Friday, April 3, 2015

Looking for an Iron?

This is our first "Guest Post" written by Lee, our newsletter Editor. If you would like to write a Guest Post on a topic that would be of interest to our membership, please let me know. I welcome all submissions. Thanks Lee!

Someone mentioned they were thinking of buying a new iron.  I thought I'd add my observations to their decision process.
This morning I decided to go back to my old Black and Decker iron - no auto shutoff (gasp! yes it's that old) - that I had retired but not turfed.  I retired it because it had left a steam stain on something and I didn't want to risk my husband ironing a shirt in a hurry (which occurs once in a blue moon) and having this happen to him.  For a long time, I used it dry with a spray bottle handy whenever I wanted to steam something, but he must have done that blue moon thing again and I felt bad that there had been risk involved!
Anyway, I bought a Sunbeam Steam Master, a not cheap but not expensive model.  At the time, it seemed the right weight and size. When I first started using it, I realized that what I missed most of all was the sharply angled point of my Black and Decker - I could nudge that point into little pieced spots.  I now had a more rounded point that was okay but not the tool the other had been.  This style of point is probably gone from all makes now, I bet, because it looks less graceful and flow-y than what they now sell.
Comparing them today, my biggest realization is that the Sunbeam has a lot less flat surface to touch my pieced work because it has so many steam holes.  (Possibly the name "Steam Master" should have been a clue?!)  My old Black and Decker just has an outside V line of holes, giving me a nice large flat surface to press my blocks. If you are in the market for an iron, I suggest you consider how you will use it and choose a weight, shape and faceplate that works for you.
Since piecing is the main use of an iron in my house, with steam pressing clothing being a very small percentage activity, the new iron is going into the closet and the old one is returning to duty, but now with a label for my husband that says "no steam allowed". Hopefully he'll remember there is a steam iron in the cupboard!
~ Lee M.

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