Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flannel Board & Pressing Board

Today my sewing room looks a little different. I have a new flannel board and a new large pressing board. Have had the supplies for a while but couldn't do it all myself and needed John to help me a little.

I had one of those Block Butler design wall systems but after a while it wouldn't stick to the wall and would not hold anything without pins. I rinsed it with water like the instructions to clean it but it just got worse. I had nothing behind it so all the pins were going into the wall and I sure didn't like that.

For those that don't know what a Block Butler design wall is, this is what I know. It looks like a flat batting but is tacky on both sides. One side is suppose to stick to walls, etc. and not fall down. To be fair, it did work great in the beginning. The front side is also tacky and it was to hold the fabric and blocks like design walls are supposed to. It held fabrics really well at first but always did have problems with holding blocks that were sewn.

I just got tired of messing with it so got a piece of rigid foam insulation and taped my fabric over the back with duct tape. I chose headliner fabric because I read it works better than flannel and besides I could not find any wide flannel and found this at a JoAnn's store. (Headliner fabric is used on the ceilings of cars.) This fabric has a napped front and about a 1/4 foam backing. Will let you know if I have problems with it.

I just pulled it tight as I was taping it - John helped me by cutting the 6" pieces of tape and having them ready for me to grab. We got it on the wall and he attached it with dry wall screws. We used 6 screws across the top and bottom and 7 along each side. So far things are really clinging to it. I have it about 3 feet behind my sewing machine so I can just turn around and place things or take things off when I am sewing.
The second project he helped me work on was to make a large pressing board. I followed Sharon Schamber's directions in the free video on her website and it worked great. Check out her other free videos while you are there too.
I was worried after I got the fabric all stapled on that it was too loose but then Sharon's instructions say to spray it until wet and it was like magic the wrinkles disappeared and it tightened up around the board. You have to use unwashed canvas for it to shrink so that is something to remember especially if you always wash your fabrics when you bring them home - DON'T WASH THE CANVAS!!
This large pressing board sits on the top of the old kitchen island cupboard that we moved into the sewing room.

To keep it from slipping and sliding off the cupboard I had John put some 2"x2" pieces of wood along the sides.

As you can see from this photo of the backside the boards don't come all the way to the corners - they really don't need to. We set the boards in about 1/4" from the edge of the cupboard top so it would be easy to put on and take off but would still keep the board from getting dragged or bumped off. John used screws to attach the side boards and I had to check each one as he was putting it in since they were almost a little too long. I could feel the tip of one so had him back off the screw a little as I didn't want it coming through the fabric on the front.
The green you see is the felt that I spray glued to the backside to cover the wood and the staples used to attach the canvas. Sprayed the felt on some newspapers laid out in the garage then quickly brought it into the house and laid it in place. Didn't want any of the over spray getting on my floors or furniture. That stuff doesn't come off very good - at least my experience with sticky floors and kitchen cupboards one other time were a mess to clean.

This board is pretty heavy so don't think I will be moving it very often. I did have John cut 3 smaller boards 16" x 20" and round the corners. A couple of friends plan to come over and we will cover them for more portable pressing surfaces.

Now I need to get something "quilty" going so I can test out my two new things.

Until later....

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