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Archive for January 2011

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for awhile, but with life and all its ‘pleasures’ sometimes it is hard to do.  So with nothing to do today… well, I could be piecing, or quilting, or cutting, but well, you know what I mean.  Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do.

This post isn’t advice on when to replace your iron, although I was hoping to refer to some information on it.  But I can’t find anything on the internet.  I did once, but do you think I could find it.  Uh Uh.  No way.  No how.  So you will just have to bear with me, and allow me to, perhaps, entertain you, with the story of when I knew it was time to replace my iron.

I have to tell you, I love my iron.  Okay, maybe not love… but I really like it.  It is a Panasonic (don’t have the model #)  It has a nice weight.  It has a very pointy tip, great for pressing those small pieces when quilting.  Although I don’t use it, it even has a retractable cord.  It has an auto on/off feature, great when I do some piecing, and then come and do some pressing.  Sure, I have to give it a tip, to warm back up, if it has been several minutes, but it doesn’t take long to heat up.    And if I step out of my Quilt’n Room, and forget to turn off the iron, no worries, as I know it will shut itself off.

Well, my poor iron had a bit of an accident.  I know not how it happened.

To give you an idea on how the following events took place, I need to give you a quick description of my Quilt’n Room.   My room is “L” shaped, and at the foot of the L, is where the closet is.  In the closet I have my desk, and all compute equipment.  For the door of the closet I have a shower rod, with curtain loops, with curtain hoops with crimps to hold my design wall, which is a flannel sheet.   When I’m quilting, I can drag the sheet around my desk, and my design wall is usable.  When not using the design wall I can slip it back out of the way.  Behind my office chair is the ironing board and iron.   Where the top and the bottom of the “L” meet, the corner is where my cutting table is.  In the top of the “L” is where my sewing machine(s) and storage for fabric is.  Okay… do you remember where the ironing board is?  Right… right behind me.  Hee hee.

Now, I don’t recall, what I was doing, but as I swivelled to the left (towards the door), I noticed my iron was on some boxes… not on my ironing board.  I have no idea how it got there.  I have some ideas… mainly a kitty or two, who must have knocked it off.  It surprised me, as this had never ever happened before, in the almost 5 years that I’ve been quilting… or just over 3 years that I’ve had my Quilt’n room.

I’m sure you know what I did next… I picked it up.  Still puzzled on how it got to be where it was.  Then I gasped!

How did my iron become fuzzy?  Okay, it is a teflon coated plate… but!  REALLY!  Well, it was Christmas time, busy at work, and of course busy around the house.  I wasn’t planning on doing any quilting, so I left the whole thing until after Christmas.  Poor poor thing.  What was I going to do?  Was this iron even still available?  Well, I’ll just deal with it after Christmas.  That was my plan.

So Christmas came and went.  One of my gifts was a new iron.  (The other gift that is quilting related will be introduced in another blog post).  Then I got a respiratory infection on Boxing Day, which laid me up for 4 days.   Then it was back to work.   The puzzle of how my iron ended up becoming fuzzy still baffled me.  Remember where I told you where my ironing board is?  Well, the “butt” of the ironing board is against a wall, with a large window.  Near the wall, and behind me, I have a bag of polyester batting, I use for my stuffed critters – right now Sock Monkeys.  On closer inspection, I noticed part of the bag was missing.  The bag hadn’t been opened yet.  So here is what I think happened.

Kitty(s) playing on the iron board, knocked the iron over (it is usually at the butt of the ironing board, or the widest part).  It tumbles onto the bag of polyester batting, turns on, and melts into the bag and the stuffing.  Stuffing becomes adhered to the iron.  As the stuffing is being adhered, the iron falls again, moving about 2 feet forward to come to rest on some boxes.  And must have then shut itself off again.

It is now into the New Year, and I’ve pulled the new iron out of its box.  WOW!  Is it every shiny.  I had told DH what happened to the iron, and he bought me a new one.  It is a Sunbeam.  I wasn’t too sure about it.  The point on the plate is not very pointy, but the plate is much wider.  Great for pressing yardage, and lots of units.

It also has a auto off/on, but when it is off.. it is really off.  If you come to turn it on, you actually need to select the setting, before it turns back on.  It has a digital display for fabric selection.  And it has 3 steam settings.  I hardly used steam with the Panasonic, but I have noticed with the Sunbeam, that I do need the lowest steam setting, to press wrinkles out, and to press units.

I’ve been using the new iron for the past few weeks.  I’ve been working on a commission quilt.  A woman I know, bought Hawaiin fabric remnants from a seamstress in Hawaii who makes shirts.  The new iron and I have become friends.

What is your most entertaining quilting story?   Would you share it with us, I know I would like to read about it.

-Alice

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  How often do you replace your iron.  As quilters, we actually go through (or should be), irons quicker than most typical home irons.  Think about it.  How many hours is your iron in use for your quilting?  For me… lots and lots.  Some days, anywhere from 1 to 6 hours per day, sometimes even more.  If you quilt, say 3 days per week, that could be upwards of 18 hours per week.   A whopping 900+ hours in a year.  The typical household iron is not meant for that kind of use.  Which means, it isn’t going to last 10 years, or 20 years, as it may have in days gone by.  Do you use your household iron for quilting, or do you have a separate iron?  And if anyone finds out when we should be replacing our irons, please let me know.

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