I have nothing against a real ironing board, I just usually seem to need more space than what a “real” ironing board provides. Many years ago, I discovered that in my ironing area, I preferred to use a plastic folding table for ironing. Some days, I just do not want to struggle with large pieces of fabric and small ironing boards.
On this particular day, the antique wooden ironing board that did belong to my husband’s grandma was folded and leaning against the wall. It had a piece of fabric hanging over it (it was the border print I did not want to accidentally cut up while cutting the blocks).
Recently, a woman (JG) stopped at my home to bring me another quilt to be hand quilted. After directions were given and noted, she asked what was I currently piecing. We went to the sewing room, and as usual, fabric in various stages of being cut, ironed and sewn was scattered around. I am not a neat “working on a project” person.
Obviously she was distracted, because she kept staring at the plastic folding table I was using for an ironing area. I tend to use this folding 6′ plastic table covered with a 5′ piece of insulated iron board cover fabric more than the actual ironing board that was currently leaning against the wall looking decorative.
I bought the fabric years ago intending to make a new cover for the antique wooden ironing board (can’t find a ready-made cover that fits), but I honestly just never got around to it. It is simple just to use it like this. Amazon has a similar product: https://www.amazon.com/Therma-Flec-Resistant-Cotton-Batting-Silver/dp/B006P5TZW8/ref=sr_1_6?hvadid=78683916624263&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&hvqmt=b&keywords=ironing+board+fabric&qid=1573870931&sr=8-6 ).
I realized at some point that I just like having the big flat work area to iron on. Plus, no fighting to keep the fabric from sliding off the ironing board. If I am working with small pieces of fabric, I do use the ironing board with this therma fabric put over it. Either way, I get the fabric ironed.
I like having two “ironing boards” available based on the need of the project, and it is also nice to be able to fold one or both up. That way they are not taking up needed floor space.
Another quilter has made a rectangle ironing board. See here: https://quiltingjetgirl.com/?s=rectangle+ironing+board&post_type=post
I have seen women put a bath towel over a wide board and iron. I personally have put a bath towel on a counter and ironed – this is simply being resourceful and using what is available. The important thing is that (1) the fabric gets ironed, and (2) that no surfaces are melted, or catch fire while ironing.
Remember that our quilting predecessors would have made do and it is just fine for us to as well.