Simplest Sewing Ironing Board Ever!

April 23, 2010 at 10:09 am 3 comments

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I’ve long been on a mission to find an ironing board solution for my sewing project.  Space in our house is already limited, so when I take over our tiny kitchen (and part of the living room), there’s not any room for a full-sized ironing board.  I bought a table-top ironing board which worked fine, but it broke down much too easy cardboard base is why, I think).

I needed something portable but also ‘firm’ since I do a lot of seam pressing and small detailing, which never works out well on a mushy surface.  I finally found the perfect solution!  And this was too easy:

Paul and I have a set of TV trays strewn about between various rooms in the house and the garage.  They aren’t used for eating in front of the television.  Over time, more than anything, they’ve been used in place of a side table (like when I had surgery and was immobile) or I set them up when I’m working on a sewing or craft project in the living room.

All I did was lay down a layer of natural Muslin that I had leftover and put double-layer of 100% cotton batting on top of that (I used Warm & White).  Any cotton batting is fine, just make sure it’s 100% cotton – polyester will melt under the heat of an iron, cotton just absorbs the heat.  Then I put the TV tray centered on the two fabrics.

Next, Paul pulled the batting and Muslin tight and stapled them down all the way around the TV tray.

And that was it.  Instant portable ironing board!

While we’re on the topic of ironing, I do have a product to rave about.  I know ironing is usually one of the most dreaded tasks when it comes to quilting. I  usually hate it because freshly-washed fabric wrinkle and crease so easily, no matter how low of a heat setting I use to dry them and no matter how quickly I get them out of the dryer.

I was using light starch for awhile, but it would still take forever on high steam settings to try and get the creases out.  Also, I hate the smell of starch, and starch is not good for your fabric, especially for projects meant to hang that probably won’t ever get washed again (i.e. my Ronald Reagan project).

While visiting Red Hen Fabrics two weeks ago, I discovered the most amazing product.  It’s called Mary Ellen’s Best Press.

Best Press - The Clear Starch Alternative 32oz Refill


It’s a great starch alternative and the veterans highly recommend it.  It comes in several scents, but I am a big citrus fan, so I chose Citrus Grove.  The smell is amazing!  It’s so light, not at all overwhelming.  And it’s not a loud scent – you can barely smell it and it just smells clean, nothing syrupy.

The first night I tried it, I managed to iron 25 fresh-from-the-dryer and creased-all-to-hell fat quarters in about 30 minutes.  I misted the fabric and ironed (on a low steam setting).  Seriously, I’ve never seen wrinkles eliminated so quickly and beautifully!  Also, the fabric is firm which makes sewing so much easier and stable, but it’s not stiff like you get with regular starch.

I highly recommend!  The tag line on the product is “So easy you’ll (almost) love ironing!”  Couldn’t be more true.


Entry filed under: Quilting & Sewing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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