Oh boy, words fail me. I’ve finally got the ironing boards of my dreams. Never would I ever have thought that I would get so excited about ironing boards. I may only iron clothes to go out to dinner but of course, pressing is an essential part of quilting. After seeing Sharon Schamber’s ironing boards video years ago, I couldn’t wait any longer and got my husband involved in the project (mainly because his shed is overcrowded and it’s not possible at the moment for me to do anything in there, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
After looking at large ironing boards online, we altered the ideas to suit my sewing room. For the standard ironing board shape, a piece of ~3/8″ marine ply was placed over the top of the mesh and screwed to it. This is because I’ve been fed up with the mesh sagging over time where I iron the most and becomes useless. The edges of the wood were routed and the whole thing sanded and varnished. Counter sunk screws, washers and wing nuts were used to secure it. Low loft cotton batting was used with a duck linen cover that I made with a drawstring and toggle. I can not believe the difference. Sharon was right of course, after all, she IS the magnificent Sharon!
Now on to the large quilting ironing board…Velcro is involved!
I wanted one to fit over the existing ironing board since I don’t use it much for clothing and also wanted to have it height adjustable so it could partially fit under the table next to the sewing table. I designed it to be what looks like the standard large board size of 150cm x 56cm. Again, all the same materials were used except instead of counter sunk screws, inserted screw threads were used and little wooden swing blocks were used to secure it to the main ironing board. All I have to do is take off the cover and batting and pop a piece of muslin cut to shape on top of the lower board to protect it and on goes the top board.
In Sharon’s video, she staples the batting and fabric cover to the OSB board. However, because the ply wasn’t that thick, I didn’t know if the staples would go through the board and I also wanted to be able to wash or replace the covers without damaging the board. So I used hook and look tapes, (sticky hook and sew on loop).
The only issue I had was that the maximum width of the fabric the store had was 150cm. This meant I had to put a seam on each end to wrap the fabric under the board. I pressed the open seams and I don’t think that will make much of a difference as they are on the edges. If you’re using a non-directional fabric, then it won’t be an issue. I just didn’t want to look at a plain fabric. The board seems to flex on the narrower side of the ironing frame but it’s the frame, not the board. Don’t think it’ll be much of an issue as I can always put a hand under the board when using those areas.
It took my husband about 3 days (or so) to make both, about a day for me to varnish them and about 3 days to make the covers. It’s crazy but since I finished these yesterday, I can’t go into the sewing room without running my hand over it. If you’ve ever wanted to get the best pressing surface EVER, don’t put it off any longer. Go for it. They are so good!
Now all I need is a new iron!