A semi-retired professional longarm machine quilter
Do you know how sometimes a thought or idea simply won’t go away until you do something about it? Ok, maybe it’s only me that’s kooky that way. Well anyway, yesterday I kept looking at the old, worn out cutting mat on my intake table. No matter how many times I tried to look away from it my eyes went back to that cutting mat over and over again through out the day. Then I gave up trying to ignore it.
Several years of dull blades and student wobbly cuts had taken it’s toll on the mat. It was loosing chips of the self healing part which pretty much made the mat unusable. That mat really should be replaced but it had cost me over $50. It simply is not in my budget for a new one right now. I really want to get the most out of it I can before tossing it out.
So, I turned it over and will now use the back side. It doesn’t have the measure marks on the back but that’s ok. I rarely ever used the measuring part. I use it for trimming the edges of finished quilts. I use double sided tape to stick it to the table. This prevents movement when I shift the quilts for trimming.
Ok, I thought. Since I’m in the mood for fixing cutting mats why not go right ahead with another project? This project has been put off and put off long enough. I had bought this wood thing several months ago from a thrift store. If I remember right these wood turntables used to be popular dining room items. Condiments sat on them and could be reached all around the table by rotating it. Hmm, I could be wrong and this is an old version of a tv turntable? Who knows? I like it because it rotates.
I bought it because I had an up cycle idea for using it. The cost was only $3.43 on half price day. I have long wanted a rotating cutting mat but the cost was a little more than my budget allowed. I had decided someday I would make my own. When I saw this thing at the thrift store I knew it just HAD to come home with me. This is the rotating part.
I had another cutting mat that had outlived it’s usefulness and was waiting for new life. It was bigger than needed.
A bit of cutting with scissors, some double sided tape, and voila! My new rotating cutting mat. Just the right size for cutting fabric strips.
I believe it will be very useful when I’m using plastic cutting templates that require an awkward hand movement. Like these. Well maybe not these but something similar. I want to do more quilts with curves this year.
Now that I’ve gotten the rotary cutting mats off my mind I can go back to piecing a strip of batting so the next quilt can get done.
That is one very big quilt! I barely managed to attach it to the leaders. The borders had to be cut smaller so it would fit. I’m still in the process of stabilizing it before I start the quilting. Which should be later today or tomorrow.
You know, I use the markings on my rulers a lot more often than I use the markings on the cutting mat, so I will take your tip for reusing my mat after the front wears out. My last mat, I gave to my sister when she was starting to quilt because she didn’t want to invest a lot of money at first. Our Hancock’s was closing (I’m still very sad about that) and I got a new one at half off.
Your rotary table idea should work, as long as the mat is really stuck to the wood. I am finishing making paper pieced stars and a rotary mat would have come in handy.
It works great! Tested it today. It is stuck really well with double sided tape. The mat on the table had been there for a number of years and was pretty stubborn about being removed.