For awhile now, I've been thinking of making one of those portable pressing tables some of my friends have, you know---you take a wooden tray table and cover it? The great thing about it is, even when you are sewing in a crowded situation, like retreat or a workshop, there always seems to be space to use this. My friend Vicky & Marie both have them, with really cute covers, and they put them to their left when sitting at a 6 foot table, making your space into an "L".
Another friend, Rebecca, mentioned she had several she had gotten really cheap at a garage sale, as a set, and offered me one-----shout out to her! It's great to have friends, isn't it? (You could also find one at Target or Meijer, for about $10). And I must mention here that it needs to be made of WOOD, so you can staple into it. So last night at guild, I got the table from her, and have managed to get it covered very quickly, from my well-supplied quilting studio, just this morning!
Here's what I did:
Measure the top of the tray table, mine was 14.5" by 19". (and about 1/2" thick)
Cut one piece of Insul-Bright the exact size of the top, and also one piece of cotton batting (leftovers from quilt tops are wonderful to have). BOTH are exact size to cover just the top of the tray table.
Cut fabric top about 3"-4" larger on top & side to allow for pulling that fabric only to the back. For mine, that rounded off to 18" X 22". You can run out & buy something cute, a printed canvas or home dec fabric would be great, but I used what I had on hand, a fabric I love, green with some blue that friends put on the back of my 'big birthday' quilt.
Layer first with the Insul Bright goes (next to the wood), then the batting, then the printed fabric. Many of us like a firmer surface for pressing, so this works great. If you like, add another layer of batting now, for a softer surface. Turn this pile upside down on the floor, the fabric next to the floor, then put your opened tray table on top it, making sure the cushy part is evenly covering the wood, and you have about 2" of fabric along each side to pull to the back.
Load up your staple gun & if it has a tension adjustment, it has to go to 'strong' if you tray table is oak like mine was---oak is a very hard wood. Then pull gently taut on a long side, stapling about 3-4" apart. Next, the opposite side. Then, the ends, pulling and tucking around the ends.
Voila!!! Here is is, ready to go!
One of the great things about having a staple gun for projects like this is that when the cover gets dingy looking, as it will with a lot of use, you can easily remove just that fabric covering & re-cover it, all fresh and new!
So, easy peasy, I now have portable extra space. I can press on it, or add a cutting board and do smaller trimming. Or whatever I want!
Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be getting packed right now to go on a quilter-girls weekend Up North. Can't wait! But had better get on to the packing. Isn't planning projects to take always the hardest thing???? That's where most of my time has gone the last two days, and my project STILL isn't ready! Best I get back to it.....