My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Pressing Station - Quilt Studio Tour

Following on from showing you my quilt cutting station, I'm going to show off my new pressing station.  I had been using my ironing board in this location, but Suz's comment on my last studio tour post made me think.

"I've still got my main cutting station set up on top of our large chest freezer... stole that idea off you before :o) but I changed the ironing board area, removing the legs and attaching the top onto a shelving unit. Makes it a bit taller, which is more comfortable to use, and I have useful storage space underneath!"

I've always wanted to set up a better pressing station because an ironing board just isn't big enough for big flat pieces of fabric.  And I don't iron clothes, so I don't need the tapering bit of a board.....

So I assessed what furniture I had around, and here's what I came up with.  A small fold up trestle table that we use for camping (not any more!), those big chunks of wood designed for my door table (see the blog post on my cutting station), three layers of cotton batting, a white sheet, a piece of fabric for a cover and I'm good to go!

When I stand at the pressing station there is a large white cupboard to my left - that holds the majority of my fabric stash.  To the right is a passageway to the laundry, bathroom and the only bedroom.

The chunks of wood stick out a bit at the foot and I thought I might catch my feet, but I haven't yet so they are staying that way for now.

They also sit on carpet and, from experience, the natural wood will leave marks.  I don't know whether it's leaching or perhaps dampness from such a large chunk of wood, but either way, I've cut two pieces of plastic drop sheet the same size as the wood and placed them underneath to protect the carpet.

I hide the ugly trestle legs under a white sheet, and I've got storage of a sorts underneath.  I can fit one more of the larger tubs under there too, and until now those tubs were just kicking around making a nuisance of themselves, so it's good to get them out of the way.

You can get a sense of the size by knowing those are fat quarters of my hand-dyed fabrics.  Loving the size!!  All that room feels luxurious.  There is an electrical plug just behind the table at floor height, so no problems with the iron cord.  The trestle table top is made of heavy duty plastic, but I've stuck my hand underneath the three layers of batting after doing a session of pressing and it's warm but not hot, so I'm not worried about nasty, melty, plastic messes.

And on the wall above the pressing station I have a contraption that my Grandfather made.  He was an artist and iron worker in his spare time and I have a couple of chandeliers he made, a door knocker and this thing, which might be made to hang a light off?  Anyway, it's now hanging my teflon and cotton pressing sheets.  Very handy.  

Here's another view.  I'm standing just at the entrance to the passage way to the laundry etc.  To the left of the dryer is a door and then my cutting station is to the left of the door.  The dryer is temporary (remember, the studio also serves as our storage unit).  I do use it occasionally but have to pull it over so the vent sticks out the open door!

That's a small design board above the dryer and then sets of storage shelves in the far corner and end of the room.

I'm super happy with my new pressing station.  Once again, nothing flash, but it gives me a chance to see if I really like the size and height and then maybe one day I'll invest in something a bit more classy!

What do you use as a pressing station?


  1. Flash is not needed,workable is what we do when there are no alternatives.

  2. Workable is great! If you find the layers getting too hot, you could always put another layer of batting? Also, regarding catching your feet, could you pull the ironing board out so that the legs are even with the wooden block ends?
    Nice work!

  3. Great improvisation! I needed a high pressing set up and last year bought two of the double "cubbies", 40cm square and each I also bought four of the fabric style boxes to fit inside. I covered a board with batting and so on and this sits on top, it's 100cm long by 46cm wide and I love it!

  4. I love your large pressing surface! I use a large piece of pressed wood that's covered with batting and fabric. I screwed in little stumps of dowels on the back to make small "feet" that keep it about an inch above the table. That way I don't have to worry about the heat going through and damaging the surface underneath. My pressing board can be moved anywhere, which comes in handy, but most of the time it's on a small old table.


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