Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My New Alvin Cutting Mat

WEDNESDAY GREETINGS - (Please excuse the bad photos, I never claimed to be a wonderful photographer) I arrived home a little early today to find a surprise waiting in the back entry. My new Alvin Cutting Mat arrived. Woo hoo! It doesn't take much to get me excited. Are any of you familiar with this company?

I am in the process of moving my quilting space to a bigger room in our house. We're just about ready to start the project and I have a short list of things I wanted to do differently for this room. One item on my list is to have a dedicated cutting table. I wasn't happy with the $12 Wal-Mart special cutting mats I've been using (I'm on my second one this year already). I tend to be rather rough on them (a little over zealous with the rotary blade, I guess).

I saw John's post about finding a few work tables at a state salvage yard and made a mental note to check out any leads on state salvage in my area. I was sure I could score some good deals but then I remembered we had a maple dining room table in our storage area. I dug it out and it turns out that it would make the perfect cutting table. The height is just right and it's very sturdy. Yay! No need to lug a table from Albany NY Salvage. I'll use what I have on hand.

My next dilemma was finding a mat that fit the table top. The surface of the table is 30" x 42". Just the right size to handle a yard of fabric off the bolt. I knew there must be some place online I could get a custom size mat and sure enough there was. I typed in custom cutting mats in google and was the first site that popped up. I typed in the dimensions I needed in their calculator and they quoted me a price of $99.00 (on sale, regularly $115.00). I didn't think that was bad at all considering it was custom to order, was reversible (green on one side/gray on the other) and had 3 layers. This mat is REALLY heavy. I was surprised by its weight when I was removing the packaging.

Cool beans! One item checked off my list! Other things on my must-have list for the new quilting space:

1. Aqua walls with white trim (my current room is beige, not very creative and too blah!).
2. Hardwood floors (no more carpeting!).
3. LOTS of Light (natural and ott).
4. Enclosed fabric storage (windowed doors so I can see my fabric and keep it dust free).
5. Rolling scrap bin so it can follow me around the room (I keep everything bigger than 1/2 in.)
6. Expandable multi paneled design wall (I'm always working on more than one project at a time).
7. Rectangular topped ironing board (not the tapered ones you normally see).


  1. Oooh! Thanks for the tip on the cutom mats - I'm so taking advantage of that link! :)

    Can't wait to see the new room - and funnily enough, I've been considering Tiffany blue for mine - which is aqua if you're not a girly girl. ;)

  2. Would you please share how you keep all your itty bitty scraps organized. I have issues with this. I'm trying to sort for a crazy quilt and it's maddening. Bet you are very excited about your new creative area, sounds wonderful.

  3. Whew! When I read the title, I was worried for you. I have an Alvin mat in one of my quilting areas. It is black, great for cutting light fabric, but impossible with darks. Still, it was given to me, so I can't complain. My green omnigrid is great with every fabric I have used it with (visually that is) The Alvin is fine to cut on (except where the previous owner got permanent glue on it)

    Your custom mat on your table looks awesome. What a great place to cut fabrics. Congratulations.

  4. Hey, do I see some very handy slide out leaves on that table? I can see letting those out when I needed places to pile fabrics when I am cutting and want to use the entire mat area!

  5. Cool idea for the sewing room- you'll have to post when it's all done!

    For ironing/pressing: see my post at I have my table raised up using PVC pipe cut to 14", with caps on the end. Pop the legs of the table in them, and voila! instant fantastic ironing surface :)
    ~ Jennie

  6. Great mat! the table is perfect and it sounds like your new work area is going to be wonderful.

  7. HI Ryan,
    Just thought you might want to know that I placed a link on my blog
    with your giveaway gifts shown.

    Your new mat is really a nice one- didn't realize that you could actually get a custom made one.
    Your new sewing sounds like a dream one- Hope we will get to see photos when you are all finished.

    Thanks again for the wonderful giveaway prize.
    Warmest Regards,

  8. Good luck with the new sewing room, sounds like your out to a great start. My mom used her old kitchen cabinets on casters had a top made and put a custom mat on top, it is the best cutting table I've ever used. No back aches when there's a lot of cutting to do...
    Like the colors for your room can't wait to see the finished product.

  9. Lucky you to find that table. Those are some good ideas for a sewing room too. I painted the floor in my sewing room and stencilled it. I was tired of sticking myself in the foot with pins that were hidden in the carpet. Can't wait to see the finished results.

  10. What a great cutting mat. Does it slip on the polished wood surface? Your new sewing room sounds great - hope it all comes together for you soon!

  11. If you need it to be a little taller (to stand at) use bed risers. I use them all the time. Works great.


  12. Oh lucky you! A new mat and a new room. I look forward to seeing it all set up. The aqua walls sound great, love that colour.


  14. Oh wow...what an awesome cutting board...I am drooling....

  15. I not seen a Alvin mat here in the UK but have the Omnigrid mat well i have 2 a 36 x 24 which i managed to warp so is under my mattress ( i am not as heavy as i thought as it still won't lay down lol) & i have a 24 x 18 as i really like the larger mat when i need to cut from yardage rather than less than a yard i got a fold-away mat which is the same size at the large one i got this in a sale & it was less than the smaller of the two mats even with them being a few years old it blue one side & grey on the other it great as it can stand without bowing because of size i have them between two filing cabinets i would love to be able to have a large room just for my sewing but i have a small bedroom which also has the computer in plus filing cabinets for family stuff so only really have a table for my work so i have to keep moving machine off when i need to cut or press
    I hope you get your room just the way you want it & you will no doubt produce even more lovely items
    Hugs Janice

  16. Isn't it great! I have one too. I couldn't agree more about the hardwood floors too. Follow the dream!

  17. Your space sounds like a dream! Have fun putting it together! Are you going to make your own ironing board?

  18. Great cutting table now! That new room will be fabulous.

  19. The cutting mat is just wonderful! The new sewing studio will be lovely!

  20. Awesome table! Can't wait to hear more as you create your space. I may be able to take over a room for a sewing space in a year or two, so I'm always dreaming!

  21. Adam, I have really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for the lead on the custom mat. I'm settling in with a new long the mean time my STUDIO is a WRECK! I have a new workspace that would benefit from a custom mat! Here is a link to a tutorial I made for a homemade big board. I have made at least 2 of them myself. They take little planning/little material/ GREAT work area (cutting or ironing)
    Beth in AZ

  22. Hey Ryan,

    Love your blog. And so happy to find another guy that quilts/sews.

    Your projects are beautiful. And I find it so refreshing to find bloggers that have an appreciation of the English language and grammar. ['s just a pet peeve of mine. :-)]

    Keep up the great work. I look forward to visiting your blog often.

    Have a great week,

  23. Oh, BTW...I like your idea of a rectangular-shaped top for your ironing board. I'm going to make a custom-fit top.

    I find that I use my ironing board for more than just pressing. It doubles as a cutting table sometimes.

    I'll keep you posted on the top. I've seen some 'how to' articles on the web. Can't be too tough, can it?

    Take care!

  24. Ryan,

    Here's a link on how you can make a rectangular top for ironing board.

    Have fun!


  25. Hi, I just came across your blog last night. When I read your post, i looked at my husband and said..I need one of those (table sized cutting mat, and sewing room) LOL I think it's great that you quilt :) I'll look forward to reading more from you :)

  26. Hello Ryan, I agree with your wish list as well. I keep every small piece of material,sometimes they come in handy. I have my scraps in a big calico bag that Spotlight were giving away. Love that new mat. I need a new one but keep putting it off. Happy days.

  27. Lately, I raised my cutting table by 4" and what a difference it made. My cutting mat is getting in bad shape and one of these days I'll have to source out another one. The size of your mat is ideal. A rolling scrap bin ... wonderful idea.

  28. HA HA that is a super list of must haves! I hope your wife loves to sew as much as you so that you don't have to work too hard to convince her to let you have all that you want.

    I know I would have a hard time convincing my hubby to let me drop $100 on a mat, even if it was a good deal!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...