Every once in a while it’s time to replace some of our basic quilting tools.

I’ve been looking for a new rotary cutting mat for a while.  Waiting for them to go on sale and be in stock at the same time.  I’ve been quilting for more than 15 years and am on my 2nd mat, so I figure replacing a mat that I can’t find the lines on, that has an odd texture, and looks like it’s got glue marks on it is OK.

This is my old mat:

And my new one.  I’ve never had a Fiskars mat before, so I’ll have to see what I think of it.  My first mat was an off-brand, and I loved it to death.  They don’t sell them anymore.  My second one is a Dritz, but I wanted to see what I thought of the Fiskars.

Don’t like green?  How about yellow?

I bought a new rotary cutter, too.  My so-called (grin!) friends were teasing me on Tuesday.  I was complaining about my rotary cutter not working.  The blade is jamming somehow.  My so-called friends pointed out that most of them have extra cutters.  Well, I do have 5 cutters.  A 60mm jumbo, 2 45mm regulars (one the blade keeps getting wobbly on, and this one that’s jamming), a 28mm small, and an 18mm micro.  But it’s the one that I use all the time that’s not working.  So, just so I don’t have to go back to my quilting circle on Tuesday without a functional 45mm cutter, I bought a new one.  And it’s light blue!  Who knew that they came in colors?  I had the basic grey in hand, then decided to go for the colored one, so I could tell it apart from the old one.  I have a Fiskars cutter.  When the first one went bad (the wobbly blade) they replaced it right quick.  This one, I sent in an email two weeks ago and haven’t heard anything.  I’ll follow up, using my lifetime warranty, but thought a spare cutter might not be a bad idea.

My next replacement tool?  A fresh seam ripper.  I do rip-it, but the majority of my seam ripper use is to separate chained pieces.  (Note my self defense there?)  And lately the seam ripper has been tugging at the thread instead of cutting it.  It separates the pieces eventually, but will often pull the threads in the piecing!  I’ve been using Clover seam rippers for ever – they were the first that I knew of with the larger handle.  I usually have a few new ones in storage, waiting to get desparate enough to pull them out.

And I figure while I’m at it I’ll replace some pins, too.  Those ones that probably have burrs on them because they don’t slide nicely into the fabric.  Those that are more than a litte bit bent.  And fill up my color wheel, too.  I use colored head pins to sort pieces and blocks while they’re in process.

In case anyone’s wondering, I’m doing great on my to-do list.  With any luck I’ll be playing with my new dies on Friday!