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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Enough Ironing Board: How Board Can You Be?

Every so often I go on a quest. I look at a situation and decide there has to be a better way. There usually is. It's just often outside the quilt world proper.

My father used to say if a job took too long, was too nasty, or didn't work right, you had the wrong tool. He also said you could use a hammer for a saw, but it was hard on the hammer and hard on what you were sawing. He didn't often say much, but he was surely right about this.

I have a small table I've used as an ironing board for years. I covered it with cotton quilt bat and some muslin dipped in boric acid solution as a way of making it fire retardant. It's so much easier to work than an ironing board. It also never falls over.

Did I say it was a small table? I don't often work large but when I do, I do. I'm working on a piece that's around 68"x50". Since all of that has to be backed with a stabilizer, I've been wrestling with it on that small board.

I also have a lovely old Create-A-Space table I bought over 20 years ago. It's about 48" by 74", and it came with a cutting mat. 

I morned the day they stopped carrying these. Mine is a bit rickety but a worthy studio companion. There are smaller versions of this available, but this was worthy.

The smaller versions have an ironing board cover you can order. I did, not thinking the smaller issue would count. I've always been in the headset that you can always stretch things. Not that much.

It had an interesting grid and a foam sheet to put under it.  And it fit just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine. It was useless.

As I was making my plans to buy some really wide muslin and get some boric acid, I walked past the linens isle in the discount store.  The twin mattress pad fit perfectly.It was cotton with poly bat. It cost around $8, rolls up in the cupboard when I need to cut on the board and doesn't have a odd foam sheet for me to lose in the studio somewhere.

Follow this link to E how, where they talk about how to make fabric flame retardant with Borax, boric acid, and a spray bottle. Easy and low tech.

Wrapping it up:
If you've got a table the size of a twin bed, and you have a mattress pad, you can have a ironing board pretty much the size of God. And if you can think outside the box, you can do  just about anything.


Approachable Art said...

Great post, thanks! :) I use old sheets all the time, but never thought about all those old mattress pads I've tossed out over the years!

Laura Krasinski said...

Wow.. what a great idea... love it..

Wen Redmond said...

OK great idea! Not the ironing part- the Big part like in Mr BIG!
Thanks I'll try it!

Sherrie Spangler said...

What a great idea! I think I'll do this soon. Thanks!

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