While I was away on my recent trip, in a class I took, I was introduced to this interesting pressing board called Steady Betty. I had just taken an applique class the day before, and the instructor was emphasizing how important it is to have a very firm pressing surface to press those narrow edges under on your applique pieces. The day of my introduction to Steady Betty, I was taking a class on fused wool applique, and the class had several pressing stations set up. I gravitated to the one with the firm grey padded square. Hello Steady Betty. This pressing board is simply that, a hard board covered with very thin padding and a special foam fabric that holds your fabric in place without slipping.
It was a great firm surface for using pressing fusible interfacing, but also seemed to me to me to be the perfect fabric applique pressing surface. My friend and I were so impressed with Steady Betty, that we ordered one for each of ourselves using our iPhones right there in class! FYI, my friend got a FAR better price than I did, by ordering her Steady Betty through Amazon. I ended up paying close to twice what she did by ordering through the company directly.
Although I paid more than my friend, the folks at Steady Betty included something in my package that was very nice. Little sticky paperbacked strips of the special non-slip fabric that covered the board. You were supposed to cut the strips into quarter inch squares and stick them to the underside of your rotary cutting rulers to eliminate any annoying ruler slippage. As you can see, they provided me with a life time supply of foam pieces for my rulers.
One strip was just right for my 24 inch ruler. Just snip off little bits and stick them to the underside of your ruler. It worked like a charm!
After trying out Steady Betty in my own sewing room, I truly love it. The instructions that came with the board suggest that a non-stick iron works best on the fabrc surface, as well as using a dry (not steam) iron. My iron has a stainless steel throat plate, and I have to agree, non stick would be better. No problem, for pressing my applique pieces I can bring out a non stick iron. I got the best press ever on my applique pieces, so that minor concession is more than worth it.
Steady Betty and I are getting along great, and I highly recommend this product.