Recently I’ve started making cushion covers using designs made up of half square triangles. My intention is to make three different arrangements, all 24 inches square. Each finished HST is 3 x 3 inches, so 64 for one cushion cover, 192 in total. I’m using the ‘magic eight’ method which is fabulous but it does mean that each HST has to be carefully trimmed to size afterwards.

What a fantastic excuse to buy a turntable I thought to myself!! After a bit of research I chose the Martelli Round-About Cutting Mat and I thought you might all like to know about it.

It describes itself as the ‘Quilters Edition Mat – Commercial Grade’ and has a patent pending on this design. I’m eager to see what is special about it. The cutting mat itself is round (one of the reasons I chose it) and measures 16.75 inches in diameter. A grid is provided over 16 inches of the surface and this is additionally highlighted and numbered in the central 10 x 10 inch area. Angles of 45 and 60 degrees are usefully marked in both directions.

The cutting mat has a non-slip backing which perfectly sits on the round-about base, but it can also be simply removed to use free standing. The turntable base is just a smidgen under 16 inches, so practically the entire cutting mat is supported. The underside of the base is also covered in ‘non-slip’ which means it doesn’t move on your table, it just turns on its ball bearings as you require.

The Martelli Round-About Cutting Mat includes an ironing surface which is about 15 inches in diameter. It is lightly padded and the cotton cover is removable, I assume to wash or replace. Although this fits in with the other elements of this kit I can’t really see why you would need the ironing surface to be rotatable, but I might be missing something here! This doesn’t have a non-slip back and slides on the turn-table (yes I did actually try this). So I have come to the conclusion that the ironing surface is just an extra thing, included for convenience (for a class maybe) and is round for aesthetics rather than for use on the turntable.

I must confess I have not had my hands on any other turntable so I am unable to make comparisons with anything else on the market. I have, however, read about disgruntlements (I was surprised to find this is actually a word but I would have used it anyway) that others have expressed. These include tipping when cutting towards the edges, slippages of various types, and things being generally unsteady and falling apart.

The Round-About has a base nearly as wide as the cutting mat and because it’s round it never overhangs the support of the base. The addition of non-slip surfaces on the base and on the mat means everything stays put until the user deliberately rotates. I have not had this product for very long so it’s difficult to comment on how it might respond to wear and tear. It appears to be quite sturdy though, as far as I can tell. My spoiler alert would be that this item is very expensive and, as far as I could tell, not available in the UK. I bought mine from Amazon which does, at least, inform you about shipping costs.

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