I never understood the beauty and excellence of a cutting mat until I upgraded my own. I decided to get an A4 and an A3 size to give my desk enough coverage. I had then started doing more research on other cutting mats and learned so much more. Here are my best cutting mats for quilting and everything you might need to know along the way.
What Is A Cutting Mat?
A cutting mat is a thick rubber style mat that you use as a table cover when cutting and quilting. It can be used for other styles of sewing and even used for architects.
Why Would I Need Cutting Mats For Quilting?
If you are looking to get into patchwork and quilting a cutting mat is essential. It protects your table from scuffs, marks, and scratches along with making it easier to cut your fabric.
Cutting mats are self-healing so once it has taken a couple of scratches you can soak them in a warm bath and they will repair. This helps them last much longer. The mats also have grid guides on to help you while you are cutting and quilting.
What Size Cutting Mats Can You Get?
There are a number of sizes of cutting mat from rectangle sizes to square sizes. You can get quite a range to suit any project and need you might have. Here is a list of the different sizes you can get:
- A5 – 8 x 6
- 8 Inches by 8 Inches
- A4 – 12 x 8
- A3 – 24 x 18
- A2 – 48 x 36
- 16 Inches by 16 inches
What Size Cutting Mat Is Best?
The mat size depends on what kind of space you are working with. If you are working with a small area and not using the equipment often then you may want to opt for a smaller one.
If you have a dedicated area and table you can get away with using a larger mat such as A2. This will cover most of your table which gives you a bigger scope of area to work with. This is extremely helpful if you are working on larger projects or want to be able to keep your equipment out full time.
Where Can I Buy Cutting Mats?
There are quite a few places in stores and online you can find cutting mats for quilting. I would advise to shop around for the best deal as some places can often be inflated with prices. These are the top places to shop when looking for cutting mats for quilting.
Hobbycraft have a full range of self-healing cutting mats available online. Depending on the store size local to you they may not stock everything. They also stock the rotating mats which are extremely helpful for small cutting projects.
Amazon is probably one of the easiest places to shop as this can be accessible in many countries and areas. Amazon have a range of cutting mats but to ensure you are getting the quality look for one of the brands noted further down.
eBay is also another great place to find a bargain, this can be accessible to almost anywhere and worldwide shopping. I would advise buying new as you can ensure the mat is going to last and in the best condition.
Local Crafts Stores
It is always nice to shop local and have an excuse to go into your favourite shops to buy some supplies. Local craft stores often have a range of equipment and can often be reasonable on prices.
Best Cutting Mats For Quilting
I decided to break this down into brands and the sizes available in each brand. Here in the UK, you can find cutting mats fairly cheap in places such as The Works, W H Smiths and Hobbycraft.
If you prefer to buy one of the branded that are more likely to last longer and be a better quality you can do below.
Fiskars are a well trusted brand for home DIY and crafts supplies so it is no surprise they made the cut for the best cutting mats for quilting. I have used Fiskars for gardening tools, scissors and rotary cutters.
Fiskars does a really unique rotating cutting mat of the size 8 inches by 8 inches. Perfect for moving around, travel size or smaller projects. This is a great desktop size.
Olfa is another big name that creates a variety of cutting mats. They advertise their sizes by measurement and not in paper size as some do. If you can afford to have space and A3 size is great.
You can take them onff your desk and stack them to one side, personally I like the wide table space they offer. I am a clumsy person so having a larger mat is easier for me to use so I know I am not cutting my table instead.
You can also get the same brand in A4, A2 and rotating style. The rotating mat is a larger size at 16×16 inches. This is a great size if you are doing a lot of cutting patchwork and quilting. The size is generous for people who like to work on bigger areas and have the table space.
Aniso are another brand I came across which I haven’t personally used but after doing some asking around I found out they are well received. You can again get these in a variety of sizes.
Aniso does a great large size of A1 cutting mat. This is the largest mat I have come across and is great if you want to use this as a table top covering. I think it works well for architects but can be just as useful for crafters.
The mat is also double sided so can be flipped and used on the opposite side before having to be cleaned and cared for.
Silverline are a range of cutting mats that are a little lower in price and can be bought both online and in shops such as The Works and other craft stores. You can also find them online on places such as eBay and Amazon.
Silverline have a couple of sizes and are pretty standard in design. They don’t have complicated markings or grids to follow which make this a great cutting mat for beginner quilters. I have this particular one in A4 and it is great.
That is everything you would need to know about cutting mats for quilting. If you have a mat you love and use often I would love to know the brand and how long you have had it. If you have any other questions leave me a comment below.