27 December, 2016

Cutting Mat Longevity

Oh, my; this cutting area has never looked better! Santa brought me TWO new sets of cutting mats for Christmas, this has caused two straight days of unbridled smiling, spontaneous mat stroking and even some tidying to happen. My cutting table is a drop-leaf style which, when opened, (truth be told: it is never folded down) measures 70" X 46". Mr. Goodneedle designed and built it for me sometime in 1992 from kiln-dried oak salvaged from our woods after a tornado in May, 1989, took out three enormous oak trees.  The top was specially designed to accommodate the cutting mats of those precise dimensions that I had found back then at Mary Jo's Cloth Shop. Over the years the table has moved numerous times, overseas (twice) and back. The mats have endured all of that, plus un-tolled hours of cutting and any other craft you might imagine. Recently, I began to notice a little more than normal wear and tear to the mats-- the type of damage that occurs from being overused, over-loved; they were wearing out, plain and simple.
They had become stained over time, and the edges were split and shaggy.
They even had holes in places. Santa listened to this quilter's wish list. I would say that considering the continued use that these have seen, after almost 25 years, Olfa should be commended for creating such a sturdy and well made product that stands the test of time. The new mats are fancy; they have lots more markings (increments) arcs and angles than their predecessors. If they could only do something about the obnoxious "new mat" rubber aroma. I may try spritzing them with a white vinegar and water solution. I have the essential oil diffuser working overtime right now, I know the Eau-de-mat smell will dissipate over time. I assured Santa Claus that I won't need new mats ever again, or at least before I am 88 years old, if the longevity of the previous mats is any indication! I am certain that the elves were relieved to hear that, I know that these were unwieldy to load in and out of the sleigh. 
Life is Good!


NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I got two new mats this year-one in the summer, before I went to Sisters, Oregon to take some classes-but that matt was small. This Christmas hubby got me the largest Olfa mat the store had-not nearly as big as yours. Mine also has that new mat smell, which I hate and to be honest makes me concerned about the chemicals used. It is nice to have a good mat-my old one wasn't quite as worn as yours-probably 14 years old, so I put it on the granddaughters sewing table for them. Love your space-it looks wonderful, but the quilt in the background definitely helps.

cityquilter grace said...

nice santa! my table is never folded down either...enjoy once the smell goes!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Awesome gift--my cutting mat is looking worse for the wear--saw some on sale at Tuesday Morning--maybe I can suggest to hubs he purchase new cutting mat for Valentines rather than chocolates

Quilting Babcia said...

I've had a new mat for about 9 months now after wearing out my first one too. Sad to say even after the white vinegar bath and repeated sunbathing, it still smells when the humidity rises.

45th Parallel Quilter said...

LOVE the story of your cutting table ... God's way of "twice purposing" raw materials ;-) Would love to have a cutting table that size ... I have the room space ... I just need to divest myself of some fabric stash and get organized. Which happens to be exactly my resolution for 2017!! Thanks for sharing ;-) Happy New Year!! Linda

Lindah said...

Ohhh, Santa was good to you!
I get you on the 'new mat odor." Do you know, when I move my 20 year 'newest' mat, I still get unpleasant whiffs of that odor? Maybe sniffing that odor now and then is what keeps me young. What do you think?

Enjoy that wonderful new mat on that fabulous table!