I had been toying with swapping out my cutting mats for the last 2-3 years, and I finally took the plunge. My cutting table consists of 2 hollow doors that I coated with spray varnish (I think I did 3 layers, sanding between each layer) almost 20 years ago, and these lie on top of many “units” of drawers and cabinets that we bought over the years at Lowe’s. As my sewing supplies grew, we would fill in yet another space underneath with a new drawer unit. This system has worked great for me but the cutting mat part was a bit problematic. I had 2 full size mats that were attached by this screw system, and they would sometimes separate. Even when they didn’t separate, my rotary cutter would never cut through fabric that laid over the seam. Here is a shot of my table with everything removed except my pair of cutting mats:
(As you might have guessed, the table is never this empty!) I hemmed and hawed about getting a full table mat for the last few years and finally did. Part of what held me up is that I did not want a large mat with a “plasticky feel” and was hoping for a material that was quite similar to my Fiskars mats. Here is a shot of my new system:
The mat is in 1 piece and covers the entire table. When it came, I needed to unroll it and have it lay flat in the garage for a few days so it would lay flat again. It does have that plasticky feel that I didn’t want but I have to say that I no longer care. It works beautifully and it is such a luxury to have this huge cutting surface. I love my new cutting system! You can get it with a grid on it, but I never used those markings before so I didn’t figure it was worth the extra $. If you’re interested in getting one, here’s where I bought it; they will custom-size it to your table’s specifications and they worked with me to have it arrive in a narrow window of time.
I have lots of cr-p on one end of the table; it’s all stuff I use constantly. Like this group of rulers:
That ruler holder was an old piece of extra plywood that Ernie routed for me so it would hold rulers. He is really great about making stuff that helps me sew more efficiently. Here’s a shot of the table with all my cr-p back on it…I lost a bit of cutting room but it’s still a dream cutting table for me:
I haven’t gotten to sew much lately but I wanted some sewing pics to post so I’ll show you a couple variations of a block I played with a couple weeks ago. Remember this block from before…
Here is the machine embroidered version of it:
…and here’s a closeup:
I did another one but varied the threads so it was really 2 pairs of stems that were alike:
…and the closeup of the second option:
And now for the winner of the thread give away…it’s Louisa Lawson! Congratulations, Louisa, and I hope you enjoy the thread!