Do You Use A Portable Pressing Board?

What's Your Style

This is the twelfth entry in my series What’s Your Style? In our everyday lives, we all have our own way of doing things; quilters are no exception to this trait. Even though there are standardized techniques to follow, when creating items with fabric, many of us choose to do our own thing. This series explores those individual habits. Let’s see what today’s question is.

One of my favorite quilting gadgets is the pressing board I made several years ago. I found the how-to instructions on Cristy’s blog. The board has been my preferred pressing surface ever since.

My board measures 27 1/2” x 30 1/2”. This size fits very nicely into my carrying case for my Sew Steady table. Being able to take it with me means I always have my own portable pressing surface.

Every now and then the cover needs to be replaced. Washing it would be my preferred option but the fabric becomes so stained it’s next to impossible to get clean. Unfortunately, changing the cover is not quite as easy as your regular ironing board. Instead of un-tieing a string or releasing a hook-and-loop fastener you must remove the staples securing the fabric to the back. This step is not incredibly time-consuming but it does require tools.

I tackled this project recently when my board started staining my fabrics. My cover had become scorched and stained from hours of use.

Stained Pressing Board & Fabric
Scorched Pressing Board and Stained Fabric

To change my cover I first had to gather tools. From my tool box I grabbed a screw driver and pliers. I also located a roll of duct tape, a staple gun and staples. I used the screw driver and pliers to remove the old staples. Once they were out and the old cover was removed I noticed the padding (layers of batting) were stained as well.

Stained Batting.jpgRather than adding a brand new cover over the obviously used batting I made the decision to replace the batting too.

Being a longarm quilter I have an abundance of batting scraps. Finding pieces to fit my board was very easy. After cutting batting and a new piece of duck cloth I reinstalled all four on my existing board. Using the staple gun to secure the layers was the best part. My newly covered pressing board was all ready for use. This is how my new cover looks.

Recovered Pressing Board.jpg

How lovely is that!

This is today’s question?

Do you have a portable pressing board?

Now it’s your turn to share your opinion by adding a comment.

  • Don’t be bashful!
  • Nobody will judge you!
  • The quilt police will not come knocking on your door. 🙂
  • Let’s have some FUN!

Thank YOU for participating in this fun survey!

P.S. Are there questions you would like to discuss in future editions of this series, if so, share them in a comment.

Cindy Anderson
Cindy Anderson



15 thoughts on “Do You Use A Portable Pressing Board?

  1. I have a commercial portable pressing surface with cutting mat on the other side, but heat from the iron has warped the cutting side, so it turned out to be a poor design.

  2. My ironing board secret. It was covered in plain muslin for about 12 years. Using starch over and over, caused severe staining. It got so infiltrated with starch it became water proof. If my steam iron leaked it would just bead on the surface. And then it was so full of starch, when I sat the iron up, I heard a crunch. The fabric had become crispy. The fibers broke. I should have washed it years ago. Lesson learned. I now have a pressing mat and do not use wet starched fabric. I don’t think it is worth the money and I got that at wholesale. Ironing boards are not portable, so when I am on the go I always hope for an ironing station at the workshops. Your board is clever and has made it to my list of things to get.

  3. I do have one, somewhere. It’s on the back of one of those June Tailor grey 12 x 18 boards which has a carrying handle, too. I’m not quite sure where it is, which lets you know I rarely use it. I’ve taken it to a couple of retreats, but it’s been 12 years since I did a retreat! My best friend and I used to retreat now and then, but always in a hotel that had an ironing board, so no need to take one. Now that she’s gone, I just don’t think much about retreating. On my main ironing board, I don’t undo the old ones. I just clap a new one over the old. That’s what Mama always did, and it works for me, too. =)

  4. No I don’t but it’s been on my list of ‘tools that would make quilt construction less labor intensive’! After reading this, I now have a template to follow in considering constructing my own ppb. Thanks

    1. Laura, I’ve never regretted making mine. I travel with my stuff often so it comes in handy. But, I use it all the time in my sewing room when I’m quilting. I like the super padded, sturdy surface. I hope you do make one. Let me know how you like it. 😊

  5. Hi Cindy,
    I do have a portable or smaller ironing board. I’ve never taken it out of the house though! It has moved around from room to room, as it fits across the arms of the living room chairs. That makes it easy to work on projects outside of the sewing room whenever we want. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I have an iron & caddy I take with me. The “caddy” unfolds and becomes my pressing surface. When finished for the day, I can close it up around the still warm iron, and carry it out to take home. I use a medium size lightweight travel iron. Found the instructions on-line, and posted about it here: . If you read the post you will have a laugh about the elastic I used…and I can say now, it was a mistake to use it. Time to put on a fresh piece.
    Several people donated old pressing boards to 2nd Time Around, and I have considered recovering them to sell at the guild. Sounds like it is easy enough. I am getting ready to change the cover on my BIG ironing surface, and purchased another Bo-Nash 29×65 cover which I will have to add a bit of fabric all around to tuck under my table. I love that product, and the last cover lasted me about 5 years with all the “extra ironers” that 2nd Time Around brings to my house.

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