Ikea Hack Ironing and Cutting Table


Ever since I read Kristin's tutorial on the Big A$$ Ironing Board, I started thinking about ways to improve my pressing setup. Her post included a link to Flaun's ironing table, which also seemed like a great idea because it included storage space underneath. It's funny how you really don't notice how inadequate your existing ironing space is until you see how much better someone else's is!

I enlisted my dad's help, since he is a carpenter and I thought he might consider making me something for a combination Christmas/birthday gift. We sketched out a basic table with a couple of shelves underneath for storage. A few days later, I stopped at the Project for Pride and Living resale shop in NE to look at office chairs. I happened upon a large and sturdy Ikea kitchen island and thought it could be perfect! The main downfall was a big red stain on the butcher block top, which was not a problem for me since I fully intended to cover it in batting and fabric! I figured this was a much quicker and possibly cheaper solution than having my dad build something from scratch.




It was a little high for ironing/cutting height, which I am used to as someone who is only 5' tall. Unlike most things I use, this was easy to modify. My dad cut a few inches off the legs bringing it down to 32" tall.

He used a jig saw (something we do not own in our household) and taped the legs before cutting to prevent splitting the veneer (something I would not have thought of).


 
I covered the top in tinfoil, like Kristin had done, to protect the wood from steam and deflect the heat back up to the ironing surface.  
 
 
Then I covered that in a single layer of batting.

 
Next, I covered the batting with a layer of therma ironing board fabric.


I intended to staple the layers down and cover it with this lovely Joel Dewberry home dec fabric. However, once I tested it out and realized that it the table is already fully functional, I lost steam (no pun intended)!

 
I did manage to add some pretty shelf paper to the drawers. Hopefully, I'll get the staple gun out one of these days to finally finish it up. I guess you could consider this my largest WIP!
 

Saturday Series: Tutorial Roundup on Basting


Basting has always been a bit of a challenge for me.  I started out with thread basting my quilts as I was too cheap to buy enough safety pins to really secure a quilt sandwich together. Thread basting on the floor seemed excessively hard on my knees and back after a few quilts, so I sprung for the curved safety pins and a roll of masking tape. (Rita of Red Pepper Quilts explains it beautifully here...)

 From looking at the internet I also learned what this odd looking Kwik Klip tool was (Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely uses it in this post...). I had inherited a Kwik Klip from someone and always assumed some part of it was broken off.

Pin basting with safety pins was much faster but it still hurt my back and involved a great deal of crawling about on the floor. Plus, no matter how much I taped and pinned, I still got small puckers or had to redo whole sections.

At the first Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild retreat, Colby showed me how to spray baste, using a temporary fabric adhesive. (Ashley of Film in the Fridge shows a similar method here...) I bought a can of Odif's 505 Spray & Fix and tried it out on two quilts. I was pretty impressed with how grippy it was, and how fast the quilts went together, but had some concerns about inhaling the fumes even though it is 'non-toxic'. Since I am pregnant I thought I'd better play it safe and check up. I looked at their MSDS sheet and tried twice to write and email the company asking if their products were safe to use when pregnant. Since I have gotten no responses I put the 505 on the shelf for later use.

At the same retreat Annik had mentioned a product called Pinmoors that were used for basting and seemed much easier than safety pins and much more environmentally friendly than a spray. Instead of safety pins you use straight pins or flower head pins and stick one of these plastic nubs on the pointy end. It is much faster than safety pins and a lot easier on the fingers and wrists. As I mentioned before I am too cheap to buy anything, so I actually cut up some sheet foam to make a temporary facsimile. (If I stick with this method I will eventually purchase the real deal as I think they would last longer...)

This week I set out to baste the quilt I am making for the baby and as I started clearing the floor in my sewing room, I realized I am a bit too pregnant to  do any kind of basting on the floor. A smidge of research on the web and I found this great tutorial by Blair of Wisecraft on table basting. A combination of clamps, clothespins, and tape along with my homemade pin buddies and I had a pretty well secured quilt ready to go to the machine, in less than an hour. Table basting seems like a good way to go for quilts 72" or less. I will definitely be doing this method again! 

Member spotlight: Colby L.

Tell us about yourself, e.g. family, kids, pets, day job, have you always lived in MN?
Profile PictureHello! My name is Colby and I am a 25-year old single lady that lives in the warehouse district in downtown Minneapolis. I have a dog, Marta, that is a Labrador/Greyhound mix, and a cat, Marlow, that is a grey tabby. They both love to help me quilt, even if they do get in the way more than they help.J I moved to MN a little over a year ago from Texas for my job. I work for Target, in Distribution, on the Reverse Supply Chain, dealing with hazardous waste. (It’s more fun than it sounds.)
Do you have a blog, Etsy shop, or other quilt-related business?
I have been blogging for about 3 years at www.sewquiltexplore.blogspot.com. I am right now in the process of building up enough inventory to start my Etsy shop, so look for that in the coming months!
Do you have any other hobbies, crafty or otherwise?
 I mainly quilt, but get into embroidering moods a couple of times a year. I have tried to knit but have never finished a piece. One day I will make a pair of socks, but it doesn’t look like that will be any time soon.
How long have you been quilting, and how did you learn to quilt?
 My mother was a seamstress by trade so I grew up with the constant hum of the sewing machine in the background. I made my first quilt when I was nine. I continued making quilts through high school and then picked it back up after I finished my undergrad and have been going strong ever since.
How many quilts do you think you have made? How many are still UFOs (unfinished objects)?
 Ooh, I have made probably about 25-30 quilts. They range in size, mini’s all the way to queen. I usually don’t have TOO many UFO’s. I would say right now I have about 5-7 that are in different unfinished stages that I actually intend on finishing rather than scrapping.
How many hours a week do you spend quilting on average?
 It all depends on the month. On a good week, I will quilt about 12 hours on the weekend, but I rarely get to do anything except for maybe handwork during the week. My quilting ebbs and flows, I will quilt like a maniac for a month and then take a break for several weeks, and repeat. I try not to make it a chore and only do it when I am excited about it to keep it fun.
Describe your first quilt. 
It was made out of a sparkly light blue space themed fabric. It was only squares with a thick yellow sashing. I tied it instead of quilting it, as I did with all my quilts up until I picked quilting back up after undergrad. My mom didn’t know that machine quilting existed and/or didn’t want to teach me so I used to tie all my quilts.

My first quilt

Which of your quilts is your favorite or are you most proud of and why? 
My Tickertape Texas is my favorite quilt. I live in a loft that has HUGE blank walls and I wanted to create something that was bright and acted like an art piece, but had a bit of personal feel to it. I thought of this quilt in my head and HAD to make it immediately. I worked for 48 hours, only stopping to eat and sleep to make it. I am from Texas and am very proud of it so I love that I was able to express that in my quilting and hang it where those who visit can see it as well.


Finished Texas Tickertape
                                                                                    
Where do you sew? Describe your space and your favorite quilting accompaniments (music, tv, wine, etc). 
I sew in the corner of my apartment. When I search for places to live. The non-negotiable is a place for me to sew. I used to have a table, then moved to a bedroom, then under the stairs, and my current place, I am in the corner. I have it set up all the time which I found is really important for me. I have put curtains around the shelving to cover up the mess behind it. I have a huge closet that is completely devoted to quilting so I am very lucky, it works out very well.

Sewing Nook

Fabric Closet
 
Describe your fabric buying habits and stash. How do you manage your stash?
I usually just buy when I need fabric. I do a lot of online quilting bees and therefore work in certain colors. When a color starts getting low, then I go online and find a sale and restock on the colors that I need. I keep almost all my fabric folded and in color order, this allows me to quickly chose fabrics for bee blocks, plus it looks pretty. J
Fabric Stash Organization
                                                                                   
 I keep big pieces in the folded baskets, and then anything that is too small that won’t fold up nicely I put in color segregated plastic bags. Once something is less than a charm squre, it goes into the bits box, which is all mixed.
                                                                                    Big Color Scrap bag
What are your favorite and least favorite things about quilting?
 I love picking fabrics, but who doesn’t? I also love putting the blocks together and seeing the final quilt come together. I think my absolute favorite part is sewing the binding on though, which is probably a weird part to like for most people. I love this part because it gives me a chance to see the final piece, pick off the loose threads, and part with it before it goes to its next home. I hate machine quilting. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. I do not enjoy it, it is too much of the same thing for too long and it is a necessary evil. If I could just make quilt tops all day and never quilt them, I would be happy.
What are your current and/or long-term quilting goals?
I currently need to do a machine quilting marathon that I have been putting off to get my stack of quilt tops finished. I am not allowed to start another major project until that is complete. Long term, I would love to finish my family’s double wedding ring quilt that was started by my great grandmother. It is a mix of hand and machine pieced so it will be a challenge to see how to make it fit together.JHeirloom DWR
What is one (or more) quilt technique you would like to learn or are afraid of?
I am afraid of machine raw edge applique. Every time I try it, it looks horrendous and therefore I steer away from doing it. Maybe I am just doing it wrong, who knows.
Who or what inspires you most in quilting?
I love the community that has been formed around quilting in the recent years. Both online and in guilds, there is so much support for creativity and trying new things that I know when I jump outside the box, that someone will still be cheering me on, even if it is a fail. Just having those people around you to support your growth is amazing.
What advice do you have for new quilters?
Try it. You never know if you are good at something or are going to like something until you try it. Half of the things I love I learned through doing online quilting bees that forced me to try a new technique or color combination that I would have never tried myself.
Anything else you would like to share?
Be yourself in your creations. Some people will love what you do and others will hate it but all that matters is that you express yourself through what you create and have fun doing it!     

April 2014 Meeting Minutes

April 2014 Meeting Minutes, Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild The meeting was held on April 10, 2014 at the Textile Center at 7 PM. Below is a summary of the meeting.

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show with Alyssa Thomas:
Alyssa Thomas, of Penguin and Fish joined us for a trunk show featuring the many wonderful creations in her book, Sew and Stitch Embroidery. Her projects feature fun and playful embroidery designs both big and small. Alyssa also gave us a sneak peek at her next fabric line, Here Kitty Kitty, out in May.

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show
Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show


Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Penguin and Fish Trunk Show

Announcements:  
  1. FMQ Workshop--Many members identified free motion quilting as a skill they'd like to learn more about in the annual survey. The MMQG will be hosting a Free Motion Quilting Workshop taught by Sue Heinz of Kismet Quilting. The all-day workshop will be held on Saturday, May 3 from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the Textile Center. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for non members. For more information, refer to the FMQ Workshop blog post. 
  2. Elizabeth Dackson Trunk Show--Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call me Betsy had offered to host a trunk show for the MMQG during the MN Quilters annual show on June 14 after her Saturday class. The Saturday class has since been cancelled and we are waiting for further details on the status of the trunk show. Stay tuned.
  3. Fall In-Town Quilt Retreat--The guild is exploring the idea of an in-town quilt retreat for this upcoming fall. An in-town retreat provides sewing space for the entire weekend, but everyone leaves at night to sleep in their own beds. Projects and machines can be left at the venue, so you don't have to pack up and carry your things out at the end of the night. This is a good option to those who can't commit to getting "away" for an entire weekend, but want to block off some dedicated sewing time away from home.
  4. MN State Fair Quilt on a Stick--The 2014 Quilt on a Stick theme has been announced for the Minnesota State Fair. The theme is "Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins at the Fair". The MMQG includes this as our August challenge each year. It's never too early to get started! Information about the State Fair Creative Activities competitions is updated as new information is available. 
  5. MMQG Garage Sale--Brianne has graciously agreed to coordinate the MMQG garage sale! The sale will be held at a future meeting date later this summer with some proceeds going to the MMQG. Additional details to come. 
  6. Bloggers Needed--Members are encouraged to sign up for blog posts. No blogging experience is necessary, Chris can help with all of the technical aspects. Please contact Chris on facebook or send an email to the guild if you are interested.  
  7. Tips and Tricks for the May Meeting-- At the May meeting, we'll have an agenda item for members to share quick tips, tricks, or tools. This is entirely optional, but anyone with an idea to share is encouraged to participate.  
  8. Coaster Swap, May 8th Meeting --For the May 8th guild meeting, we'll be doing an (optional) coaster swap! If you'd like to participate, the rules are:
    • Make a set of 4 coasters, using any of the tutorials below or your own design. 
    • Pin, tie or wrap your coasters together before the meeting.
    • Label the set with your name so the recipient knows who to thank.
    • The swap will be a blind draw - all coaster sets will go into a basket and participants will randomly draw a new set. No peeking! 

Next Challenge—“Quilt Outside the Line”-- June 12 Reveal Many of us stay within the comfort zone of using coordinating fabrics from one fabric line. This optional challenge simply asks participants to make a project that mixes things up by using fabrics from more than one fabric line or designer. If that is not a challenge for you, feel free to self-interpret and bring a project that pushes your boundaries in some other way.
  

Next Meeting—May 8, 2014 7-8:30 p.m. Textile Center of MN
Agenda items include:
  • Coaster swap 
  • Sharing quick tips, tricks, and tools
  • Show and Tell
 
Next Sew In—Sunday, May 25th, 12-5 p.m. at Roseville Public Library.

Show and Tell Photos




















































Notes submitted by Gina M. 4-20-2014


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