Quilting Sewing

Workspace Solutions: How to Set Up a Pressing Station

April 26, 2021

Essential tools, plus tips for pressing while sewing is in progress.

Let’s talk about a pressing station and why your sewing space needs one. Since pressing is often done during the construction of your sewing or quilting project, it’s ideal to have a pressing station that is set up and ready to use as your work is in progress.

This post outlines the essential tools that you need, as well as a few handy accessories that you might not know about. You’ll learn how to set up a pressing station that is geared to accommodate small fabric projects and quilting pieces. Ready?

How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Omnigrid FoldAway mats, Dritz petite press and mighty steam irons

Get started: choose a pressing mat & iron

The two key components of your pressing station are the pressing surface and the iron. When choosing both, you’ve got options and that’s great because every workspace is different!

The Omnigrid FoldAway has a non-stick pressing surface and it comes in three different sizes allowing you to choose the best fit for your space. It folds up easily and can be quickly stashed away when not in use. A bonus is that each FoldAway also features a cutting mat, so it really is packed with purpose!

The Dritz petite press and mighty steam iron are our go-to irons. Both are compact options that really let you accomplish detailed pressing maneuvers while your work is in progress – they’re designed specifically for sewing, quilting and DIY.


How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Position your pressing station

To easily press fabric parts and pieces during construction, place your pressing station – the surface/iron combo – to the right of your sewing machine. This overhead image shows you how we have our station set up right next to our machine. (This combo shown includes the mighty steam iron and the tote size FoldAway.)

Here are some things to keep in mind:

•You will want to make sure that your FoldAway is positioned so that the pressing mat side is within easy reach.

•Take care not to place your iron on the cutting mat side of the FoldAway. (Read on to learn about our silicone accessories!)

•Make sure there is an outlet nearby for your iron, one that keeps the cord to the side of the machine and not across the front.

•Often, threads need to be snipped or squares need to be trued up, so be sure to keep embroidery scissors and your rotary cutter handy on the cutting mat side of the FoldAway.


Dritz silicone accessories for pressing and ironing

Outfit your pressing station with key accessories

Here are a few accessories that you will reach for again and again, promise! Our arsenal includes a selection of clever silicone items that protect your fingers and your work surface.

How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Thermal thimbles give you the confidence to really get in there and use your fingers to hold fabrics in place while you press. As the name implies, they protect your fingers from steam and hot surfaces. Each package includes 3 thimbles; they were designed to fit on your index finger and thumb on either hand, but you can wear as you like – whatever works for you.

Dritz mighty steam iron and silicone iron rest

Just like those thimbles, a silicone iron rest will let you confidently set a warm iron down without worrying about your work surface. There are two sizes: the small one shown pairs perfectly with the mighty steam iron; a standard size silicone rest is also available.


How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Accomplish detailed pressing

Wow. The thermal thimbles and petite press really are a good pair. Controlling the fabric as you press is important. Sometimes your fingers need to be close to the iron. Heat-resistant thermal thimbles allow you to handle your project with confidence as you press into odd corners and narrow openings.

How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Use the stand on the petite press to safely set it aside in between pressings.

How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

The compact size of the petite press leaves you plenty of space to accomplish quick tasks like snipping threads while pressing is in progress.


How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Pro tips to press as you go

For quilt or garment sewing, always press one seam before joining it to the next piece to prevent unwanted tucks or wrinkles.

Small items such as collars require pressing when complete. The FoldAway allows you to remain seated instead of jumping up repeatedly to use a standard ironing board.

How to set up a pressing station by your sewing machine

Don’t forget to put your mighty steam iron on the silicone iron rest in between steps.

Always unplug any iron when completely through for the day.


Omnigrid FoldAway pressing and cutting mat for sewing and quilting

Call it a day

When it’s time to straighten up we love that the FoldAways do just that: they fold away. They’re easy to store on a shelf or or in a drawer, freeing up valuable workspace for other tasks.

Dritz silicone pressing accessories

Keep favorite pressing accessories stored together, too, so that when it’s time for your next sewing session, it’s easy to get your pressing station set up again. A handy lidded container will do just fine!


Omnigrid large FoldAway cutting and pressing mat

Pressing on-the-go

If you’re a fan of retreats or classes, the FoldAways are great for those, too. In addition to being able to stash at home when not in use, they’re also easy to take along when sewing on-the-go.

Omnigrid FoldAway cutting and pressing mats

Choose from three different sizes – each one is ideal for different projects and situations. It’s okay to have more than one!


Know your pressing must-have tools, keep them stored together and set up a pressing station quickly and easily each time you need one in your workspace or on-the-go! Now that’s what we call a solution.

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