Saturday, December 31, 2016

The "Down Low"

Last night, after our Grandson left, I went to iron the border on my newest quilt....

A 76" x 104" quilt I am making for a friend.
However, the backing (a brand new white sheet that I bought) was on the ironing board...so, I had to move it. I thought, "I will put it on the dining table and start laying it out...."
When I put it on the table, there were still some wrinkles...so no problem, I'll just iron it there....
I brought the iron down the hall and plugged it in...and started to iron.
But the iron spewed and spit rust all over!!
What!!!!
Yes, I cried and fumed!
My husband came running...
"just the backing??" he asked...
"Just the backing??!!" I screamed and burst into tears...."I spent and hour ironing this sheet for backing and then the iron did this, right in the middle of the fabric!"
"I am sorry it did that, Honey.." he said, "but thankfully it wasn't the quilt!"
He was right of course...it could have been the quilt!
So, here is the quandary I faced....
I clearly needed a new iron....but which one to choose?
As a quilter, I didn't want an auto shut off....
Most auto shut-offs are 8 mins. Clearly too fast for a quilter.
I didn't want to spend much $$, wanting the $$ to be spent elsewhere.
And so I went out early the next morning(today) to find an iron.
I looked online and studied the reviews...
The top brands are Oliso & Rowenta. They tend to run high.
But I went looking. Oliso is that newer style iron that responds to touch and stays horizontal...very cool...but honestly they run$160-200! They have the yellow model which at JoAnns runs $199, and its auto shut off is 30 min.....
Then there is Rowenta which runs $60-$150. I never saw how long before the shut-off starts....
There are some models made in China some in Germany. All have auto shut off.....
Then there are the Shark, Sunbeam, Black and Decker.
My old iron was a Black and Decker...it was over three years old.
It was the cheapest iron out there and didn't have an auto-shutoff.
After driving around to Bed & Bath and trying out the Rowenta irons, I came to a conclusion. Those were very very heavy...at least for me.
There was a Sunbeam at Target that had a 30 min auto-shutoff.....
But push comes to shove....the old Black and Decker was still $12. Yes, it was truly!
So, I need an iron to stand and wait for me.
I always unplug it when I leave the room, even for a short time.
So, yes, I bought the same iron.
Spend the extra money on fabric and thread...not irons....
I made sure to buy distilled water too....at 92 cents...a bargain to help keep the iron happy.
 This is the iron I bought. It has a 2 year warranty...not bad for a $12 iron!
 This is my "dry" iron that I use for appliqu├ęs and such....when one doesn't need steam. I bought it from the Vermont Country Store...it is an excellent dry iron...but for cottons and linens...only mediocre.
Here is the distilled water....seriously a cheap form of insurance that your iron will last longer...
And in the end....all irons seem to die the same way from all the blogs and reviews...
They all spew and spit...often the same as last night....even the expensive ones. In fact, it seems that the "self-cleaning" irons do this more than the others....
So, in the end....cheap won out.
Someday, I'd like to try out the Oliso iron...but haven't found a place that has it to try....
Good luck to you.....take care of your iron.
Nancy

2 comments:

NanaDiana said...

I got a Rowenta iron about 15 or 16 years ago. It was a gift and it still works perfectly to this day. I am not sure how long the auto shut off is but I use it for sewing and it seems to hold the heat in between seam pressings. It is a bit heavy though. I am the same with with toasters- I burn through them in about the same amount of time no matter how much I spend on a toaster---so now I go for cheap...lol

Hope you have a wonderful New Year. xo Diana

ps- that Gramma's stain remover that they sell at Joanne's will take rust stains out like nobody's business...and blood...and grass...even old set-in stains. xo Diana

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

UGH I would have screamed as well. I forget what my old iron was now, but I'd had it for AGES before it died. I bought a Shark.

I do a lot of applique using freezer paper and starch. The last starch that I had was generic. Currently using Niagra.
The iron is constantly getting a yukky buildup.
SO?
Googling this, I put toothpaste on the iron. Wait awhile and clean it all up.

Going back to the generic starch from the Dollar Store the next time though :)