Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Big Board

Inspired to take action after reading about Wilma's new big board on the QP forum, I got the supplies to make one of my own today. Since I don't believe in rewriting history, I will just post my forum posting here:

Wilma made it look sooo easy... that I had to make my own big board. I opted for 1/2" thick birch plywood instead of the poplar. I bought some insulbrite from Hobby Lobby (only cause I was close to it) but it was only 22.5" wide. I opted for the cheaper muslin as opposed to the duck. They had a very heavy weight muslin, almost like canvas. It was only 2.99/yard compared to 5.99/yard for the duck. When I got home, I remembered that I already had some insulbrite, and luckily, it was wider so I used it instead.

All was going well, just had two problems. First, I stapled the batting/fabric on before laying out the board, and ended up having to undo it and cut some more off to make the lapover less wide so that I wouldn't have to put the stay blocks through the fabric. (See the excess on the right in this picture:

Then, BIG mistake. Kimberly apparently does not know how to use her drill! I have a very good drill that I paid 200$ for last year. (A DeWalt) which should have been powerful enough to go through the block and the board. But, wouldn't work. I then tried pre-drilling holes, still not. Well, long story short, I ended up going through the block, the plywood, and it (the drill bit) got caught up in the insulbrite. Fortunately, it didn't cut through the fabric. But it bunched and contorted the batting. So, I had to unstaple the fabric, cut out the messed up piece of batting, and put in another piece to replace it. There is a tiny ridge where they meet, but I think that will ease over time. I tried to capture it in picture below. It looks like there is a point in the fabric, but that ironed out.

In any event, I finally got the drill working right, and finished attaching the blocks. I decided not to glue them down for now. There is one more big problem. [ grin ] I am so short, with such short arms, that I actually have trouble reaching the back. So, I am thinking I should have gone only 18" wide instead of 24". Also, the fabric clings a bit to the muslin. So, I will likely replace it with duck soon. Or maybe the ironing board stuff (which I have somewhere around here.)

Also, when I replace the fabric, I am going to take the extra time and seam up the fabric, and apply velcro to hold it in place so that it will be easily removable and washable. Be sure to measure your board. Mine barely made it, apparently, unbeknown to me, was about 48" long, not counting the iron holder. SO, it worked out just about perfectly.

The finished big board:


Debi said... have inspired me to get DH to make me one also. This will be a good weekend project for him.

nankc said...

I have never seen the need for a big board. I have been sewing since 1965 and quilting since 1977. I press as I go in making quilts. I don't open up the fabric before I rotary cut it for quilt blocks. I always wash, dry and press my fabric before cutting. When strips are cut and then sub-cut into squares, rectangles, triangles, etc. I start at the selvage edge and by the time I get to the fold it is usually cut off too short after cutting my pieces to make any problem. Sometimes there is enough left to cut another piece the size I want so I open it up , press and cut one more piece. Maybe I'm missing something I need to learn about how a big board is used. Any ideas?