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

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 

Step One – the very beginning

image.jpegHere I go…
I have never sewn a quilt before. Actually, I’ve never even attempted to use a sewing machine before, yet here I am diving in to a project that is probably way over my head. I’m taking my daughter’s baby clothes, chopping them to pieces, and Frankensteining them together to **hopefully** create a beautiful, tear-jerking, masterpiece for her to use (or maybe in time for HER daughter to use 😳). I’ve decided to do my best in documenting my experience with this project in order to encourage others to dive in to projects of their own, the projects they thought they’d never actually get around to doing (very similar to the way I thought I’d never actually get around to making this quilt myself).

Anyways, the first step is obviously starting up my collection of quilting necessities. I did a lot of research on sewing machines, and came to the conclusion that I was going to go with a Brother Sewing Machine. Between the price, the capabilities, and the reviews, Brothers had exactly what I was looking for. I opted for the DZ2400 model which was a little more complicated than their “basic/beginner’s” model, but it was supposed to be better for quilting. Luckily, Christmas was just around the corner and I have an incredible family who jumped on board with helping me start this project. Between my boyfriend and in-laws, I was able to get just about everything on my list of “quilting needs.”
(Btw – this list and pretty much the sole tutorial on quilting I plan on using for this project I took from this blog: http://m.instructables.com/id/How-to-sew-a-quilt-Quilting-101/?ALLSTEPS)

So now, a couple weeks later the holidays have finally passed, my tiny apartment is back in order (as much as it can be with a toddler in the house anyways), and I can now sit down and start this journey. Months ago I went through my Little One’s old clothes and separated out all the items I wanted to cut into pieces. Today, while my daughter napped, I took the bin down from the closest, put my cutting mat on the coffee table and opened the lid to this giant box of tiny onesies and pajamas, and one by one I began to destroy them. To be completely honest… I cried a little bit seeing how small these outfits were and yet, how big they were on her a year and a half ago.

At first, I measured out a few pieces suuuper carefully with a 2.5″x18″ ruler until I realized I could use one of the cut pieces as a “stencil” to make the process slightly quicker. I’m cutting the squares in to 4″x4″ pieces (I’m ordering a 4″x4″ acrylic ruler off of Amazon to make this even easier for when I get back to it again) and I need a total of 432. After 3.5 hours of cutting today, I’m now at just under 150 squares……… So what I’m saying is, is this is going to take a while to get through.

Unfortunately I have a full time job and with my little one constantly begging for my attention, I just don’t have time to make quilting a priority. So as I said before, I’m really hoping I can finish this thing before I’m giving it to her daughter instead of her, but please stay tuned in to see how my progress goes! I’m sure I will get frustrated and want to quit, I’m sure when it comes time to actually use the sewing machine I’m going to lose my mind trying to figure it out. I’m hoping you’ll be able to laugh at me and learn from my mistakes, and one day, I’m hoping I’ll be able to share my finished masterpiece with you!

Until next time,
Lisa