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Thread: Ironing and Pressing Quilt Pieces

  1. #1
    Senior Member stitchengramie's Avatar
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    Ironing and Pressing Quilt Pieces

    I need to buy a new iron and I was wondering if there was one strictly for ironing fabric and pressing quilts, and which one is best to use?
    "Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds" George Eliot

  2. #2
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Before purchase, decide if you like a steam iron or dry iron. Quilters have different opinions on this. I actually prefer steam. Also, many people have reported that the cheap irons work as well or better than the expensive ones so don't feel you need to get a very expensive iron. I got mine for about $50 at bed bath and beyond and used a 20% off coupon. I also like the auto shut off feature, as I am afraid of leaving an iron on. Some people hate that feature because they feel they are always waiting for the iron to reheat.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    choose an iron that is (comfortable) for you- I have an iron i never use- was EXPENSIVE! because it is so dog-gone heavy-even without water ...i hate that iron
    a steam iron has steam holes in the 'face plate' a dry iron has a flat face (no holes) I keep a water bottle on the end of my ironing board to spritz fabric when ever i need a little steam- i hate sputtery-leaky irons---but many people love their steam iron features- only you can decide which way to go-
    get one that has heat settings like, silk, poly, wool, cotton, linen---not one that just has cool, medium & hot
    and get one that fits (YOUR BUDGET)
    you do not have to break the bank - or get a loan for an iron- they range in price from $19.95 on up to $250 or more---decide what you think should be YOUR top price.
    I've had wonderful Black & Decker's for under $20 from the hardware store that lasted 5+ years & i loved, I've had $60 irons from Bed Bath & Beyond...that i love...and that really expensive iron which i hate (and keep stashed away in a closet)
    read the boxes, think about how YOU use an iron-determine 'steam or no steam'; comfortable weight, stays on or turns off, and price-then get the one that meets your requirements.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
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    I just used a friend's "Black & Decker" Featherweight iron that she bought at a garage sale for $5.. What a great iron!! Iron was set at 5 with the highest being 7 and it was very hot and did a great job of pressing. I guess that it is true "they are not making things like they used to".
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  5. #5
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    It is nice to have 2 irons. Neither need be expensive. Black & Decker work very well. Why 2 irons? One for steam and one water free. Any iron you fill with water can be incontinent so be prepared.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  6. #6
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Also decide whether you want a light or heavy iron. Personally, I like the heft of a heavy iron--maybe it just makes me believes it is pressing down harder. Others do not like the weight. It's up to you.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  7. #7
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    If you get a steam iron that says it uses tap water you should probably mix 1/2 distilled water and 1/2 tap water. That will keep your iron from spitting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    After buying and returning (problems, not dissatisfaction) four or five expensive irons including a "Quilter's Iron", I went to Wally World and bought the best iron I've ever had! It was going to be temporary until I had the $$$ for another "quilter's iron" I had my eye on.

    It's a very small Rival and cost $5.99 !!!!! It has steam but never spits. Even filled with water it is lightweight. Best of all (for me) it doesn't have auto-shut off. I can cut, piece, sew, and press all day without having to wait and wait and wait for the iron to heat back up.

    OTOH, if you are forgetful, you should probably buy an iron with auto-shut off. Or set a timer to remind you to unplug the iron when you finish!

    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    Any iron you fill with water can be incontinent so be prepared.
    I love this description!! Incontinent, hahaha!!
    When my iron is incontinent, I treat it much worse than I hope to be treated when that finally happens to me....I just toss the dang thing out and go to Walmart for a new one, a $20 Black and Decker with a shiny silver plate.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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  10. #10
    Member filewizard25's Avatar
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    I use an old, very simple, Black and Decker iron. I've never quite understood what those expensive irons are going to get me other than an empty pocket book. I mean, if I'm going to spend over $100 on an iron that thing better make me coffee while I'm sewing or something. (just keeping it real)

  11. #11
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    I am so glad that I have my mom's old flat plated iron. It is at least 35 years old but it is perfect for pressing my quilt piecing. The 'Clover' mini iron is also great for pressing fabric in some very small areas.

  12. #12
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I use a Black and Decker that cost around $25 and love it. It has an auto shut off which was at the top of my list. The first one I got quit heating after using it for about 3 months. I contacted the company and all I had to do was cut off the plug and send it in and they replaced the iron. The new iron came quickly. Great customer service and I think I just got a fluke of a defective iron. It has a shiny sole plate which I can clean and not worry about the teflon coating coming off. It also came with a little pitcher for filling the iron. Best way to pick an iron is to list the features you absolutely want (like auto shut off for me) and then go to a store where you can hold the irons to test the feel and weight.

  13. #13
    Junior Member RGAY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filewizard25 View Post
    I use an old, very simple, Black and Decker iron. I've never quite understood what those expensive irons are going to get me other than an empty pocket book. I mean, if I'm going to spend over $100 on an iron that thing better make me coffee while I'm sewing or something. (just keeping it real)
    A coffee-brewing iron. Now I have heard everything! This is how great inventions take shape!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member littlebitoheaven's Avatar
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    I just read in Harriet Hargrave's Freshman "how to" book that she recommends an iron on the heavier side with only a minimum of steam holes. She states that this type of iron put out a minimum of steam and then dries the fabric more quickly. Good luck and happy quilting.

  15. #15
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I have a Rowenta and love it but I originally bought it for regular ironing (which I rarely do anymore) because of it's great steaming ability

  16. #16
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebitoheaven View Post
    I just read in Harriet Hargrave's Freshman "how to" book that she recommends an iron on the heavier side with only a minimum of steam holes. She states that this type of iron put out a minimum of steam and then dries the fabric more quickly. Good luck and happy quilting.
    And I thought an iron with more steam holes was better. I can't use too heavy of an iron with my hand that had surgery (right) so I have used mostly Black and Decker's...but my current iron is a Shark I got on sale and I really do like it....it steams really good and I do use steam quite a bit.

  17. #17
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    I have a Sunbeam Iron that I've had for many years. I may have even bought it at a rummage sale. It doesn't get really hot, but it does the trick. About two years ago I bought a new $20 iron because I thought my Sunbeam was going out. It's still in the box. And the Sunbeam never spits; but I use distilled water in it only. A gallon of distilled water is less than $1. and many times I don't use steam.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  18. #18
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I'm one of those people who bought an expensive iron for next to nothing. It has a separate holding tank for water. The iron itself weighs nothing because it holds no water. I can use it without turning on the water and use it as a dry iron and it works wonderfully. When I turn on the tank of water, watch out. It steams like crazy. It has just a few holes at the very top of the iron. It never spits or leaks. I bought it at a great price. I always wanted one but couldn't afford $$, so I Googled it and spent about a week checking around for a good price and finally found one. I love this iron. It is perfect for me!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  19. #19
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I personally love steam in my iron. Lots of steam. I have gone thru 3 Rowentas in 4 years. They all started to leak, a lot. 2 of them were still under warranty and were replaced very nicely by Bed Bath and Beyond. The third one was out of warranty, about 1 1/2 years old and BB and Beyond said they couldn't replace and recommended I contact Rowenta as the iron was $129. Rowenta told me I was SOL. Wouldn't do anything. Check the internet they are notorious for leaking a lot. I have a cheap iron now from Wal Mart that is working well. Reliable irons get good reviews but they are costly.

  20. #20
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    I bought a dry iron and love it! Closest thing to my Grannie's old iron I could find. I don't use steam and I like a nice heavy iron.
    So many quilts.....so little time!
    http://ginniequilts.blogspot.com//

  21. #21
    Senior Member cat-on-a-mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    It is nice to have 2 irons. Neither need be expensive. Black & Decker work very well. Why 2 irons? One for steam and one water free. Any iron you fill with water can be incontinent so be prepared.
    LOL! Great choice of words!
    Cathy

  22. #22
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    I got the Shark from Wally World. Sorry I can't remember the price, but it has a button to increase the heat. HEATS FAST!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  23. #23
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    I do not like irons with automatic shutoff because I hate waiting for them to heat up again, so to make sure I remember to turn it off, I put a rubber hair band on my wrist, then if it still there later in the day I know I forgot to turn off the iron. Works for me.

  24. #24
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    My iron has a steam feature. I don't always use steam. Sometimes I just use a spray bottle and let sit for a few seconds.

  25. #25
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    Great question and I love all the info. I, too, thought I needed the top of the line for my sewing. Not true. Have had a Rowenta for years, it spits, it leaks, it is an iron, nothing more, nothing less - it just cost big bucks. No rational reason this iron is "so great". I know a lot of the ladies are looking at that iron that you don't have to put upright, can't think of the name, it is close to $200. I can't see the plus to that either, now that I am smarter, lol. Afraid I would forget to put a normal iron up right after using one of those.
    God Bless Quilters and Sewers
    Marti

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