DIY pressing board

I finally made my pressing board today. It was super easy to do and I spent less than $20 on it. Highly recommend trying this if you need something firmer than a regular ironing board and don’t have the space/money for a store bought pressing board.
Materials:

TV tray (Target $9)

THIN cotton batting (Hancock Fabric $4)

100% cotton canvas (Hancock Fabric $4)

Staple Gun

Spray bottle w/ water
Step 1. Get a sturdy Tv Tray

Step 2. Cover the tray with double layer of batting

Step 3. Flip the tray over onto a sturdy surface (I used my dining table)

Step 4. Staple down one side of the batting

Step 5. Continue stapling until side 1 is secure

Step 6. Pull batting taut and trim the fat off of the other side and secure down; continue with last 2 sides.

Step 7. (Securing corners) tuck one side of the corner in and staple it down.

Step 8. Fold other side of corner down and secure.

Step 9. Add an extra staple to hold the entire corner together.

Step 10. Flip table back over.

Step 11. Lay canvas on table and trim off any obvious extra fat.

Step 12. Flip table over and begin stapling down sides.

Step 13. Continue stapling the same way you did with the batting finishing the corners the same way.

Step 14. Fill a spray bottle with water

Step 15. Spray top of table till decently damp.

Step 16. Flip table over and spray the bottom side on the canvas.

Step 17. All done!! Let the pressing board dry before using. As the canvas dries, it will shrink a little creating a nice tight layer on your board.
I hope this helps somebody else the same way it did me!

Until next time –

Lisa

 

  
  
  

Jams and boards

So I now have 9/48 blocks done. Some of them look better than others but my fabric isn’t consistent across the board. Most of my pieces are cut from onesies and are really stretchy while some pieces are cut from dresses and have no give to them at all. Over all though, I think it’s looking pretty good so far! I’m finding that I really wish I’d had my 4X4 ruler when I was cutting the squares out. I’m spending a TON of time trimming the fat off of the squares and trying to even them out. To anybody trying to use a piece of fabric or some jank-ity piece of plastic as a stencil, I HIGHLY recommend spending the $4-$6 dollars on the ruler right from the beginning. Also – I think I would recommend going for 5″ squares over 4″ squares (especially if doing the baby clothing quilt thing) because I’m losing a lot of the logo/prints in the process of sewing my seams together and an inch would have gone a LONG way in saving them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the way it’s come out, but I think it could have been better. 

My lines have improved SO much since I started. I’m consistently sewing a straight 1/4″ seam but I am still having issues with the fabric sliding or bunching up and getting jammed when I’m first starting a new line. I’m having the most trouble figuring out how to back stitch at the beginning of each seam because the fabric gets jammed in the little teeth that pull it through the machine. I think that’s probably because of the type of fabric I’m using and it’s not stiff enough to stay flat? I don’t even know if that makes any sense to you guys or not….? My grandma recommended that I could spray the fabric with starch because I wasn’t able to figure out how to get the fabric stabilizer to work the way I wanted it to, also because it’s more than I can really afford right now for how much I need. 

Anyways – like I said, I think overall I’m doing pretty well… I want to believe it’s more my choice in fabric messing me up right now rather than my actual skills on my machine 😁

Lastly 

  – I’ve been using a cutting board wrapped in a tshirt (high tech I know 😳) as a pressing board because my ironing board was too… Squishy, and I wasn’t able to get my seams as neat. So I’ve decided to make my own pressing board! I bought all the materials yesterday and as soon as I get my hands on a staple gun, I’m going to assemble it. I’m kind of winging it here, but honestly… I know it’s going to be pretty badass. I bought a TV tray from Target, some really thin cotton batting, and some cotton canvas (in total I spent less than $20 dollars), when I got home yesterday and after my daughter went down for her nap, I laid the batting and canvas on the tray and tried it out, and even not “put together” it worked SOOO much better than the ironing board or my cutting board/tshirt contraption! I’ll post pictures and a “how to” when I put this thing together in the next day or two! Hopefully at least one other person will find this pressing board as useful as I already am! 
Until next time –

Lisa 

Making those corners my b!tch 😈

So I ran out of my practice squares, and instead of destroying more of my daughter’s old clothes, I decided to just go for it. I took one of the sets of nine squares I had already sorted out into blocks and took a deep breath. Apparently my breath was deep enough because this was the best block I’ve sewn so far!!!I started by ironing out the squares and trimming the fat off of them with the 4×4 ruler I recently got (which works better than the clear dvd case I cut into a 4×4 stencil and MUCH better than using a square of fabric as a stencil). After laying the pieces together in the correct order again, I started to sew the squares together in strips of three. After sewing all three strips together I ironed them out – I ironed them by splitting the seams down the middle. After reading a few blogs, tutorials, and whatnots, I’ve seen that with some people the split seam method works better for them, and apparently it works MUCH better for me too! I can see where my seams are so much easier and I was able to line them up better. Also – in order to help me keep my fabric from moving around too much I pinned the strips together at the seams. That appears to be where I have the most issues with making sure my fabric stays where I want it to, so I thought a little extra reinforcement can’t hurt right? This seems to be a pretty common issue with using clothing as fabric though as opposed to quilting fabrics – maybe not the best thing for me to learn how to quilt/sew with 🙄😒

Anyways… I’m really proud of myself with the progress I’ve made on the sewing machine and with how much better my block looks this time (especially since this is one that will actually be going on to my little one’s quilt!)!

I want to thank the people who have commented on my posts with suggestions, they’ve REALLY helped me a lot! I know I’ll keep getting better and I really can’t wait to be able to post more of my progress!
Until next time –

 Lisa

Maybe I’m getting the hang here….

Alright… It turns out that pressing my seams is a lot more important than I though it was. And I mean a LOT. My corners still are nowhere near being perfect, but I’m ok with that. I may be using a machine to sew, but I myself am not a machine. Plus – who’s going to complain, My daughter?  First of all, shes too young to notice right now, and second…. Even if she weren’t, she can shut up. I’m doing something nice for her here aren’t I? 

I’m finding that with every line I do I get a little straighter and slightly more comfortable with my sewing machine. So far I’ve put together 5 super shabby blocks and about 4-5 not too shabby blocks (FYI – I’m doing a 9 square quilt pattern). Now again, these squares are all my extra pieces, so I still haven’t actually started my monster yet, hopefully after a couple more practice runs I’ll feel a little more confident moving on to the real pieces!! 

Currently I’m averaging about 20-25 minutes or so per block and I figure if I spend 1 hour every other day after my daughter goes to sleep… I’ll have all 48 blocks done by 2033 and then I can work on batting and backing! Basically I guesstimate that this quilt will be finished in time for my daughter’s daughter’s daughter…….. 😳

Till next time –

Lisa

Screw you corners! 

Today was a pretty big day for me! I cleared off the kitchen table, opened the box my sewing machine came in, set it up, read the user’s manual and figured out how to thread a bobbin and bottom and top thread the machine. Then, I grabbed my stack of extra squares I had finished cutting out yesterday and began sewing “practice blocks.”    
 I guess I could be worse… After I got over the fear of sewing my fingers together, my lines got a little straighter. I have my sewing machine set on the mid speed range, and I’m not stepping the peddle down all the way, I have found if I do, my fabric gets all wonky and my lines go to sh!t. 

Right now I’m having trouble getting my corners anywhere near lined up. I’m sure it doesn’t look bad for a beginner but I’m kind of a perfectionist, and I’m also an “instant gratification” type of person, so the fact that I don’t know how to fix this RIGHT NOW bugs me 😳

I figure I need to keep practicing before starting on the blocks I plan on using for the quilt, but I can’t help but want to dive right in… This process is going to teach me some serious lessons on patience 😡

Till next time –

Lisa 

Day 2 – I sat on a Lego and thought I was going to die…

Today I finished cutting out all my fabric squares. 432 of those tiny little suckers plus plenty of extras or “second choices.” I’ve separated them into 3 categories of patterns, solids, and the ones with cute pictures or phrases on them.
Now, since I live in a small apartment that’s practically run over with toddler toys and whatnot, I sat on the floor in front of my coffee table to do this. At this point, my butt hurts, my back hurts, and I’m covered in fabric fuzz. Luckily after two “Tinker Bell” movies, my sweet babes went down for a nap so I was able to really bust these things out. I’ll be switching to the dinner table for the sewing part, I’m getting too old to sit on the floor for this long 😉.
My next step is going to be sorting out my squares into blocks, I’m hoping Miss Lilly will sleep a little longer so I can start on that today too. Then I’ll start practicing using my machine!! I’m getting kind of excited about this. I plan on looking in to sewing classes at Joann’s or Handcock Fabric thanks to a suggestion I received. I also plan on using YouTube a lot for tutorials… I mean, if I can learn how to decorate cakes from YouTube, why not learn how to sew right? 
Till next time-

Lisa