Since I do most of my appliqué by making all my shapes beforehand using starch and an iron it is really important to have a convenient ironing surface. Seriously, who wants to stand at an ironing board for multiple hours when you can sit listening to your ipod and press fabric into flower petals. I made this ironing board a couple of years ago and it has saved my back. You can make it too, here’s how. At your local home improvement center they usually have sheets of particle board. I think I found a 24”x48” sheet. You can often have them cut it for you so I had mine cut into two 24” squares. These can then be covered with a layer of batting and a layer of fabric. Just cut out pieces about 32” square. I used a spray baste to bind the batting to the board. After that I stretched the fabric firmly around and stapled it on the back. If the staples don’t go in all the way use a hammer to pound them in. When this cover gets messy from too much starch just replace it with another square of batting and fabric.
Also, I have added another site to my Favorite Websites list. Karen Kay Buckley is an amazing quilter and teacher. Her web site is full of inspiration and her shop has a wonderful and very complete selection of tools for appliqué. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from her, DO IT. She is a really Great teacher and you will learn so much.