Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rollin' and Pressin'

I'm back at home, and after a long day of sewing, all 60 of the 8-1/2" square, string-pieced blocks for Part 3 of the mystery project "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll" are done.

Mind you, I don't have Part 1 finished yet, but I'll happily tick this one off.

As I began stringing, I realized it would be very handy to have an iron near me at the sewing machine. I pulled out this little table, and little iron - a cute thing purchased at Walgreens several years ago.

Note: If you're pressing strings sewn to a foundation of telephone book paper, turn off the steam setting! Soggy telephone book paper isn't pleasant to work with.

The 15" X 19" wooden TV tray was a bargain purchase through Craigslist. Though it was sold in a set of four, friends and I pooled money and each have one. Then, I set about making an ironing cover for it. I've found this tray comes in handy not only for ironing small pieces, but for sitting in front of the TV to trim small blocks.

Some directions for making a TV tray into an ironing table instruct you to drill holes through the wood surface to allow seam to vent through. I decided that for as little as this TV tray cost, if the wood warps or becomes un-cleanable, I'll simply throw it away.

Here are my instructions for covering a TV tray of your own. 

15" X 19" Ironing Board TV Tray
Supplies and Cutting
  ⅓ yard binding fabric
  1 yard ¼”-wide elastic
For cover, cut:
18” X 22” rectangle
For double-fold binding, cut:
2 strips 5” wide
1. Use a plate as a guide to round-off and cut away all four corners of the rectangle.
2. Sew binding strips to join.
3. Use a ½” seam to straight-stitch sew binding to the edge of the rounded rectangle.
4. Turn the binding fold to the back to cover the stitching line. From the back, zig-zag stitch to secure. Note: Binding will extend beyond the cut edge of the cover. Do not sew closed the opening where the binding ends meet.
4. Use a small safety pin to thread ¼”-wide elastic through the binding. Adjust to fit TV tray.

If you make one, I'd love to see pictures.


  1. Wow, you've finished all the string blocks! They're next for me as I've finished Steps 1, 2 and 4. Next thing I know, you'll be blogging that you've finished all 600 HSTs!

    Your TV tray ironing table would be so convenient to take along to my quilting bee meetings that I'm going to start looking for a sturdy TV tray for myself. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Not only are you a busy bee, you are also quite clever!!!

  3. I have one of those trays also. Aren't they handy. I take mine when I go somewhere to sew and have it handy. Then I don't have to wait for anyone to finish using the big ironing board. You are really going to town on those blocks. But why do you piece on the phone book paper? Thanks for stopping by my blog. Aren't grandkids fun. Will you be going back to Kansas City for Christmas? I hope your daughter is feeling better & getting stronger.

  4. That's a lot of blocks! Love the soft colors.

  5. You are moving right along.
    I have seen those TV tray ironing boards. It is a great idea.



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