How to Cut Fabric that’s Larger than Your Cutting Mat

how-to-cut-fabric-straight-when-its-too-big-for-your-cutting-boardThere’s always that one project that has us wishing that we had a bigger and better crafting or sewing room. Even those of us with a giant cutting board or mat are sometimes struggling to get perfectly straight lines on giant cuts for our quilts or other sewing projects! I’m here to tell you that, when you have a game plan, the seemingly impossible task of cutting that giant piece of fabric suddenly becomes quite simple! Read on to see how I manage to cut large pieces of fabric on smaller cutting mats without a problem!

Do the Math

Before you get started on cutting, you need to do the math on the exact length of fabric that you’ll need. I needed a 90″ piece of fabric, but clearly, my cutting mat is not 90″ long. So, I divided 90 by 2 and found that my board does have a 45″ mark. So, the game plan was to fold my fabric in half (so that there are 2 halves that measure 45″) and then cut. This will give me a total of 90.”


Add a Little Extra

When folding fabric in half, in order to cut one large piece, I always like to leave  a little wiggle room, so before folding my fabric in half, I added an inch.


Now It’s Time to Fold

Pinch your fabric at the mark and slide it down to the “0” mark on your cutting board. Fold over the spot that you’ve got pinched and line up the bottom folded edge. Make sure that the folded edges match each other and that it’s all lined up on a single line on the cutting mat.


Get Ready to Cut

Once you’re sure that everything is lined up and laying flat, you’re ready to cut! You’ll see that there is about an extra inch of fabric where I want to cut, which is perfect! In order to make sure that both ends are straight—that’s what you want. Line up your ruler, check your math one last time, and then make your cut through all 4 layers of fabric. It’s a little unnerving, but just remember the old adage: Measure twice, cut once!


There you have it—a simple and accurate game plan for cutting fabric that is bigger than your cutting board or mat. Do you have a special technique for the same problem? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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