Portable design board and pressing surface

Normally I sew on an L shaped desk. My Bernina sits on one leg, and I leave my cutting mat on the bend of the leg. Behind me is my pressing surface. This lets me trim blocks with out having to get up all the time. Then I can spin around, slide a few feet and press the blocks. Normally I am very happy with this layout. But I started working on a very scrappy tree skirt for Ms. M. And I was going to get dizzy with that much spinning to press all the little blocks. See all those little bitty blocks? And that’s not even 1/2 of them.

So I decided to make a new, smaller pressing surface that would fit in the the bend of the L. And since I was going to make it, I thought I’d share with you what I did.

I am embarrassed to call this a tutorial, you’ll see why. Here we go.


  • 1 Foam core board
  • Some kind of tape. I used packaging tape. But, my other one that I made 10 years ago and is still going strong used masking tape.
  • Enough cotton batting to cover the foam core board and have about a 4″ extra on each side.

Now lets get started assembling!

  1. Lay your batting on a flat surface and put the foam core board in the middle.20131211-213542.jpg
  2. Fold over the batting on the top and bottom and tape. You want the batting to be pretty taut.20131211-213550.jpg
  3. Fold the corners of the batting like you are wrapping a present.20131211-213558.jpg
  4. Fold over the batting and tape20131211-213607.jpg
  5. Repeat on the last side20131211-213614.jpgViola! You are done! You now have a design wall / ironing surface. No really you do.

If lean the board up fabric and blocks will stick to the batting. See? Design wall!


And if you lay it flat you can iron on it. Really you can! I have one that I made 10 years ago and its the only surface that I have used since then for ironing.

This one fits just perfect on the bend of my L desk. It really sped up the process for pressing all those blocks.

And Yes, I did put it right on my cutting mat. No heat makes it thru the foam core board so it is safe.



About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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