Monday, April 2, 2007

Irons, Who can own just one? Certainly not a quilter!!

First of all, I have one iron for clothing. It’s an Oreck Steam Iron. It’s great for clothing and it’s the only iron in the house that my husband is allowed to touch.

Then there are my three irons for Quilting and Sewing.

My everyday Quilting iron is a Rowenta Effective. It’s actually my second Rowenta. I just retired my first one after 5-1/2 years of use. It finally gave up…but instead of not getting hot enough, it was burning everything. This original iron was a wedding gift from my quilting friend Gale. My husband didn’t quite understand at first why if it was a wedding gift he didn’t get to use it. I just smiled and politely handed him the $9 Target special that we already owned and sent him on his merry way. My new Rowenta was a birthday gift from my mom. It has automatic shut off and a retractable cord. I didn’t think I’d like automatic shut off because I was used to my previous iron always being on. I’m pleasantly surprised at how quickly it heats up. I haven’t had any problems with it spitting water when I use the steam function.

Since I seem to “sew on the go” a lot, I made a zippered iron bag with a heat resistant lining. For this I measured my iron and drafted my own pattern. On the inside I used an overlock stitch to keep the seam allowances from raveling. To safe guard I also did some top stitching from the outside which actually encases the seam allowance quite nicely.

The second iron I use is a tiny Clover iron. The model I have gets extremely hot but it’s not very safe for klutzy me. I keep wanting to put my pointer finger on the barrel which has caused me quite a few burns!

I also made a bag for this iron. It’s pretty narrow but it does the job. I wish I would have made it a tad wider. There is a center divider so the cord can go down one side and the hot iron can be slipped into the side with the heat resistant lining.

My newest iron accquision sort of replaces my tiny clover iron that burns my fingers. It’s just a miniature iron. It gets very hot and it is fabulous for paper piecing. I just set it up next to my smaller cutting mat on a little June Tailor pressing mat. The only thing I don’t like about this iron is its cord. The iron itself is super light. Its cord is way too heavy for the iron. It always wants to pull the iron to the ground. I try to work the cord around the leg of my sewing table so that there’s not as much cord weight pulling on the iron. The cord is also detachable which has its pros and cons. If I’m ironing a few different paper piecing sections I’ll just detach the cord, iron and re-attach to re-heat it. On the other hand, the socket that the cord plugs into is a tad loose and does fall out on its own from time to time. It’s pink, so it’s a keeper!

I do need to make a tote for it but I haven’t quite decided what shape it should be quite yet. I will have to incorporate two separate compartments; one for the iron and one for the cord. There is a pattern for one, but I don't quite feel like paying the $18 for it! For that I can draft my own design.

While I’m on the topic of irons I might as well cover ironing boards. When I moved out on my own my mom was also moving. With all that confusion I helped myself to her ironing board because it was so much heavier than what I was finding in the stores. Unfortunately, in all of its 1970’s Harvest Gold Glory it literally fell apart after a few more years to the point that the legs bent just enough for the welds to crack. In order to buy something comparable I had to buy a new $40 Michael Graves version from Target. Sure, it’s nice and heavy but its legs are curvy and it’s a pain in the butt to hang on my standard wall mount. It’s so awkward. I manage to pull the wall unit off of the wall every time I try to remove the ironing board from it. I’ve begun having to rely on my husband to take it up and down.

Why oh why are ironing board covers so hideous? The average person hates to iron, why not give them something fun or pretty to look at? Heck, I use my ironing board all the time, I’d love something better! Sure, I could make my own cover. That certainly would solve the dilemma but my “To Do” list is large enough as it is. By the time I get to it, I could go through one or two more covers.

Since the ironing board is such a pain I have a portable June Tailor board that is the same size as my 18”x24” rotary cutting mat. I like it because it has a nice surface. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put a 1” grid printed on it is absolutely insane. The moment you first use steam it distorts. At least, mine sure has! I’ve been toying with recovering it because it’s so spotted and stained.

In addition to this larger size, I also have a smaller one that’s the size of my smaller 12"x18" rotary mat. Unfortunately though it doesn’t have a hard back and subsequently is too squishy to get a good press out of it with my pink iron and with my little pink iron it’s just one more thing to fall off of my table due to the heavy cord, little light weight iron syndrome.

Monday, April 2, 2007 - good topic
Posted by
ninepatchrose (
I've not thought much about irons until you brought it up. I have a GE, auto shut off that I use for everything mostly. Like yours, mine heats up fast and also when it shuts off I realize I've been sewing for one hour and probably need to go tend to some household duties. There is a family upstairs that needs tending, I try and convince myself. Also, I have a cordless iron. I like to use it for some ironing with small quilt squares. I use it occasionally, but usually find myself going back to the old tried and true. As for ironing boards. I got mine at Wal-Mart. It is my second one in our 25 year marraige and I don't think either one of them has been high enough. My back hurts after awhile. It seems like I am always hunching over it. I agree with you on the covers too!!! I finally found one, agian at Wal-Mart, that is a basic blue with the padding built in and it is reversible so if one side gets to mucked up I can reverse it and have one like new. I like the solid blue. It is a comforting, calming color to iron on.

Monday, April 2, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by
bobbinhead (
I hate Okay, not really. I hate the cost of irons. I have a Rowenta Professional Press. I got it because it's heavy..4lbs and doesn't automatically shut off. I choked on the price though. You just have to remember it's on. I also have a small Clover iron. My local quilt store made great holders so you don't melt your table. I don't like the cord on it because it tangles up on everything. Arghh. Ironing boards. Flimsy and aggravating. I finally found a wide one at Target that I don't completely hate. It's got actual metal legs and is pretty sturdy. I'm just too tall for ironing boards. What I would love is an actual ironing table wide and long enough to use for large quilts. Oh well for now.

Monday, April 2, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by
I just have to laugh! apparently I'm not into quilting as much as I should be. I have one all-purpose iron - I bought it because it gets HOT! I don't really think much about it. It's one drawback is that it shuts off after 15 minutes, so that can be a pain. It does heat up quickly again. The ironing board I got as a shower gift 36 years ago. It must be one of the old sturdy kind, because I had 4 kids around. It is always up in my basement sewing room - the one I inherited when my husband moved the office upstairs to an empty bedroom. I thought I would hate the basement at first, but there are sliding doors for light and view and lots of room to spill over into. Which, of course, I have done. The ping pong table is also perfect for working on queen size quilts - the second of which I have almost finished. Rhoda

Edited by 51050 on Monday, April 2, 2007 at 04:48 PM

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