Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pressing matters

Hello everyone, and happy first day of fall! I'm feeling a lot better, although we've now reached the point in the year when I'm hoping the first freeze comes soon. Fall allergies are the worst allergies for me, so the sooner that all those nasty plants die and stop spreading their spores around, the happier I will be. Sometimes I get really bloodthirsty towards them and wish I had a flamethrower or something. Then I remember that a large part of California is in flames and I stop thinking that way. But I still want them all to die.

I've got a lot of things going on here, sewing-wise. I'm still making sections of the Ocean Waves quilt. There are a LOT of pieces.

Even though I had all the small parts made already, it's a little tedious putting them together, what with how they have to be oriented all "correctly" and everything. I might have to actually cut into some white yardage to get big enough pieces for the triangles because I'm running out of scrap pieces that are big enough. We'll see.

I'm also still making parts for the Burgoyne quilt.

This quilt may pass Ocean Waves as the next to be finished. It's just so darned happy and fun to work on.

One thing that is not fun is the constant stand-up, sit-down exercise involved in pressing all of those units. The 9-patches (and the 4-patches) are made of individual squares, so no strip piecing. I had a lot of these already cut, because 1 1/2 inch squares are the smallest pieces I save, so I already had a bunch. They're getting used up here, so a LOT of pressing.  I needed a satellite pressing station that I could keep by my sewing machine. My legs could use the exercise, of course, but it keeps breaking my sewing rhythm. So I made a pressing station.

I started with a wooden TV tray that came from my mother-in-law's house, so it's been around for a while and is quite solid. On top of the table I layered a piece of 1/4 inch foam, which I had left over from padding a bench, then a layer of Insul-Brite, an insulating fabric that I use in potholders and such.

Then I added another layer of thin polyester batting on top of the Insul-Brite.

I thought polyester would be better, but I see that my actual  ironing board has cotton. Huh. Well, at least I didn't waste batting that could go into a quilt on this.

What to put on the top? I didn't want to use any quilting fabric on the cover here, so I rummaged around and found this generous half yard of upholstery-weight cotton.

Not sure why I had this fabric, but it made a great cover! After a struggle with stretching and fastening everything, here is the finished ironing station!

The silly thing is perfect! It fits right next to me and doesn't take up room on the sewing table. Very helpful!

I mentioned struggling with stretching and fastening the layers. I saw a tutorial online that showed how to sew a cover for a tray table, but I wasn't going to do that. I'd rather sew quilts! I decided just to use my handy electric stapler and staple everything to the underside. Well. . .

Yeah, the stapler and the table didn't really get along. Not sure why. I ended up pulling out those staples and then using upholstery tacks and a hammer to fasten everything down. It took longer, but the hammering part was fun. Be sure to put an old towel or something on the table or bench (or the floor) under the piece to help hold it still.

For the rest of the week, my plan is to make good use of this pressing station and get closer to finishing one of those quilts. I'm close to ready to be done with fiddly little pieces, no matter how great they look. I also basted some things and am ready to quilt them up. Plus, today is my birthday and I see chocolate cake and a dinner out in the very near future. Wins all around!

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let's Bee Social.  Happy sewing everyone!


Cathy said...

This is pretty funny. Both the ocean waves and the Burgoyne are on my list of "to-do's" and soon and I've been looking for a wooden tv tray to make myself a pressing station for next to my sewing machine! Great minds think alike. I love the fabrics in your Burgoyne and can't wait to see the finish!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great quilts you are working on and that is a great idea to make a portable ironing table!! Have a wonderful birthday today!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Happy Birthday! Mine was Sunday (with decadent chocolate brownies) . . . your ironing station is SUCH a good idea!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Mari!!! Hope your day is lovely.

California continues to burn. Schools were out yesterday due to smoke. Today they are telling us the kids won't e allowed outdoors. It is the thickest I have ever seen it. There is a prediction for a bit on rain on Thursday and you can bet we are all doing our rain dance here.

The quilts arre progressing nicely. Lots of piecing but they will be so pretty.

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday! Hope the allergies let up so you can have a nice day. Ugh. I know how you feel with those bothersome Fall allergies.

What a dandy handy pressing table you have made! You should be just whipping out those two quilt tops now! I just love the colorful Burgoyne quilt!

grammajudyb said...

Happy Birthday!. I love my small pressing table that sits beside me at the machine. Great recycle of things you already had. I too could use the exercise, but like you say...throws off your rhythm.

Anonymous said...

Love your pressing table, and the two quilts you are working toward finishing. I can see how the cheery solid colors could tempt you away, but I do like all the scrappy blues, too.

Sara said...

Some members of our guild have made the same little tables and they bring them to our sewing days. So handy and easy to carry to a retreat.

Jo said...

Oh wow.
Great work being done and a busy day too

Jennie said...

I keep meaning to make a pressing table like that - thanks for the tips on upholstery tacks and a hammer - I think I could enjoy that.

SuperMomNoCape said...

I love the fabrics you've chosen for your Ocean Waves quilt! And I've had one of the pressing stations on my to-do list for ages. Yours looks great!

Jennifer Price said...

I love the thought of a dedicated pressing station, it sounds so much classier than ironing board! Thanks for sharing.

Marsha Cooper said...

I'm going to have to pin this and see if my hubby might try making me an ironing place.....however my only wooden tv tray is sitting next to me right now with my sewing machine on it.
I rarely sew in my sewing room as there is no tv in there....not to mention the mess.
If I was wealthy, one gal in the quilt guild, her hubby makes these. He charges $75.