Oh, this is a great notion...

5:00:00 AM

image courtesy of JuneTailor.com
Rotary cutting mat on one side. Ironing surface on the other. Ingenious.

The lovely people at June Tailor sent me this notion to play with - the "Quilter's Cut 'n Press II" - and it is awesome.

Sitting right beside my sewing machine to my right, the Cut 'n Press II is always ready to be used, my iron sitting hot and ready on the press side. Flip it over, and I can quickly square up my HSTs and blocks.

And its size is perfect. It's big enough to press a 12.5" sq block easily, but sized so that it's unobtrusive enough to have it permanently sitting on my desk.
working on my Orla Kiely inspired table runner petals on my Cut 'n Press II

Things I was worried about with the Cut 'n Press II (and didn't need to be!):
  1. The color of the cutting mat. I was worried that the blue would be, for lack of a better phrase, too hard on my eyes. I have another brand of cutting mat that's reversible - green on one side, yellow on the other. For the life of me, I can't cut on the yellow side, I don't know what it is about that color, it's disorienting to me or something - or maybe it was just because I was so used to cutting on green. But I LOVE the blue of the June Tailor mat. It gives just enough contrast between my fabrics and my ruler. 
  2. The padding of the ironing surface causing the mat to 'skate' around as I cut. Not an issue. Seriously. I was really worried that, with my relatively high-gloss, slick Scandinavian-brand budget sewing table, trying to cut without the mat skating on the table surface would be an issue, but it's not at all. The pressing surface has just enough friction to the fabric that your mat stays in place while you cut.
  3. The hard surface mat style would dull my blades more quickly. The mats I'm used to using are the soft-top "self-healing" surface mat style, and I was worried that these harder mats from June Tailor may dull my blades of my rotary cutters faster. So far, not at all. Actually, I think I'm maintaining a sharper blade with them. And, you don't have to press nearly as hard while cutting (as the mat provides more resistance) so for me with my wrist and shoulder issues, this mat has been great. I don't feel nearly as fatigued when I'm doing lots of cutting because I don't have to press as hard with each cut. And, according to their website, because your blades are cutting along the surface of their mats and not into the soft plastic of the competition's, your cutting is more accurate and blades stay sharper, longer.
  4. The hard surface mat style would gouge more easily. I have to admit, it was a little difficult to get used to not having to press as hard to cut as I have to with my other, soft plastic, mats. I'm happy to report that after several weeks of some pretty intense cutting episodes, the mat still feels great; there are some minor marks on the mat, but nothing palpable.

Things I love about the Quilter's Cut 'n Press II:
  1. The cutting mat is a great size (12"x18") especially considering most of the blocks I make are around the 12" size. It's the perfect size to have sitting next to my machine, making trimming and pressing as I sew super convenient and easy.
  2. The board has a convenient handle which allows me to carry it easily AND allows me to hang it up on my wall out of the way when not in use. Essential for me, I'm a little bit Type-A about organization.
  3. The pressing side is gridded which allows for easy squaring during pressing.
  4. It sits nicely on my lap. Instead of using the bamboo cutting board from my kitchen to sit and do a little cutting or trace templates onto fusible, I'm now using a proper sewing tool. Now my husband can't laugh at me. HA!
  5. It's super easy to take to Guild meetings and sew-alongs. I no longer have to pack a cutting mat AND a pressing surface. 2 in 1, baby!
The Quilter's Cut 'n Press comes in two sizes - the Cut 'n Press I, 11"x11":
11" x 11"
Image courtesy of JuneTailor.com
...and the Cut 'n Press II, 12"x18":
Image courtesy of JuneTailor.com
If you're interested in picking up a June Tailor Quilter's Cut 'n Press, you should check out your local quilt shoppe! If you can't find one there, here are some retailers which carry them:
 Hancock Fabrics Homepage
...and, for more retailers which carry June Tailor products, click {here}.

If you have any questions about the Cut 'n Press II, let me know - I'll try and answer them for you, and if I can't, I can contact someone who can :)

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  1. I have the square one....love it! Great for trimming and pressing by my sewing machine.

  2. This looks awesome. Half the time my smaller cutting mat is sitting on my ironing board anyway, so I can see how this would be useful. :)

  3. we have something similar here in the UK made by the "Stitch Witch", I have the one for just pressing and love it. Mine is 11" by 18"

  4. I love using this mat for classes and workshops - one less item to carry, and I need less space in a crowded classroom!


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