Monday, May 11, 2009

My ironing board

Happy Mother's Day! Well, I'm not his mother but yesterday Tetsu gave me a mother's day present. An ironing board!

I've been wanting an ironing board for ages and ages. In fact, it has been something that I have coveted ever since I got married. And I don't even iron! Well, I don't iron clothes. I only iron quilts and quilt blocks.

It's not like I didn't have an ironing board. I've written about my ironing board before. It is only 20 inches long and after putting the iron on it, that only gave me about 10 inches of ironing space. It was impossible to iron long seams or flimsys and I often used the carpet to iron things.

A couple of months ago I specifically took one of my quilts to Mrs. Furui's because she had a wonderful stand up/fold away, LONG ironing board. (She acquired it when she lived in Germany.)

"Mrs. Furui, I need to use your ironing board to iron my flimsy. I messed up my carpet when I ironed on it the last time."

"Tanya, my ironing board broke! Now I can only use the board part and iron off of the floor."

Mrs. Furui is in worse shape than I am! How can two of us rather prolific quilters live without an ironing board? I took a picture of Mrs. Ochiai trying to iron bias off of the floor that day.

It is possible to order a stand up/fold away, long ironing board in Japan. Mrs. Furui and I have both priced them and both of us have come to the conclusion that $130 for an ironing board is too much!!! So I use my minuscule ironing space and Mrs. Furui irons off the floor.

When Tetsu was rearranging my sewing room for me last month he noticed the melted marks from where I had ironed on the carpet.

"Tetsu, I really need an ironing board and even if it costs a lot I think I'll go ahead and buy one."

He wanted to know how long and how high it needed to be and declared that he would MAKE me one.

Hmm.. I don't really think that will work. How do you make the board part? Do I really want another piece of furniture in that room? But much like I like to make quilts by hand for people, Tetsu wanted to give me a hand made ironing board so there went my dreams of a convenient, pull out when you need it, expensive ironing board.

Tetsu came home early from work yesterday and set up his carpentry area in the yard. And THIS is the result of 4 hours of carpentry, two store bought ironing boards (no legs, just boards), a hand saw, two-by-four planks, and no measure. Tetsu is a WONKY carpenter. Cut off when too long, nail on extra when too short.

"Tetsu, this is WONDERFUL! It is sturdy, and long, and I can put stuff under it!"

A treasure and one I will use daily! Who needs modern ironing boards when I have a gift of love!

I'm sorry Mrs. Furui, as much as Tetsu admires you I don't think he'd be willing to do this again.


Nancy said...

He's a keeper, that's for sure. Much like my Joe and the wonderful design wall he built for me. We're two lucky women!

Carol said...

That's a great ironing table! Tetsu and my husband, Keith, must have gone to the same carpentry school. Their work looks exactly the same. Aren't they wonderful to have around?

The Calico Quilter said...

That was very sweet. I would think about asking for an extra plywood top so that it could be a spot to do rotary cutting too. If the ironing boards are inset but not attached, you could pop them out and put in the cutting surface - even glue on a rotary mat so it's ready to go. (Always the engineer - see something and try to improve it!)

The store-bought ironing boards seem small - is that the normal size? Do they come with legs to stand on a table or just the boards? I was amazed at that $130 price tag. A fancy Rowenta one is $99 at Bed Bath and Beyond (not the cheapest place to shop). My mom bought me an extra large ironing board for Christmas several years ago at Walmart and I'm sure it wasn't more than $35.

Oh, yes - LOVE your funky pink iron!

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Your new ironing board certainly does look sturdy.......and nice and big. I think you'll be glad you didn't get one of the fold-up ones.

奥富則子 said...


Allie said...

How wonderful!!!!! Looks like the kitties will have a new place to sleep, lol. My ironing "board" is a table - I bought some quilted ironing board cover fabric and made a top for it - and I also use it for cutting. WHEN I get to use it, that is - it's my cat's favorite place, right under a window!
Tetsu is amazing - he's a keeper for sure!

Quilter Kathy said...

What a wonderful gift!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog. You are
a good story teller.

Amanda said...

I'm amazed that what we think of as a 'standard' ironing board is not a regular part of Japanese equipment, and is so expensive. I have a regular ironing board and a small table top one which I keep in my sewing room, neither of which cost more than a few pounds. Yours is certainly sturdy!

anne bebbington said...

What a hero!

Helen said...

That is much better than any store bought ironing board. They can be unstable when ironing a large quilt top and I have 'lost' my iron more than once form the top of mine. I now use a coffee table top which I put on top of a set of drawers. I like it much better than my bought ironing board, It has more room too.

Shasta said...

A sturdy table looks wonderful - and no one can complain when you don't put it away! And look at the wonderful space underneath! Make a cover for it and enjoy. I like Calico Quilter's idea of adding a board for a cutting mat / hard surface. Just put it behind the table when not in use.

Karen said...

How sweet! That is the best ironing board ever. :)

BrendaLou said...

best looking ironing board I ever saw! what a treasure. I too, agree it would be perfect to put a board over & use for rotary cutting!

artfilstitch said...

I love your new ironing board, Tetsu has done another great job. Give him a big hug for all of us. Your quilt design looks very nice on the feathered quilt. You will be finished in short order....I'm sure! 8>)
Take care,

AnnieO said...

I'd like a really sturdy board like that too! Mine is very wobbly but I like being able to put it away since my sewing desk is in the common area of the house. Yours looks great already put to use! Happy Mother's Day.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

How wonderful! Now THAT is love :o)

XUE said...

Wow! This is the nicest ironing-board story I have heard & the nicest & most practical ironing-board, I have seen! Tetsu san is wonderful !