Portable pressing mat

This project will likely be most useful for quilters. If you need a portable ironing mat on which to press small pieces, you’ll love this project. This 30″x30″ mat rolls up nice and compact for easy transport. Make sure you choose a fabric that can withstand high heat, and feel free to add extra layers of batting, if you prefer.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Teahouse Lanterns Yellow

Ironing board material

Extra-wide double-fold bias tape

Cotton batting or Insul-Bright
One yard of fabric and one yard of unquilted silver ironing board fabric. 31″ of batting — make sure it can withstand high heat, so either all cotton or Insul-Bright. 2 packages of matching extra-wide, double-fold bias tape.

The pattern

Cut one piece from each the fabric, ironing board fabric and batting measuring about 30″ square.

The process

Take your silver ironing board fabric and fold it into a perfect triangle. Pin each corner and press the fold well.
Open it up and do the same thing the other way. Now you have two folds on the bias down the center. These will help you start marking your quilting lines.
Take a long ruler and mark lines using chalk or some other fabric marking tool. I marked mine the width of the ruler because that was super-easy to do. I’d just line up the left edge of the ruler with the preceding line (or the fold for the first one) and then draw along the right side of the ruler. Do this all the way across in both directions so you have a grid.
Make your “quilt sandwich” by laying the fabric face-down, then the batting, then the silver fabric face-up. Pin to secure. Try to smooth all the excess fabric out before pinning.
Quilt along all the lines using your walking foot for best results. Here I’ve shown it from both sides. What I did was I did the center line in both directions first, then took turns going outward from there so that the fabric would be evenly distributed if there was any excess.
After quilting, round the corners by placing a bowl on each and drawing a line along the edge. Then trim. Also trim any overhang of fabric so that all layers are nice and neat along the edges.
You’ll need more than one package of binding, so you’ll need to join them together. First, open up one piece and fold it over and press as shown above left. Then with right sides together, place that pressed part on the other strip, as shown above right. Stitch along that diagonal, pressed line and trim all the excess that’s to the right. Now you have one continuous piece.
Open up one edge of the bias tape and sew it along one side of your mat. Please see this tutorial for more help on doing this and this one on joining the ends.
Take your leftover binding and stitch the open edge closed. You’ll be using this for the ties. Divide it into two equal pieces.
Fold your mat as shown and mark the center of the left edge on both layers.
At that center point, attach one tie to each side of the mat. Fold over the raw edge before stitching. When you’d like to fold it up, simply fold in half in this manner, then roll toward the ties and wrap them around and tie in a bow. Cut off any excess, fold over the raw edge twice and stitch.

Other views

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