Let’s face it, one of the negative aspects of sewing as a hobby is the ironing. I hate ironing. Especially ironing entire yards of fabric on a tiny postage stamp-like ironing board. Its hard to get started on a project knowing that I will have to spend an hour moving and repositioning fabric on the ironing board before I can start to actually sew anything.
Recently my ironing board broke and I had to throw it out. Instead of just buying a new one I decided to make a large ironing mat. I also decided to fully commit and make a huge one. I followed the ironing mat tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets.
The ironing mat has four layers:
- Therma-Flec Fabric: The silver (sometimes tan) surface that you actually iron on. AKA ironing board fabric.
- Insul-Bright Needlepunched Insulated Lining – 36″ x 45″
: Heat resistant material that reflects heat back so the iron can do its thing.
- 100% Cotton Batting:Cotton to protect what ever you choose to lay your ironing mat on top of (i.e., the table, floor, or bed).
- Backing fabric: Hopefully cute fabric to hold it all together. Sometimes 100% cotton home decorating fabric is recommended for extra heat protection.
The four layers are quilted together and bound at the edges (I used double fold bias tape). I also added ribbon at the edges so the ironing mat can be rolled up and tied to stay shut for storage.
You are not supposed to pin the Therma-Flec to the Insul-Bright or or other layers because the pins will damage the ironing material. Use basting spray to hold it in place for the quilting. I used Basting Spray for the first time, and I have been converted to a believer. Basting spray is the way to go for any quilting project.
The #1 thing I would do differently is sew on the Therma-Flec/ silver Ironing Board fabric last. Each time I attached a fabric layer to the therma-flec, it bubbled up and is no longer flat. Of course you want a flat surface for ironing on, so ugh. I think it will still work just fine but this is kind of disappointing.
I will say that sewing on the binding through so many layers of thick fabric was very difficult! There were a lot of broken needles and broken thread! Is this what quilting machines are for?
Now there is nothing stopping me from starting a new sewing or quilting project, except the tedious process of ironing itself.