Cutting Mats 101: How to choose a mat (Sizes & Shape) | OLFA - Craft OLFA – Craft

Cutting Mats 101: How to choose a mat (Sizes & Shape)

There are a variety of cutting mat sizes and shapes, from travel size to full table size. The mat I like the best is one that has the easiest to read grid lines, lines spaced one-inch apart and also marked with 1/8″, 1/4″, 1/2″ and 1″ increments. I also prefer a mat that is self-healing because it reseals rotary blade cuts. For OLFA a self-healing mat also helps to extend the life of the cutting mat and rotary cutter blade. That’s a cost savings for me.

Rectangular Cutting MatRectangular Cutting Mat

Rectangular Cutting Mat: The most commonly used mat is rectangular, double-sided for general cutting on one side and the other for more precision cutting. A rectangular mat often includes lines to help you cut angles easier, along with markings that help line up fabric edges so you can accurately cut the correct size of strips, patches and blocks. I use different sized rectangular mats, depending on what I want to cut and where:

  • 6” x 8” to take along for mobile applique cuts or marking fabric for Triangle-Square units (I use it most when I’m quilting on the sofa by the hubs or traveling.),
  • 18” x 24” used when I take my cutting projects to the kitchen to finish making dinner, and want to finish cutting the patches,
  • 24” x 36” which I have on a desk in our family room to use for cutting quilt projects and at the same time spend time with my gang, and a
  • 35” x 70” which is permanently placed on the cutting table in my studio. I find this mat is the most convenient when I’m cutting long border strips.
Rotating Cutting MatRotating Cutting Mat

Rotating Cutting Mat: The one-piece rotating mat is relatively new to the quilting community. It has a non-slip, stationary bottom layer with an interlocking top cutting mat that rotates 360 degrees. It’s perfect for cutting squares, triangles, diamonds, circles or any shape that requires turning to cut multiple sides.

Folding Cutting MatFolding Cutting Mat

Folding Cutting Mat: This mat is all about convenience, with the features of a regular rectangular mat. It’s full size but if you have just a small space or small-size cuts, it folds to a perfect size for that too. A folding mat is convenient for travel or storage, and ideal for classes or retreats.


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