It’s finally done!
I know, I know . . .
You can hardly believe it . . .
My Cowboy is My Hero!
I was tired of having the board leaning up against the end of my island in my studio. We were so busy last week, I didn’t even ask My Cowboy to look at it. But while I was off teaching a quilting class Saturday, he was busy measuring and figuring, and coming to the realization that the boards he had in the barn that he thought would work — really wouldn’t.
So we took a trip to town to the hardware store, and got all the necessities to just git ‘er dun! We needed a 1 x 2 board, and some screws to fasten the pieces to the larger board with.
I already had the big board. My sister got that for me, since she’s making one, too, and we just shared the piece she got; and, thanks to her, it came already cut to the size I needed: 22″ x 60″. She is making a tabletop out of hers, so she got 3/4″ board, which is pretty heavy. I’d have made mine out of 1/2″ board, if I wasn’t a free-loader.
First, My Cowboy cut all the little pieces that go on the underside to keep the board from slipping around after you lay it on top of the regular ironing surface. He put the screws in from the top down to secure these pieces to the big piece of board. We didn’t really measure too carefully, just guessed at what might work. Carpenters, we’re not! Which might explain some things around our place . . . hmmm . . .
I used two layers of thick batting and an outer layer of unbleached muslin to cover the entire top of the board. I just wrapped it around tightly, turning the raw edges under, and used the staple gun to attach it.
Next, I made a removable cover for it to put on over the top of the muslin cover, so I don’t have to replace the muslin cover (at least not very often, hopefully — I don’t know HOW my ironing board cover gets so nasty so quickly!). I cut a piece of fabric to fit the top of the board and wrap around, added an extra 2″ all around, and turned the edges under to make a casing, leaving about a 2″ opening so I could run elastic through it. (Be sure when you do this part, that you leave the corners open so that the elastic can run through — don’t fold them tight and not leave a hollow area.)
Then I used my bodkin . . . and at this point, I always get asked, “What’s a bodkin?”, so . . . I took pictures of my bodkin so you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is a bodkin . . . well, actually, this is a really blurry picture of a bodkin. Just pretend that your eyesight is failing (like mine — and evidently, my camera’s) and use your imagination:
It’s a little tool with clampy arms, like little tiny tongs, and there’s a ring on it. You clamp something with the teeth of the tong arms, then slide the ring down towards the end to hold the clamps shut. Then you can guide your items using the bodkin, such as elastic through a casing, or turning a long tube right side out, or all sorts of uses like that. Neat, huh? I know you can still buy them, probably somewhere like Clotilde, or maybe JoAnn’s. Dritz makes them . . .
So I used my bodkin to run the elastic through the casing, then pulled it tight and fastened it. I tried it on the board, but it was a bit loose, so I just pulled the elastic back out and chopped some off and fastened it again tighter. (It was a very scientific and precise process.) I put the print top over the muslin top and put the board on top of my regular ironing board, and it’s all done! I can take the cover off and wash it if it gets yucky, or just pull the elastic out and make a new one if it wears completely out. Thankfully, it doesn’t take up any larger footprint than it did before, floor-space wise, and I’m soooo going to love having this larger surface to iron quilt backings on. I’m already envisioning the time I’ll save . . .