A New Favorite: An Aplaca Ironing Mat!

Please excuse my prolonged absence from this blog. Who knew how much this ankle would keep me from sewing? Just look at Percy’s expression – he is almost as bored as I am with the process. Friday marked 15 weeks since I broke my ankle. Good progress is being made as I go to PT twice a week, and am now in my sneakers and using one crutch 90% of the time. Even more encouraging, I have been driving a golf cart and will try out my car this coming week. You must be able to brake quickly and my husband will tell me if I “pass the test”. But enough about this.

Pop Star Progress

I have been working on this quilt, Pop Star, designed by Sandra Walker of mmmQuilts! I have participated in all her Quilt Alongs since 2017; this was all cut out and ready to go when I had my accident. Although I am sad that I didn’t get it done for the parade of quilts, I am pleased to say that it is a top and will be quilted very soon. Some photos of the bits show up a little later in today’s blog.

Planview Progress

I finished this quilt, designed by Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl, in time to show it for the parade of quilts for her QAL. I didn’t quilt it right away, as I wanted to spend some time doing the individual pieces on my longarm, which meant designing some of it. Prostitcher is great, but some things I am still figuring out. I managed to do outlines inside a shape, fills inside a shape, and, designs in a shape. Now, I have to figure out if I want to do an Edge to Edge around the parts or something simple like horizontal lines…stopping and starting each time.

Although I am late to the party, I am calling this my One Monthly Goal.

The Alpaca Ironing Mat – Review

I received this wonderful Alpaca Ironing Mat on June 15th with the promise to offer a review on it. I was really honored to be asked, and I knew it would be a little before I got to review it.

First, I must say I loved the simple and elegant packaging – a beautiful ribbon with a picture of a few of the alpacas! This mat comes from Prairie Spirit Alpaca’s in Canada. Instantly, I was drawn to the way it feels; there is some life to it, maybe the spirit of these lovely animals.

To be truthful, I have another wool mat that I don’t really love…its dense and lifeless and it sometimes seems as though some part of it is burnt onto my iron (it was an unnamed brand that I bought). I have seen none of that with this mat…and saw it very early on with my other mat.

Furthermore, my alpaca mat works like a charm! The generously sized mat is 12″ x 18″, which is nice for larger units. You can see how the one below just fits perfectly on it.

I love the way the blocks are so flat after pressing. The heat really absorbs into the mat. The blue green fabric has a metallic coat and felt fussy but this mat handled it like a charm. And, select this button and you can download a care and feeding of your alpaca mat sheet!

I also love that this feels like a “local” purchase. OK, I am not at all physically close to this farm at all (it is in Alberta, Canada over 4000 km/2500 mi from Portland, Maine), but knowing that these animals are well loved and cared for just makes my heart sing! Just look at these picture. I like knowing there is a person behind the product….and alpacas, too!

©Prairie Spirit Alpacas

To say that I love this mat, is an understatement. I thank Carmen from Prairie Spirit Alpacas and Gail from Quilting Gail who were the instigators and put a bunch of these out there for you to hear about. I am not an affiliate, but I do love this mat and highly recommend it.

At the moment, I am eyeing some socks, which happen to be on a sale, details on sizes follows (I couldn’t find it on the site and Carla responded in a split second…so here it is for you!

***Sock sizes: Small (W 5-6); Med (W 7-9, M 7-8) ; Large (M 9-11, W 10+) and Extra Large (M 11-13). [I am not an affiliate, but am purchasing some for me]

What’s Coming Up On My Blog?

I will be hosting Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd of the month as well as Finish it Up Friday on the 25th, 26 and 27th. Remember, I love seeing Tips and Tutorials so get yours ready for the end of the month through the 1st!

Besides the planned posts, I hope that you will see 2 finished quilts from me before the end of the month – Pop Star and Planview. I have a few little projects – some napkins and a few pillows that I hope to get to before mid-September when there is an art sale on the island and I will be displaying some things on my porch.

Pop Star on the design wall, Planview on the frame!

That’s all for now, hopefully it will be very soon that you will hear from me again!

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. lynn Bourgeois
    August 11, 2022 / 6:59 AM

    Good morning Kathleen,. Your progress sounds great, and it is always a pleasure to read something from you. Recovery is not a two minute process. I am slowly recovering from a concussion and it seems as if it can be a step forward, and a small one back. Thanks for the review on the mat. I will check out the source. My wool mat works well enough, but maybe when my budget permits, I could make and addition. rock on.

  2. Vicki in MN
    August 11, 2022 / 7:54 AM

    So good to have you back blogging. So sorry it has taken so long to heal that ankle, that is a very long time to not be sewing.

  3. August 11, 2022 / 8:29 AM

    So good to hear from you today, Kathleen! While Percy may look bored, I’m sure he’s just happy to be with his human!! I love the colors in both of your projects! And I love my alpaca pressing mat. It is truly great! So glad you are able to be up and about more and PT is helping so much. I just caution you not to ‘jump in with both feet(!)’ to quickly! Have fun in your studio!!

  4. August 11, 2022 / 8:57 AM

    I was pretty excited to see your post in my inbox – so glad you are doing well with your ankle. I hope you are able to drive, too! Your quilts are both fantastic, I love the colors you’ve chosen. I don’t have that brand of wool mat; mine are not nearly as nice, I think. Hope your little art sale goes well, it sounds fun!

  5. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting
    August 11, 2022 / 9:40 AM

    Yes, good to hear recovery is coming along–keep on keeping on. Love your two quilt tops!!! I’m looking forward to seeing how you quilt them. Does the alpaca pressing mat have a smell, like the wool ones do? Not when they’re sitting there, but when a lot of steam is being used on them.

  6. August 11, 2022 / 10:26 AM

    Welcome back, Kathleen! So happy to see your post in my email this morning! It sounds like you are making a good recovery (even if it isn’t fast enough for you). The two blue quilts look great…can’t wait to see them quilted! 🙂

  7. August 11, 2022 / 10:51 AM

    Hurray – a post from you is a treat. So sorry for the long recovery process. I am sure this has been extremely frustrating. I think you are on the cusp of good health though – Keep up the PT and try to be patient a little longer.
    I LOVE the photo of the alpaca with the mountains in the background. That is just stunning. I love my wool mat though the larger size of yours is appealing!

  8. August 11, 2022 / 11:08 AM

    I’m so glad to read about your review of the Alpaca mat. I’ll have to look into that more closely. Your Pop Star quilt is looking wonderful and I’m very excited to see how your Planview quilt finishes. I hope the test drive this week goes well, and I’m glad to hear of your healing progress!

  9. August 11, 2022 / 12:42 PM

    Hi Kathleen! Fifteen weeks! Well, haven’t they flew by in one way yet dragged by, too?! I’m happy to see a post from you. Excellent review about the alpaca mat – I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve written. I’m sure you’re anxious to get back to driving but be cautious. I’d hate for anything to derail all the advances you’ve made. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  10. August 11, 2022 / 10:38 PM

    Wow Kathleen! This is quite the update to let us know you are back! Good to hear you can drive a golf cart and maybe a car soon. Oh I am so in love with your version of Pop Stars. I do love Sandra’s patterns. You have a list of pretty projects to keep you busy!

  11. August 11, 2022 / 10:40 PM

    And I forgot. The Prairie Spirit mat is the best I’ve tried (I have 3 others that I ended up donating to my Guild after getting this one). I love the size. That 12” x 18” works so nicely on my ironing board.

  12. Cocoa Quilts
    August 14, 2022 / 8:50 AM

    Kathleen you are encouraging me to go buy a new mat! Love the review and would like that size also!!

  13. LA Paylor
    August 14, 2022 / 1:53 PM

    my husband only wears alpaca wool socks. I never liked the wool mats and their smell, so I might like this. ANDDDDD when his socks develop holes I wonder about trying to repurpose the cuffs… hmmmm
    sorry your ankle is still in recovery. It takes bodies a long time to heal and forget an injury and it doesn’t pay to push them too fast. Luckily we have so many interests to do while not using a hurt ankle… I deal with a sketchy back/sacrum so I know, I know.

  14. LA Paylor
    August 14, 2022 / 1:56 PM

    ooooo just checked the site, these are almost a hundred bucks..

  15. August 14, 2022 / 2:40 PM

    So many things made me smile while reading through your post. First and foremost seeing sweet Percy keeping you company (even if he does seem bored, I’m sure he’s chasing squirrels in his head). Seeing Pop Star in those FABULOUS fabrics, eeee! And seeing Planview (more gorgeous colours) on your frame, knowing you’re up and about sewing and quilting, just so happy for you. Oh and that mat – I have to do a proper blog post (did one on Instagram) about mine as I love it so and have been using it constantly since I received it. I like what you said about seeing happy animals, and yes, so prettily packaged, and I was so happy to NOT receive any plastic with the mat!

  16. Linda Garcia
    August 16, 2022 / 5:20 PM

    My husband broke his ankle over Memorial day weekend in 2014. He spent the whole summer laid up. He was a mailman and it was 6 months before he could go back to his walking job. But, his ankle did not heal well, and he had to have another surgery at the beginning of summer 2015, so spent that summer also laid up. Luckily, by the summer of 2015, he was old enough to retire from his job, so no more 8 miles a day. He still has difficulty with his ankle to this day. I sincerely hope that you have much better luck with your healing!!

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer