7
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    The lady who taught me to quilt told me to buy a green mat - no other. I don't know the difference in quality of others, because I followed her instructions and bought a green mat (Olfa) and have never bought another one. It's holding up perfectly and I've had it about 7 years. The only time it shows any cut line is when I have cut something linty and have jammed fabric lint into the cut but a brushing with one of those body scrub thingys (thanks to a tip on here) and it's good as new. I don't use anything except a rotary cutter on my mat.

    Also - these mats regularly go on half-price at the discount fabric shops around here, so it wasn't even expensive.

  8. #8
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    Ditto what b.zang said about the Olfa self healing mat. I've only been using it since June last year but it has no markes on it at all.

  9. #9

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    I have three different size Olfa green mats and have been using them for over 10 years and they remain in perfect condition. Word of caution I learned the hard way: don't expose to sun (as in a car) My first year of quilting with my Olfa mat was left in the backseat of my car and it warped horribly. They are the best and worth the money. Again, wait for that discount coupon.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Go to a auto or hardware store (or your DH's toolbox) and buy a round honing stone. It will smooth a cutting mat and minimize the cut lines as well as get all the lint and stuck threads off.

  11. #11
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    My first mat was a Fiskars - didn't hold up well.

    Now I love the Olfa's too. And recently fell for the purple one they have, although it is the same size. Hey, it was part of a package (pretty rotary cutter w/ flowers on it) that was half price...

  12. #12
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.zang
    The lady who taught me to quilt told me to buy a green mat - no other. I don't know the difference in quality of others, because I followed her instructions and bought a green mat (Olfa) and have never bought another one. It's holding up perfectly and I've had it about 7 years. The only time it shows any cut line is when I have cut something linty and have jammed fabric lint into the cut but a brushing with one of those body scrub thingys (thanks to a tip on here) and it's good as new. I don't use anything except a rotary cutter on my mat.

    Also - these mats regularly go on half-price at the discount fabric shops around here, so it wasn't even expensive.
    The other colored mats, especially the white ones, cause the rotary blades to dull a lot faster than the green ones. I'm not sure why but I know all the quilt stores I have been in have said the same thing.

    I don't buy Fiskar mats because they seem to wear out faster than the Olfa mats. Also, when the front becomes worn, I simply turn it over and get twice the lifetime out of it. I don't use the lines on the cutting mat to measure my pieces, mostly because those lines are not accurate. If you do use the lines, be sure to place your ruler over it and make sure the lines are evenly printed. If someone is having problems with their piecing not lining up or blocks ending up the wrong size, often times it is because someone used the lines from the cutting mat to measure their units instead of using the ruler. I know this was a major problem for me and boy was I relieved when I took a class and had the instructor set me straight. I measured my mat and darned if the center wasn't almost a quarter of an inch off! :shock: No wonder my blocks wouldn't come out the right size. I have since used my ruler and been so much happier!! Hope this hint helps someone.
    Piece ~ Tiffany

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I belong to several paid membership online quilt sites and have watched videos of many named quilters say different things about different mats. Some say the June Taylor mats are the best because it is a hard surface mat, the rotary cutter will not cut into it so the blade does not dull as fast. Some say the self healing mats are the only ones to use. Many are raving about the newer mats, the same as industries uses. The mat that is on my Alto Quilt Cut is the best I've ever used. It's cream with gold lines.

    http://quiltcut.com/products_cutting_mats.html


  14. #14
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    I've been using a pink on one side--yellow on the other Fiskers... hmmm.. seems to be working fine.

    I tried some green mats before this one--had a heck of a time because they STUNK! I couldn't stand the smell in my house. I hang them from a nail on my sewing room door and it stuck up the kitchen, too! Bah! I wrote the company and asked what I could do--they sent another that smelled just as bad.

    I bought this one by smell. :wink:

    BellaBoo--I like the looks of that Alto one but it's not in the size I love--23x35. That size fits perfectly on part of my kitchen table.

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I bought this one by smell.
    I really like the pretty color mats. They look nice in my sewing room. :D :D :D

  16. #16
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum
    I've been using a pink on one side--yellow on the other Fiskers... hmmm.. seems to be working fine.

    I tried some green mats before this one--had a heck of a time because they STUNK! I couldn't stand the smell in my house. I hang them from a nail on my sewing room door and it stuck up the kitchen, too! Bah! I wrote the company and asked what I could do--they sent another that smelled just as bad.

    I bought this one by smell. :wink:

    BellaBoo--I like the looks of that Alto one but it's not in the size I love--23x35. That size fits perfectly on part of my kitchen table.
    I remember you saying something about your green mat stinking before. It still amazes me! You think when they arrived at the store smelling funny one of the sales clerks would have said, "What the heck!?!" and not sold them. I still shake my head over it. I've never run into a stinky mat before. Hope I never do!

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