Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Custom Ironing Board Cover

Ironing just isn't fun is it?  I've never heard anyone say, "I just can't wait to iron."  Well, except for granddaughter E, but that was during a quilt lesson and she'd never ironed at the time.  She was thrilled. And then there was the Turkish girl when I was teaching quilting to a group of Turkish women.  She was so proud because her job was to press as we worked on the blocks.  But still, usually people are not thrilled to iron so why not make it as pleasant as possible.

About 10 years ago I purchased a Quilter's Ironing Board from Shared Ideas, two friends in Iowa who were at the time making these boards and selling them. Now they live in different states so I don't know if they still make them.  They read my blog so if they do, they'll let us know.

The board is 48" wide by 16" deep and attaches with elastic to a regular ironing board.  It's perfect for ironing fabric and even sheets!  I keep mine on my board all the time.  But I need to have a pretty, coordinated cover on it so I make them.  The board came with instructions that included the small end of the actual ironing board, but I cover just the rectangle of the QIB which makes it easy when I do decide to remove it for some reason.

This is much more attractive to look at than metallic silver, don't you think? This same toile fabric forms the skirt on my cutting table.  I show you that in future post.

Start by measuring your board.  If you have a regular board, you can just trace the old cover.  You will need to measure the depth of the board and add the amount you want it to wrap to the back plus 3/4 to 1" for the casing that will hold the elastic cord and add that amount to the length and width of the board.

Because the fabric I used was 108" wide, I tore the fabric to make sure it was on the straight of grain.  I can get two covers out of 108" wide fabric so I can have one in the laundry and one on the board.  I use a lot of starch and though I usually cover the area with a piece of muslin, I sometimes forget and the cover needs to be laundered to remove the starch.

For a rectangular board, mark rounded corners and cut on the drawn line.

Serge the raw edges all the way around.  If you leave selvages on, you do not need to serge those.

Baste the curved corners.

Pin at least 3/4" for casing and gather the corners by pulling the basting thread.

Pin and press all the way around.  Notice the two pins going from the opposite directions?  They are to mark the beginning and ending of the stitching leaving a small opening where the elastic will be inserted.  By pinning from the opposite side, it will be a reminder for you.

Stitch close to the serged edge being sure to leave that opening!

Thread narrow elastic through a safety pin.  I tie the elastic through the hole and tie securely.  I don't want the elastic to come out part of the way through the process!

Insert the elastic into the casing and pull it through until the pin comes out of the opening at the other side from where you began.

Pull the elastic taut and tie securely.  The goal is for it to be taut, but not so tight that you cannot remove and replace the cover from the board.

Smooth the corners as much as possible.

Put the board back on top of your ironing board and you are ready to tackle that fabric.  Even shirts and other items can be ironed with this board in place.

If you used your old ironing board cover as a pattern, the process is much the same, but you will only have two square corners to deal with.

Hope you enjoy picking out your own favorite fabric and making a cheerful cover for your ironing board.

Have a wonderful, creative and peaceful day!




Lorinda said...

No, saddly we quit making the boards when I left Zwingle in '98. Can't believe it has been so long since we all lived in Iowa. Jo and I still use our boards and have recovered them several times.

Lois Arnold said...

Thank you, Lorina, for letting us know. I thought I remembered that you or Jo one had told me you were no longer making the boards. I absolutely love mine and have made a number of covers for it as well over the years. I guess I've had it longer than I remembered!

JoQuilter said...

Ah, those were the days! And I still think they are the perfect size. I was so kindly gifted a new cover one day last year by a daughter that recovered my board for me. And she used a Fossil Fern fabric that just matches the water stains and scorch marks that I put on it.

Lois Arnold said...

You are right, Jo, it is the perfect size. I'm so glad I got one when I did! Yep, I know about those water spots and scorch marks!