Saturday, June 3, 2017

DIY Big Board

Perhaps you have struggled pressing your large quilt tops before quilting. I have, more times than I can count! So when I saw and used a Big Board ironing board at a recent MeetUp group I decided it would enhance my quilting experience to have one!
However when I began to investigate and discovered that these can cost $139 plus shipping my enthusiasm waned until I remembered we [DH and I] had made something similar years ago for the top of an Ikea bureau in my studio.
 I think we used MDF cut an inch or two wider and deeper, then attached cleats to front and both sides
Flip it over and spray baste the board and attach the padding and ironing surface fabric of choice then turn to the back and staple fabric firmly in place. This has been a huge blessing, convenient and a time saver right beside my Quilter's Cabinet.
It was simple then to repeat this process with a piece of 24"x60" plywood. I didn't want it too heavy for me to pick up and remove if needed. We placed my ironing board upside down on the board to mark the position of these stabilizers then DH cut the four strips from a couple of odd bits left from another project and screwed them in place.
You can see that there are two pieces of wood positioned to hug the narrow end of the board.
I am very pleased with this, probably took less than an hour total time.
 It's every bit as good as anything I could have purchased and all for about $30. I used two layers of 100% cotton batting and the 100% cotton aluminum coated ironing fabric from Joann's.
 I had to try it out right away and this top was awaiting final pressing before loading on the longarm and to my delight it worked perfectly. I love it!
The Oliso iron here is one I purchased at "Tuesday Morning" a few years ago for around $50. Until recently I had used it very little but once I began to use it regularly it has become my favorite - only a quilter would have so many irons! If you ever watch the Missouri Quilt Company videos you will notice that they use an Oliso iron.

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