Free Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

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I needed a sewing machine mat in a hurry since I’m taking a workshop on Sunday and I’m tired of losing stuff all the time!  I found a good tutorial a few weeks ago but just didn’t have the time to quilt my own piece of fabric.  Then I remembered that a certain big fabric store sells pre-quilted fabric and the lightbulb went off.   I made this in a few hours (it took longer because of the photos and stuff) but I love it!

It also makes a great organizer for my Featherweight sewing machine!

Here is what you’ll need:

  1. A yard of pre-quilted fabric (this will cover the mat area and your pocket area).   Use a coupon.  If you want to quilt your own go for it!
  2. Binding for the pocket and the mat (this will vary depending on the size of your machine)

I had binding leftover from other projects so I just grabbed what sort of matched and went with it.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Measure your machine length. Mine measured at 18″ or so and I added an inch just in case so it was wide enough to comfortably fit.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Now sit at your machine where you normally sew. Tape your tape measure to the back of your machine and measure down to the top of your legs from where you are sitting.  This way the pockets don’t get in the way when they fall from the table. Mark where the bottoms of the pockets should be with tape or something.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

This is an example of the pre-quilted fabric you can find at the big fabric stores.
Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Fold your fabric selvage to selvage with the fold at the bottom. Trim one end so you can make an even cut.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Now use your cutting mat or a ruler to measure how long your fabric should be and cut the other side evenly.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Flip your fabric and trim the selvages off at the top. Unfold your fabric now.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Cut the width. For my machine I made it easy on myself and did 19″ square all around so I didn’t mess up a measurement.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
You should have your mat base cut out now.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Figure out how tall your pockets can be without irritating and getting in the way. Mine could be about 4″ high and I added another half an inch for the binding. I cut my pockets out at 4.5″ high.  Don’t make them too deep or you won’t be able to dig out your tiny tools!

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Don’t know how to bind by machine? Here is a great video tutorial! You don’t need to miter anything since this is just the pocket portion. Trim the edges clean when you are finished.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Now pin your pocket to the mat and figure out how big you want the individual pockets to be by laying out your notions that you want to store in there.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
I added an optional loop using some leftover binding that I sewed into a hook so I can hang my scissors from my mat and not drop them.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Mark your pocket lines with a chalk pencil using a ruler so your lines are straight.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Sew those lines! Be sure to backstitch at the bottom and the top of your pockets for extra strength.

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Quick and easy!

Sewing Machine Mat Tutorial
Portable and useful!

I hope you liked the mat tutorial! They make great quick gifts for your sewing friends too.


  1. Valerie Duff says:

    Great project! Any reason you couldn’t have added the depth of the pocket section to the main section and just folded it up instead of piecing? It would only work on two-sided fabric, but would save a step…. I’m all for saving steps!

    • You certainly could do that – it might make your binding finish a little different depending on if you wanted it on the bottom or not. If not you’ll have to make sure the edges are tucked in on the corners since it won’t be joined to anything.

  2. how cute is that! I think I need to make one :)

  3. A quick gift idea that could be sold on Etsy!

  4. If you made pockets for both sides – you could just place the mat down without having to think about which side to face up. Tools can go in either side. Just fill pockets once mat is in place.

    • I thought about that but I didn’t want it to be too heavy and bulky. It gets pretty bulky with thread and a big pair of scissors as it is. Anyone can add a number of pockets as they desire! I also wanted to add a mini pincushion that would flip out from the side but didn’t have time to do one. Lots of ways to customize this.

  5. Great idea, thanks for sharing the tutorial! Now I’ll have to make one for my threads and bobbins that keep falling off my table while I’m quilting! I love Your fabric choices btw!

  6. Katie, love the mat. Thanks for sharing how you made it. :)

  7. Nicely done Katie, thanks!

  8. I need one of these so badly!

  9. The mat looks long enough to use as a sewing machine dust cover—or could adjust depending on your machine. Just add ribbons to the side and tie.

    • Yeah it is nice to be able to roll it up or fold it for transport so your stuff doesn’t fall out – I’m sure you could easily adapt it for a cover just need to make it long enough.

  10. Fabulous – I have just made one, it will be so handy!

    • Cool!! E-mail me a photo!

      • Carolyn Prentice says:

        Katie : I have made 20 of these type of mats for my Sisters and Nieces for Christmas last year. I used purchased bias and pre-quilted fabric. I added shelf liner to the back under where the sewing machine sits. The trick I learned sewing on the shelf liner is: use parchment paper between your sewing attachment foot and the shelf liner. The parchment paper is cut just a scant wider then your sewing foot. I broke a few needles before I learned this trick. The parchment paper tears off very easily.
        The shelf liner add a little cushion and sewing is quieter. My Family loved their gift.
        I love using my mat as I now know where my scissors, marking pens and screw driver are at. It frees up room on my sewing table. I do a lot of sewing on a wooden TV tray so this mat saves room. I use a Featherweight so it is not a big machine. My mats fit whatever machine the Girls own.
        Your tutorials are amazing.

  11. Brilliant – can’t source quilted material in the UK but love the pattern – will just need to quilt my own first – thanks for the inspiration

  12. Jan_GodBlessAmerica says:

    Love this idea and your tutorial is great. Thanks so much. :)

  13. Thank you Katie for the great tutorial. I was planning on making three for quilt retreat door prizes so bought 3 yds of quilted fabric. I ended being able to make 6 of them – they are 20″ square with the same size pockets as you. I used purchases double folded binding and some ribbon for the scissor loop. Love the way they came out and they took no time to make.

  14. Michelle says:

    I like very much the idea making this sewing machine mat as a gift for a girl friend.
    Thank you for the tutoring.
    A bientôt

  15. Evita Piepho says:

    Thanks a lot for posting on Tipnut site. For sure I’ll make some for our Guild Christmas Party. Lots of door prizes and little gifts too. A very clear to understand tutorial. Evita

  16. Kim in Michigan says:

    Very clear tutorial! and i just love the fabric you choose! thanks!

  17. Hi Katie!
    I love your sewing machine mat!
    And love the way you explain it all.
    It was my first project with my sewing machine and I loved to do it!
    Thank you!

    I posted my mat here:


  18. Hi
    I love that fabric you’ve used for this project. I’m having trouble finding what I call pretty pre-quilted fabric in the U.K. I don’t suppose you remember the name of this fabric, so that I can try to hone in my search on a British supplier of such material, if I can’t get that particular one anymore?

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Hi Diane,

      The fabric I purchased was from JoAnn Fabrics in the USA. The name of the manufacturer was “Fabric Traditions”. If you don’t have luck finding a local British supplier, I know you can get some from Shipping might be expensive but at least you’d have a source. Pre-quilted fabric selection

      • I need to move close to a Jo-Ann’s then – simple! :-)
        Thanks heaps for this information Katie – I’m off to search t’internet for U.K suppliers.

  19. Could you just purchase two place mats and fold one almost in half and attach it to the flat one for the pockets?

  20. Love this. Can’t wait to make one. Looks so pretty with your Featherweight.

  21. Great minds and all that.
    Here’s the one I made waaaay back in Feb 2009:

  22. Glenda Oliver says:

    I am new to your site love your simple tutorial I will be back on all your info. So helpful and the best thing it is free

  23. What a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing your pattern and the tips; especially the coupon one. :)


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