Until recently, my largest cutting mat was 24″ x 36″. It sits on a cutting table that my father made for me. It’s a great system for cutting pieces and strips — but not so good when it comes to trimming finished quilts. As you can imagine, the quilt falls over the sides and pulls away as I use the rotary cutter.
Unfortunately, our house doesn’t have a large enough surface for a big cutting mat. And, every time I looked at them, I wondered where the heck I’d store it. (Lots of people store big mats under their beds, however our bedroom is on the 2nd floor and the mats are heavy to lug around.) My only alternative seemed to be leaving it permanently on our kitchen table and throwing on a couple placemats on it whenever we wanted to eat! I probably would have done that, except that we’re always spilling stuff and I would have wrecked my mat!
A few weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea that I could buy a large cutting mat and store it on the floor under my longarm. The mat I bought is 56″ x 33″. The narrow part fits fairly well under the large batting rolls that are suspended under my machine. When I need to cut, I just slide out the mat and cut on the floor. This eliminates any drag on my quilt. Cutting has been fast and easy.
Using the mat in this location also allows me to cut batting with a rotary cutter. Previously, I was using scissors.
As you can see, this mat has been a game-changer. The exact model that I purchased is no longer available at Joann Fabrics, but this one is similar and is currently on sale: