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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

NTT-Spooky Spiderweb and a BIG New Pressing Station!

 Hey there, friends!  Welcome to Needle and Thread Thursday!  There has been lots going on in my studio lately.  Not all of it has been actual sewing, but it's definitely all been useful.  My latest quilt is all finished, and I am in love with it.

I'm all ready for October with this quilt!  If you can believe it though, there isn't a single Halloween fabric on the front.  That just goes to show you that the color of a fabric is as important as the print itself- maybe even more so.

With my family in town last weekend and other plans on the horizon (more on that later), I needed to get this one finished up quickly, so an easy stipple fit the bill.  Since this quilt is going to live on my couch and get used, it didn't need to be super fancy.

The backing on this one is super fun.  I made giant, irregular log cabin blocks with the leftover fabric chunks, and I did choose a Halloween print to finish it off.

This print from the Spooky 'n Sweeter collection (Art Gallery) is just darling, and it sets off the more saturated colors really well.  I worried a little bit about the fact that there is pink in this fabric, but I decided that I actually like the way it picks up the purples in the quilt.

My plan was to put a solid black binding on this one.  I really do love the way solid bindings frame the quilt.  But my local quilt shop was sold out of Kona Black.  I did find this fabric from the Free Spirit Seeds collection that works just perfectly though.  Besides the main backing and binding fabrics, this quilt came entirely from my stash, and that always makes me happy!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I really enjoyed making this quilt, and loved using the Creative Grids Spiderweb Ruler.  There was one part of the process I didn't enjoy though.  When I'm making a quilt, I like to know how much fabric I need to start with.  I don't like cutting some, sewing a little, and then having to go back into my cabinet for more fabric, and I had to do that with this quilt.  So, I decided to write a full pattern using the ruler, for those of you who are planners like me.

This pattern is written in three sizes, with full yardage requirements and cutting charts for lap, twin, and queen size quilts, so there is no guesswork involved.  You'll still need the ruler of course, but you'll know from the get-go how many prints you'll need for the spiderwebs and exactly how many to cut of each strip width.  It also includes two different background options, depending on whether you want to use several prints (as shown), or a single background fabric.

Spooky Spiderweb is available in my Etsy shop HERE.  It's the perfect time to whip up a Halloween quilt, or you don't have to make yours spooky at all (remember, my first spiderweb quilt was a Christmas quilt)!  This pattern works using any fat quarters (or quarter yards) you have on hand with whatever background color you choose!

The next big thing that happened in my studio this week is my brand new, HUGE pressing station, and I am so very giddy about it.

I have seen lots of tutorials for pressing stations on the web, and finally decided that I needed one for myself.  Most of the tutorials I found start with an Ikea Kallax cubby unit, but alas, it is college-dorm-room-furnishing season, and our Ikea was all sold out of white units.  Since they weren't planning to get anymore for 3-4 weeks, my impatient self started looking for other options.  This unit is from Target, and is practically identical in size (and price) to the Kallax, and they even sell the bins that go with them!

My hubby put it together and added six locking casters (3" wheels) to the bottom so I can roll it away from my design wall when I need to.  We had some solid wood shelving that we pulled out of our closet when we redesigned it, so we joined two of them together and repurposed them for the top.  

I did a lot of research into the layering on top of the ironing surface.  I don't like a cushy surface when I'm ironing, so I didn't want a lot of padding, but I also use a lot of starch, so I didn't want to soak the wood and make it warp either.  In the end, I settled on four layers.  

First, I covered the wood with heavy duty aluminum foil.  This creates a barrier between the wood surface and any starch that might get through, and it will reflect any heat back to the surface.  Then, I added a layer of regular Warm and White batting, followed by a layer of Insul-Bright heat resistant batting.  This batting reflects heat back to the source and is commonly used in pot holders and hot pads, so it is a good choice for an ironing board.  Finally, I covered the layers with a solid gray duck cloth.  I pulled it as tightly as I could and stapled it all the way around the board.

The one part of my old ironing board that I was sad to leave behind was the iron rest.  I always liked having it there, keeping my entire board available for pressing.  Thankfully, my amazing husband figured out how to take it out of the old board, and he mounted it to the side of my new one (which was actually kind of tricky).

My new pressing surface is a whopping 22" x 66", and it is just over 34 inches tall, which is my sweet spot for pressing comfort.  I actually measured the height of my old ironing board and planned accordingly to make sure this one was right.  If you like your surface a little taller (or shorter), you can adjust that with the size of the casters, or you can even double up your wood top.  This is going to make pressing so much easier!  Or dare I say enjoyable?  :) 

Before we get to this week's party, take a look at some of the fantastic projects linked up last week.  Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts shared her version of my Face the Sun mini quilt, found in my new book, Scrappy Improv Quilting.  I just love seeing someone make one of my designs their own.

This quilt top by Julie's Quilts and Crafts is gorgeous!

My jaw dropped when I saw this beauty by Rebecca Grace Quilting-

This fun quilt is by Something Rosemade-

And finally, I am loving this temperature quilt by Jen's Crafts and Quilts Scrapbook

Okay friends, it's time to link up!

By the way, in case you missed it- I kicked off the blog tour for my new book, Scrappy Improv Quilting, yesterday!  You can find the full schedule of blog participants HERE, and enter to win a free signed copy.

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!

2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link within your 
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)


  1. Having a large ironing board surface is so nice; having 66" of width to work with is going to be awesome. And hooray for hubby figuring out how to keep your iron handy. And hooray for the finish (and family visiting). The backing is fun! Do you think you'll keep it out year round or only for the fall / Halloween?

  2. Nice spiderweb quilt. I just finished two Halloween quilts and decided to use the meander quilting as well. Yours looks great so I am confident to press on with my decision. Nice ironing station. I have one similar and I really enjoy it. So tired of trying to use the ironing board for large quilts.

  3. Congrats on your Halloween quilt finish and your fantastic new pressing station!!

  4. Yay for a new pressing board. I just made one myself, and I love it. Awesome that your hubby could reattach the iron stand. Your pressing station looks terrific!

  5. Congratulations on your book, blog tour, and all the other great things happening to you as you continue your quilting journey!

  6. Oh, that pressing station looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing the layers you used; I'll keep that in mind. Thanks, too, for the highlight. I'm itching to make a few more projects from your book - well, all of them, actually!

  7. Your spiderweb quilt is so fun. It's also reminding me of one I started cutting for but then it got shuffled aside. I should get back to it soon. Thanks for inspiring me. Also love the new ironing set up.

  8. Love the quilt. The table is outstanding!

  9. Hi Kelly, love that new ironing surface. I created a small one but I really need something bigger. Your finished spiderweb quilt is great!

  10. Your new pressing station is AWESOME, Kelly!! I especially love how your handy hubby was able to attach the iron rest to your new setup. Thanks for featuring my pineapple log cabin quilt, too! :-)

  11. Oh, I got so carried away by your ironing station that I forgot to tell you how much I love your Spiderweb quilt!! I really like that the Spiderweb piecing and the color palette suggest Halloween without having any explicitly Halloween prints in the mix. Nice job!

  12. I’m really in love with your new pressing station and your Spiderweb Quilt is just too much fun. I really enjoy seeing the quilts you showcase (who doesn’t enjoy seeing quilts for the second or third time?) and thanks for hosting the fun linky party.

  13. Great new pattern Kelly. I stack so much on my ironing board - I can just imagine how much I would stack on one that big!

  14. I'm happy for you to have a wonderful new pressing table! It looks like the perfect combination of storage and accessibility. Interesting how you put layers onto the board, to create the ideal hot spot. I have a board too, but put only batting and ironing board fabric on it, with duck cloth on top. My board is portable though, meaning I can lift it off the table top to create more cutting space, or to give me more quilting surface. Yep, I have a multi-purpose cutting, pressing, and quilting table. No room for anything more. It's nice to see one of the quilts from your book that's already made! I know this is exciting for you. Have fun!

  15. Kelly, I love your spiderweb quilt, it's amazing! What a clever husband to make you such an awesome ironing station. Could you please tell me how he attached the wheels? I have that same set of cubbies and I'd love to do that! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much! I think he just screwed the casters on.

      :) Kelly


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