Have you wondered why some quilting projects come out as top-spec while others are poorly done despite using the same quilting machine?
Your answer is in the quality of the cutting mats people use for quilting.
A mat is one of the essential components you can purchase to support your creative quilt projects.
The quality of cutting mats will define the result of your work as they play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy of your cuts when working on quilts.
Cutting mats are your key partner when working on quilts and should facilitate your work to come out as you desired.
Choosing from the many good quality cutting mats for quilting is no walk in the park, especially with a plethora of mats on the market.
Chances are you will end up buying low-quality mats which will frustrate your work by producing low-grade quilt work.
This article brings you the top seven cutting mats for quilt work that have been carefully reviewed, saving you the headache and frustration of finding a good one.
Your quilt work will not be the same again, and you will get value for your money when using the cutting mats recommended below.
Best rotary cutting mats for quilting
#1. Editor’s Choice: Arrow Sewing Cabinet Pinnable Cutting Mat
- Opaque color
- Ruler marks in blue on all sides
- Diagonal ruler marks
- The cutting tool is rotary
The product measures 36 inches long and 56 inches wide and weighs 3.74 kgs, an ideal size and weight for your quilt work.
On all sides of the product are blue ruler lines to ensure that your measurements are accurate as you quilt.
The cutting mat also comes with ruler marks placed diagonally that work seamlessly with a rotary cutting tool that helps you achieve perfect straight cuts.
Rigidity is not felt in this product; it is flexible and easy to pin on your work area, which is normally a cutting table.
The flexibility of this product allows you to work with any rotary cutting tool making it easily compatible and versatile.
The mat is pinnable and does not separate its material even when cuts extend to the working surface; the working quality is maintained despite cuts.
Its opaque color is still clear, which offers you high visibility of your measurements for convenient cuts.
If you have an arrow cutting table, the product fits perfectly on top of the table while allowing you to make any moves since it is flexible.
- Clear with measurements for ease of use
- Works with any rotary cutting tool
- Provides a large working area
- It is slightly heavy for quilt work
#2. Honorary Mention: OLFA Cutting Mat
- Measures 24 by 36 inches
- Comes with a straight grid
- Has guidelines on it
This product is essential for you no matter the kind of quilt projects you have; it merely gels in your work.
It makes your cutting task fun with the use of rotary cutters.
The straight grid is complemented with curved and angled guidelines to ensure that your cutting work is done with precision.
Its size makes it flexible in your work area without being a hindrance or obtrusive to your work.
- Ideal size to work with
- Guidelines for precise cuts
- Straight grid for accurate measurements
- Quality of the product is affected when rolled
- Direct sunlight affects the product
- Extreme temperatures affect the quality of the product
#3. Grace TrueCut Cutting Mat 24″ x 36″
- Self-healing cutting surface
- Clear grid lines
- Supported with angle lines
If your quilt work requires a large working surface, this product is the ideal partner for your work.
The mat is double-sided to allow you to enjoy extended use and avoid the agony of shopping for cutting mats time and again.
The color on the cutting mat allows you to easily see your measurements, coupled with guiding lines that are angle referenced.
If you are fond of strip cutting with bias, this self-healing cutting mat comes with bias markings to facilitate that.
The mat is made with unique materials that allow for self-healing; you won’t be able to spot any marks on your it even with blade cuts when working on quilts.
It’s a self healing cutting mat, so you can enjoy a smooth working area even after several cuts on the mat.
No matter your skill level in working with quilts, the grid lines are easy to use as the measurements are in increments of 1/8 with colors that are easy to see.
Based on your quilt work and cutting needs, this self healing cutting mat comes in three different sizes that are popular for quilt work.
These self healing cutting mats have their numbers placed outside the borders to give you proper visibility while working; you can accurately measure and cut your fabric even when the material extends to the edges.
- Durable since it is double-sided
- Self-healing cutting allows for smoother working area
- Different sizes to cater to varied preferences
- Easy to use
- Enhanced visibility
- Increment measurements could be improved
#4. Omnigrid Miniature Fold Away
- Measures 7 by 7 inches
- One-sided grid
If you need a cutting mat that is convenient for trimming and cutting along templates, the Fold-Away is ideal for you.
You can comfortably use it with your sewing machine to achieve precise trims and pressing blocks of foundation.
Measuring a mere seven by seven inches, this cutting mat is easily portable and convenient to travel with.
It is made from a non-stick material to allow for ease of maneuver when doing measurements in your work.
Reproducing sizes of templates for quilt work and sewing has been made easier with the use of this mat due to its user-friendly size.
- Convenient size
- Light to carry around
- Non-stick material for ease of use
- Can be used beside sewing machines
- Not ideal for large work surfaces
- Not self-healing
#5. Olfa Spinning 12-inch Self Healing Cutting Rotary Mat (RM-12S)
- Self healing cutting
- 360-degree rotation
- It is light in weight
Get to work with this self healing cutting mat in your quilt work while retaining its smooth working surface even when cuts are inflicted on it.
Coming in green color, this self healing cutting mat easily rotates; you don’t need to leave your desk to go around your quilt work.
All you do is make the cuts on your material, rotate the mat in the desired direction, and continue to cut.
With this self healing cutting mat, it is easy to make cuts in varying degrees like 30, 45, and 60 as clear angle lines support it.
The product is non-slip, making it easy to cut your material safely and precisely and achieve the high quality of work you intended.
Measuring 12 by 12 inches, the mat is light in weight, making it convenient to carry around when traveling.
If you are doing paper crafts as part of your projects, this self healing cutting mat will save you time and money as it works well with all kinds of projects.
Doing multiple cuts is no longer a hectic task with this product; all you do is cut and rotate it for the next measurement.
- This self healing cutting mat eliminates the need to rotate the body or worktable
- Light and convenient size to carry around
- Non-slip back hence safe while you cut
- Smooth working area after use
- Useful when working with shapes in your work
- Rolling the mat affects the quality
- Extreme weather affects its quality
- Can only work with rotary blades
#6. Omnigrid Foldaway 19 inches x 13 inches Cutting & Ironing Mat OG2103
- It has grids on one side
- Has a tabbed closure with a handle
Turn your quilt work into fun by using this mat that allows you to do precise material cuts and ironing on its other side.
If you need to carry this mat around, all you do is close the tabs and hold it by the handles.
You can use it to make trims, pierce foundations, and cut along templates.
It is non-stick, which allows for ease of use without altering the quality of your work.
With this mat, you do not need to worry about the type of work surface; it quickly gels with your work surface.
Fold it conveniently when not in use and the Velcro closure will keep it securely shut.
The grid lines are easy to see and make it easy to make measurements on your fabric.
Measuring 12 by 18 inches, the mat is flexible on your working surface without turning it into a mess.
- Light and convenient to carry around
- Multiple-use for measurements and pressing
- Pressing surface is non-stick
- Velcro closure shuts it securely when not in use
- Well laid out grid lines
- Not ideal for bigger work surfaces
#7. Clover Cutting Mat
- Weighs 1.43 kgs
- Self healing cutting mat
- Extended gridlines
Enjoy your quilt work with this self-healing mat that still gives you a smooth working surface even after continued use of the mat.
Its soft green color, which is easy on your eyes, is among the enhanced features that make working with the mat great.
Do not worry about the accuracy of measurements when your fabric extends to the edges; the cutting mat comes with extended gridlines allowing you to view the measurements as you work.
It is easy to store the mat and prevent it from warping as it comes with a hanging tab to facilitate this.
The mat is light and easy to carry around as it weighs 1.43 kgs.
- Light and easily portable
- Self-healing for smoother work surface
- Easy color on your eyes
- Not ideal for large working surfaces
Best self-healing cutting mat – Buying Guide
Buying one of the best cutting mats for your quilting work needs several considerations aimed at getting you the best quality around while saving you some money.
It is imperative to understand the type of work and what type of cutting mat meets your work needs.
Generally, good quality cutting mats should be comfortable to work with, portable, durable and with clear measurements for precision in your work.
This article makes it easy for you by highlighting the features you need to look out for when shopping for the best cutting mats.
Benefits of a top-notch cutting mat
A good cutting mat will allow you to achieve precision in your quilting work.
The durability of a good cutting mat will save you from costs associated with buying mats time and again due to inferior quality.
The best cutting mat will work with any type of surface and size to help your projects come out just as you intended them to.
What to consider when choosing a cutting mat
With a plethora of cutting mats flooding the market, it is not easy for starters to settle on a good cutting mat.
The below considerations will help you settle on a good cutting mat to support your quilting work.
- Type of surface: Cutting mats come with a hard or soft surface. Mats with hard surfaces are rugged and rigid while the softer ones are self-healing, leaving them with a smooth working surface even after several cuts. Make sure you go for a mat that is soft, as hard ones will quickly dull your blade after several cuts.
- Size of the cutting mat: As a rule of thumb, choose a mat that is large and still fits on your working surface. If you have a rotary cutter for your work, make sure you choose a cutting mat that fits on a full-size worktable. For quilting work, your mat should be at least 24 inches wide to grant you great accuracy while you cut pieces of fabric.
- Compatibility with working tools: Some cutting mats only work well with a rotary cutter while others are compatible with a variety of blades. Make sure your cutting blade and other working tools are compatible with the cutting mat you are planning to buy.
- Measurements on the mat: Your preferred cutting mat should be well numbered on all its four sides. The graduation and numbering on all sides allow you to use any side of the mat without turning it to access measurements while working. The best deal will be a mat that has measurements extending out of its border.
- The durability of the mat: Cutting mats will wear out eventually with continued use. The durability of a cutting mat is affected by how it is used even though most of them will last for several years. Choose a mat that will last long by withstanding the cuts subjected to it by your work.
Quilting mat – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best cutting mat for quilting?
The best cutting mat for quilting is the Arrow Sewing Cabinet Pinnable Cutting Mat.
What size cutting mat do I need for quilting?
For quilting, choose mats that are big enough to fit your working surface.
For practicality, choose mats that are at least 24 inches wide to assure accuracy in your measurements.
What is the largest self-healing cutting mat?
The largest size of the self-healing mat measures 48 by 96 inches.
What is the best size cutting mat for sewing?
The best size cutting mat for sewing will depend on the size of your work surface.
If you have a large work surface, go for a large sewing mat and vice versa.
Cutting mats for quilting – Conclusion
Cutting mats are an essential partner in quilting as they determine the quality of your final product.
With knock-offs currently on the market, it is advisable to research carefully before committing your money to purchase.
Thanks to this article, the background work has been done for you and you can choose one of the best cutting mats.
Your decision should be an easy one that will save you valuable time and money.
I would pick the Arrow Sewing Cabinet Pinnable Cutting Mat as it is the best overall; superior to the other mats.