UNIQUE folding cutting mats for all your quilting needs

After 15 long months, pandemic restrictions are finally starting to lift in some locations. With the lifting of the restrictions, many are beginning to plan their next retreats and workshops. In anticipation, I pulled out my retreat/workshop bin. Yes, I have a dedicated bin always at the ready to load in the car for a sewing adventure somewhere other than home!

When I looked in the bin recently, it became obvious that I needed to add some and replace other items. Not to mention, I also needed to get myself something better than the bin I’d often used for quilting road trips in the past. With all this in mind, I decided for this week’s posts, I’d highlight items I like to pack and take on a retreat, a workshop, or even just a sew day away.

Must-have quilting tools

Along with the introduction of some wonderful products and tools, I’ll show you how to make a charming child’s quilt that can be used for years.

This week’s quilt project measures 64″ x 75″.

For this week’s quilt project, I selected fabrics from the Whimsicals collection by Michael Miller Fabrics. What drew me to this collection are the colors and the collection’s panels. Together, they make a nice gender-neutral quilt for a young child.

Here are the fabric requirements for this week’s quilt:

  • 2 panels of Figurine – grey (DC9535)
  • 2¼ yards of Cute Critters – moon (DC9538)
  • 1½ yards of Favorite Flowers – metal (DC9529)
  • ¼ yard of Trio – toffee (DC9531)
  • ¼ yard of Bits and Bobs –aulait (DC9533)
  • ½ yard of Double Quotes – straw (DC9534)
  • 4½ yards of Cute Critters – grey (DC9538) for backing

From the Whimsicals collection by Michael Miller Fabrics

Today, we’ll need three quilting tools, along with your sewing machine.

For starters, I used the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat – 17″ x 24″. Great for travel, this large mat folds in half, making it easy to pack and not awkward to carry to a workshop or retreat. A prime example of when this mat comes in handy is when traveling by plane to get to a faraway quilt show – this mat fits perfectly in a suitcase!

Along with this folding mat, I used the Sew Easy Quilting Ruler – 24″ x 6½″ and the Komfort KUT Rotary Cutter – 45mm (1¾″).

Use the Sew Easy 6½” x 24″ ruler and Komfort KUT 45mm rotary cutter to trim the panels.

The Whimsicals collection’s panel has a horizontal orientation. This differs from most panels, which are vertically oriented. With the panel’s horizontal layout and direction, I knew this aspect would take me out of my comfort zone but make a great-looking quilt.

I decided I would only use the center part of the panel. I measured and calculated and figured I would also be able to use 1¼” of the light-colored outer edges from the panels. I wasn’t too worried about the measurements from side to side and top to bottom. I’ll show you a little trick in the quilt’s design to ensure everything fits together perfectly.

Step 1

Trim all four sides of each of the two panels.

Trim the panels.

After trimming the panels, measure the width and height. My panels measure 22″ high x 36″ wide.

Step 2

Attach a border around both panels. For this step, 6 strips measuring 2½” wide by the width of fabric are needed. I used the Favorite Flowers fabric as shown below for these strips.

Six strips are needed for panels’ borders.

Sew all strips end to end to make one long strip piece, and from it cut the following pieces:

  • 4 – 2½” x 22″ pieces
  • 4 – 2½” x 40½” pieces

The shorter strips are sewn to the sides first, followed by the long strips, which are sewn on the top and bottom of the panels.

Panel with a border added

With the strips sewn on all sides of both panels, today’s work is done.

Earlier, I mentioned the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat – 17″ x 24″. This mat is great for retreats and for some workshops. The reason I say some workshops and not all is there are some workshops where the personal workspace is small. When I know the workspace will be limited, or I won’t need a large mat, I bring the UNIQUE Folding Cutting Mat – 12″ x 17″. This smaller mat can be used either folded or open.

When carefully putting the rotary cutter in the travel toolbox or bin, don’t forget to bring extra Komfort KUT Replacement Straight Blades – 45mm (1¾″). I always bring more than one extra blade. I do not want a run-in with Murphy’s law!

UNIQUE 17″ x 24″ and 12″ x 17″ folding cutting mats with Komfort KUT’s replacement 45mm rotary cutting blades

Tomorrow, in addition to highlighting more of the tools I take to a quilting retreat or workshop, I’ll also assemble the easy-to-make candy blocks for this child’s quilt. Join me!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Sew Easy Rulers make quilting so easy!

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