Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ironing Board Tutorial

Whew... we've been busy here! Between our anniversary, Easter weekend, two grandparent visits, AND our air conditioning dying, it's been wild! But I've gotten a TON done, so I want to share with you how to make this totally awesome ironing board cover!

You see, I HATE ironing. Actually, I love the success of watching the wrinkles melt away. I HATE waiting for the "pressing" to occur at low temperatures. Too slow. So I decided I needed to make an ironing board cover that would make ironing more pleasant! I also wanted to make another quilt, but had no use for another at this very moment. So I decided to compile the two needs into one!

I decided to recover my 30 inch ironing board, which is the work horse in my sewing room. It lives on a rolling changing table (I know, a weird thing to keep in your sewing room) but it works great to keep the twins from pulling the iron off since it has a guard rail! :) If you are doing a different size ironing board (like a normal full size or a mid size wall hang style) then you'll need to change my measurements to match. ( I took the measurements of my ironing board, 30"x12", and added 4" to the length because it seemed to fit and 6" to the width, as it was shrinking off my board).

You will need:

1 piece of backing fabric (I used an ugly piece of upholstery weight cotton that I had inherited from somewhere) - 34" x 16"

1 piece of low loft batting (100% cotton is best) - 34" x 16"

Enough quilting cottons to cover the top of the board. In my case, this is 50 pieces cut 2"x6" and 50 pieces cut 2"x2" square.

1 yard of fold over elastic (mine is black)

1 ironing board in desperate need of love

I started by cutting 2" strips from a bunch of fabrics I liked. I then placed them on my cutting mat, which I marked with masking tape to my goal size. (I'm sure there is some magic math out there for exactly how many of what I needed, but this is how I did it. Honestly.)

Then I decided that I wanted squares and rectangles, so I cut my 2" strips into 2" squares and 6" rectangles. I then played with a design on my cutting mat, once again making sure to cover my marked goal size.

I then began assembling the rows. Sew each piece to the one before it, chain piecing them (don't cut your threads between... just feed another one in after the first one finishes), until you get all the rows assembled. Then make sure you press (NOT IRON) all your pieces. See this fabulous entry by WhipUp here for more on seams and ironing. They do an AMAZING job of explaining both!
Then you can put your rows together! I'd lay them out on the cutting board again to make sure you are assembling them in your design, but that's just because with twins, I tend to get distracted! You might not have the same.... hurdles to completion that I do! :)

Once again, press your rows. Then lay your assembled top on your batting, which you can place on top of your base fabric. I then sewed all the way around the edges of all three to create my "sandwich". (Speaking of distractions, this is where the hubby came in to "help" me.... thus, no pictures....sigh)

I then placed my icky old ironing board cover flat on top of my sandwich and cut it to the desired size (which in my case, was 2 inches wider than the original, as it was too small) and shape.

Now it's time to add your fold over elastic. This stuff is AWESOME! In my case, it is a 1 inch strip that has a natural fold line made into the middle. I used it like bias tape and elastic all in one to finish the edge of the cover AND pull it tight. Some advice.... STRETCH IT while you sew it. And make sure you use a zigzag stitch. I didn't stretch mine quite enough the first time so I had to remove it and do it again, but it works like a dream when done correctly!

And that's it! You are done! And your work space is more beautiful and inspiring all during the course of one nap time! Yippie!!!

Need more info?
Check out WhipUp's fabulous ironing board tutorial (no piecing necessary)
Or 33Stitches has an awesome tutorial on how to do it with squares (lots of piecing but no FOE)
And MaggieMakes addresses some things to look out for here
And Make Something also has a FABULOUS photo tutorial here


Quilts on Bastings said...

What a totally cool ironing board board cover - I might just have to make one.

StressTheSeams said...

I really hope you do make yourself one! I LOVE mine and it makes ironing so much more pleasant!


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