Friday, June 22, 2012

Portable Ironing Table and summer sewing

I am feeling more productive than I thought I would this summer. It's kind of a pleasant surprise.  And it may not last all summer, but I'm taking it in snatches when I can. My goal is to make a dent in my never ending pile of WIP's (Works In Progress). I'm even quilting a new project myself.  It's the one I started way back in March.  I'm going to write a pattern for this one, so stay tuned. 
I'm also piecing my Family Tree quilt borders. I did the name stitching on a road trip last winter, and I'm going to try and do some hand quilting during a road trip this summer.  I love pulling out my fabric favorites that remind me of my children for this scrappy border.

For me, the key to productive summer-time sewing is setting up at the kitchen table. It makes for more of a mess, but it's the only way I can take those short snatches of time to get something done and still keep a pulse on what's going on, re-supply the popsicles, turn on the hose for the slip'n'slide, etc.  The best addition for keeping my mess under control is my new portable ironing board that my super-awesome friend Diane, helped me to make.  (Hi Diane!)
It's a TV tray that's been specially covered to create a surface suitable for ironing! I've wanted to make one of these for years, but never got my act, or my supplies, together to actually make one.  Here you can see super-Diane holding my hand through the process (or actually doing most of the work for me, ahem.)  I love it! Even folded up it looks so much more attractive than my big ironing board.  You can learn how to make one yourself from Oh Fransson. The American Quilting girls also posted some tips and pictures from creating their own. It's so much easier and cheaper than I thought. I highly recommend one.

28 comments:

Melissa Corry said...

Love the idea of turning old tv trays into ironing boards!! So great!! I think I might have thrown away my old ones in the last move. Bummer. I guess I will need to go get some more :)

Ms. Craftsalot said...

I've seen them at Walmart for about 8.00 brand new. So still pretty affordable IMO.

Becky said...

I bet that's a handy thing to have. I have a few TV trays that we never use, so I need to make one (or more).

Mev_Lohman said...

What a brilliant idea! I need to do this since I also set up my sewing on the kitchen table despite having a wonderful office in my basement. (There's just nothing for a 5, 4 and 2 year old to do down there....)

Dagmar said...

How great. I will have to go and dig out my old tray from storage.
Have a lovely weekend!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Very cool! I've always wanted to make one too, but don't have a friend Diane. ;-) Your set up looks like such a productive space! Thanks for the reminder!

birdWatcher said...

What a great idea!

ourdailypop said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today, and have spent the better part of the day drooling over your work. Those Ombre quilts from a while back are maybe the prettiest things I've ever seen. You're making me sorely tempted to try my hand at quilting again (despite the fact that I can barely thread a needle).

Katy Cameron said...

Very cunning plan with the ironing table!

trish @ notes of sincerity said...

Hi Amy. :o)
Oh boy, I can't wait to see what you are creating!
Your ironing table is so clever and super cute!
I need to keep a close watch for tv trays, so I too
can make one. :o) How convenient to have it right
there by your sewing table. :o)
Your family tree border is just precious. What a dear
heirloom it will be!!
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
love ya, Trish

vintage grey said...

Your quilt looks so pretty! Looking forward to seeing it finished! Great idea for the portable ironing board! Thanks for sharing. Have a beautiful weekend! xo Heather

lifeinredshoes said...

Where did you find the tray to make the table? I can't find one.

Dagmar said...

I found mine as a whole set at a garage sale.

Melissa said...

I made one, but I made my cover removable. I like that I can still use the tray table as a tray table if needed and that the cover can be thrown in the wash when it gets a little grubby looking.

Christine said...

I was thinking about using a TV tray for an ironing board! This tutorial answers all my questions, Thank you!

gilly said...

What an excellent idea!

dolores said...

Hahaha....kids are getting older too...can entertain themselves better!:)

I'm going to have to go thrift shopping to look for one of those traytables....actually I think my parents have several...visiting them next week....hmmm!:)

Lamse said...

I am honored you would let me help you with a project! Anytime! I love your pips quilt, too. Love, Lady Di

amy smart said...

Oh go for it! (Lots of peer pressure here. lol). Don't worry - threading gets easier and easier. And isn't that Ombre fabric awesome?

amy smart said...

WalMart or Target. They both have them. :)

Jacinta @ Kadesia Jane said...

Loving your Blog. Just blogged about my crafty weekend with my girls. I love all the crafty things. So relaxing and great fun :)

Steph Jacobson said...

I have a huge new sewing/craft room in the basement but I still lug my sewing machine upstairs and do most of my sewing at the kitchen table. I'm sure it irritates my hubby but it's the only way I can sew and keep an eye on my son and our naughty puppy. I spend way too much time running from the kitchen downstairs to my ironing board so I totally need to make a portable one!

Thimbleanna said...

What a fun idea. I can't WAIT to see your family tree quilt -- I'm hoarding a few of those panels myself!

Claire Jain said...

I so have one of those TV trays floating around the house! What a great idea :-D

paterd said...

I can't imagine setting up to sew at a table, my machine is on a desk and ready to sew at any time (and I still don't get any sewing done). I admire you for taking the time to set up at a table and getting so much done!

jlamanna said...

Such a brilliant idea! Never underestimate the creativity of women! I went to Target and bought me a tray table for $9.99 (not exactly a bargain, but certainly affordable). I had everything else I needed in my sewing room, and in about 15 minutes (with my husbands extra hands) I had me a great portable small ironing table. I can't wait to use it!

LM said...

I saw one of those trays for $1 at the thrift store last weekend...such a great idea for my rather cramped sewing room!

Andrea said...

I got my hands on the same fabric family tree fabric and have not yet looked for any finished examples, so I am anxiously awaiting your finished product!