I haven’t mentioned it on my blog, but I’ve been testing out a new-to-me product for six months or more now. It’s called Steady Betty, and it is a special pressing surface. It is especially good for pressing lots of seams after piecing blocks. It sort of grabs the fabric so it can’t slip around on you. Even better, it is some type of foam so it is a little bit squishy. As a result, it makes the seams really nice and flat.
When I first see a new product and all of the wondrous claims, I often wonder if it is really as good as they say, so I was surprised that I do like this pressing surface. You can’t slide your iron like you do on a regular ironing board, but according to the pressing experts you shouldn’t be doing that anyway. We quilters are supposed to press up and down, not back and forth, right? Steady Betty will force you to do that. It was something that I had to get used to because I’m in the bad habit of going back and forth. That motion can to stretch your blocks out of shape especially if you are using steam.
I bought a Steady Betty Ironing Board Cover Kit. Since I was skeptical at first, I just temporarily put the Steady Betty on my ironing board and used it that way for a while. The more I used it, the happier I was with it. At first, I kept trying to slide my iron back and forth. Once I finally got in the new habit of the up and down motion, everything went better.
Just before I left for the Nancy Crow workshop, I realized I was somewhat addicted to this new pressing surface and I didn’t really want to leave it behind. At that point, I decided to cut up my first Steady Betty and use it to create a portable pressing surface. Some of you may remember how I improved my June Tailor Cushioned Quilter’s Square ‘n Blocker by pinning a Teflon pressing sheet to the backside. This time I pinned a piece of Steady Betty to the front side and it works beautifully. As a bonus, I have ideas for the piece of foam that is left over.
Tomorrow, I’ll share how I made my new Steady Betty pressing table.