Quilters need a wide surface on which to iron their large pieces of fabric quickly and easily. Traditional sized ironing boards are usually wobbly because they do not support the weight of a large piece of fabric, and the ironing surface is small making the task take a long time. Large quilters' ironing boards can be purchased readymade, but they can easily be made at home with a few supplies.
Making a Quilter's Ironing Board
Attach the large piece of plywood to the ironing board with wood screws. The plywood should be anywhere from 45 to 60 inches long and 24 to 36 inches wide. Measure the area that will host the ironing board to make sure it can accommodate the plywood. Use wood screws so that the heads can be flush with the surface. You do not want bumps!
Cover the surface with cotton batting. It is important to use cotton because it will stand up better to the heat. Use at least two layers to cover the surface and wrap around the edges of the plywood. Do not seam the batting because this will create bumps and ridges. Attach the batting to the underside of the plywood with heavy staples, tape or glue.
Cover the batting with a large piece of cotton fabric. Again, avoid using a piece that is seamed because this will create ridges on the ironing surface and thus in your ironed fabric. Use cotton fabric because it will withstand the heat of the iron. Pillow ticking would be the traditional choice, but any mid-weight cotton fabric would do. Attach to the underside of the plywood with heavy staples, tape, or glue as you did with the batting.
This ironing board will accommodate large pieces of fabric used for quilt backs, but also will be handy for smaller piecing jobs. It will also be handy for ironing curtains and tablecloths.
If you plan to store the ironing board when it is not in use, make sure the wood screws you use to attach the plywood do not conflict with the folding of the ironing board legs. Measure the closet to make sure the plywood will fit.
Cotton sheets may be used for a cover. They are made of wide fabric that will cover the plywood easily.
Make sure your batting and cover fabric are stretched tight over the plywood before attaching to the underside. If they are not, you will have wrinkles and ridges that will show in your ironed fabric. This ironing board will be heavy, so you may want to leave it set up most of the time.