Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.... which iron do I favor?

A quick review of the three irons I own: Shark G1462, Eliso TG1050, Presto PHOSA
Sometimes we take for granted things we have. In the case of my old GE iron, I wasn't aware how awesome it was until it had to be replaced. I used that iron nearly 20yrs without thinking a thing about it. (incidentally, the turquoise cord was a great coordinate for my board at the time). 
Following it's burnout were several frustrating years in which I made various iron purchases; several main-stream irons by major brands (Sunbeam, Hamilton Beach, etc..). I read reviews and shopped around, but it was one fiasco after another. I stained fabric, I settled at times for less-than-crisp ironing, I used a spray bottle a whole lot more, and I even had one actually catch fire  - yes, flames coming out from above the sole plate.

It was at about this time, 4-5yrs ago, when I decided to invest a bit more money than the 25-35 dollar range. I read reviews, and used a JoAnn's coupon to purchase the first iron I have up for review:

Oliso InTouch, model TG1050:
3lbs 7oz
9"x5"sole plate SS
This model features little pop-out feet that automatically extend from the sole plate when your hand leaves the handle, so that it may be left safely in a horizontal position. Great feature to save wrists, however it is this feature I have had problems with. The feet do not fully retract, making it more of a pressing iron, not great for moving the iron around. It had been over six months when the problem began, so I sent the iron back to the manufacturer for repair. It was returned within a couple weeks, however the foot doesn't always retract quite right, still,  and the little thingy catches my fabric, leaving wrinkles that are hard to remove.

It is also difficult to drain water from this iron, (photo shows the residual vapor).

And the iron does not get as hot as either of my others.

Whilst this was out for repair a few years back, I picked up an inexpensive iron to get me by:

Shark G1462
2lbs 9oz
4.5 x 8" sole plate SS
This iron is nice and lightweight, and has actually worked quite well! I use it for clothing nowadays, and the steam feature has never leaked or spurted. The smaller plate makes fabric take longer, so I was still using the Oliso to press fabric, until I recently picked up my third iron at a garage sale:

Presto Teflon II PHOSA
1300 Watts
3lbs 10oz
9 x 5" sole plate Teflon
This iron is a gem for fabric! I purchased it thinking it would be for starching only, but it really works well and has become my main 'yardage' iron. I am really happy with the silk setting on it too. I've actually not tried water in it and plan to keep it as a dry iron, so I cannot comment on that aspect. I also love that it must be shut off to actually turn off.
Go figure, the iron lowest in wattage actually gets much hotter than either of the others.

The next time I purchase a new iron, hopefully years away yet, it will be a NIB vintage iron from Ebay, much like the auction ending today

But if I ever run into one of these colorful Presto's, it WILL make it's way home with me:-)

Which color would you want?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Thing I Lost my ***!

Living in Vegas, you may think I am referring to The House, as in gambling, but no - I mean literally lost my ass! I have to fit through here..
Tight Squeeze
Oh no, can a card table really be used for FMQ???

To get in here..

Yessirree, I created a new 'bottom line' when I recently set up my new-to-me Juki...
and a great weight control incentive!

Have you been touring studios spaces & fabric stashes this week?  If not, visit the Studio Spotlight Party it  Ellison Lane!
And if you are really brave, like me, you too can expose your passion in blogland!

I am making every effort to edit well, this post may be a bit lengthy. I have a few admissions to post about...
But lets start with the intro:

11' x 14' Sewing Space from Entry

                                                                                                                          One of the two bedrooms in our home is dedicated to sewing. To score on this room, I am not allowed anything in our garage, or our front entry closet. And, I have to make room for guests to sleep in here when needed. (surprise surprise, most prefer the strip hotels after traveling out to Hendertucky and crashing in a quilting room!) 
Notice another tight squeeze to fit into my piecing station.

My first admission: I am a super-thrifty quilter. I have always admired make-do quilts, and I refuse to believe that quilting must be an expensive passion. Almost everything in my studio, and home for that matter, is secondhand, including 80% of my fabric. I know the value of quality however, and I am the original owner of my Bernina 1020. The table, made by Bernina (and quite possibly made for my machine), I scored about 10yrs later, for $75 on Craigslist. The cutting table is also an ad-find, and came home for $7 right after we moved to Vegas. Lets go in and dig around a bit more..

66" x 54" Walk-In Palette

                                                                                                                                                          Sitting at my Bernina, I get to admire my fabric. I am planning a post next week to explore fabric; how I score fabric, and how I treat and care for the fabrics I sell hoard.
From this vantage, I can glance at the TV too.

But we have no cable/dish, just basic old antenna TV (did I mention our budget has an attitude?) So, more often, I listen to audio books. Yesterday I finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. The yellow wardrobe is crammed with creative things, most not related to quilting specifically. I keep silks, polys, and textured fabrics in there. The cabinet left of that stores batiks and some hand-dyed.

One of my favorite finds is the Cathedral hanging (above the TV), from the estate of a gal's embroidery business in Pahrump, NV.  As I often do, I sold two and kept one. Since I bought it, I have found several of the fabrics that were used in it. I have several yards of that purple one, and just used some of it in the Lucky Penny Churn Dash Blocks on my design wall last week...

I can see it on my left. I used cardboard-accordion style measuring mats, covered with flannel to make my design wall. It works quite well, but my AC blows above it so I still end up using pins abit.
I post a lot of new project starts (thanks to Cat Patches New FO Linky for freeing our reservations about this!). There are always one or two on the wall.
And I caught a glimpse in the photo of my FQ shelving. We will take a closer look at those this week too...

Above my cutting table are some tools and treasures:

The wooden sewing box is accompanied by the letter my Grandmother wrote before she passed in 94. Her father made the box in 1890's, for her grandmother's mending, done on Wednesdays. She also left for me her Toby collection and these great little shelves.

The photo holds yet another admission. This is actually another grandmother, my father's mom. If you look closely, you will see that the glass is broken. It is domed glass and I have never figured how to replace it. I broke it some 25 years ago, when Grandma was nearing death and we were visiting. I was curious bout her age in the photo, and rather than ask Grandpa, I attempted to slide the photo out to look at the back. I will never forget taking it to the other room to show Grandpa what I had done. I was in my 20's and felt six.
He thought Marion was 16 in the photo.

A bit reluctantly, I will now expose the area behind me, the area previously hidden from the general public, and my last admission of sorts...
Hmm.. Shelving holds tickings, canvas, home dec items, and a bit of denim. An odd basket I keep my bias bindings in. The orpan block pillow I quilted and haven't finished, on top of chenille dish towels, also in process. And oddities on the bulletin board. I suppose this could be a fixed up a bit.
While were down here, take a look at a great shelving cart I recently picked up:
It fit right under my card table Juki, and holds quilting thread, Juki stuff, UFOs, things I want to work on (such as big-stitching circles on that Nano Ito gauze--- purchased at a garage sale!!)
Back to my seat,on my right, I can access most of my thread on this clever hanger Ty made for me.

The nails are long enough to fit a bobbin on the end to keep them together. I use pipe cleaners for ones that are too long- mostly with the Juki now, for quilting.
Whew! Thanks for hanging out, but that is all you get! 
What, an encore you say?
One more admission?
I started another new project yesterday, dropping all those WIPS to create a project Ty requested of me. He is participating in a couple art shows and asked me to make something  'quilty', inspired by Piet Mondrian, for his booth. I started in last night, just improv piecing strips and pieces...
What I am working on today

Friday, August 9, 2013

Photo Editing Online

Blocks I am playing with from current WIP's & UFO's!
Ta Da! My first photo-mosaic!

I finally played around with PicMonkey this morning to check out the features of their online photo-editing software. Yay, it was easy to navigate! I have been making do without editing software on my PC for a year now. How nice that so many options are available at PicMonkey.

And I will now be able to add a name to photos so I can be found,,,
 no matter where my photos are found:-)

Do you use online editing software?

This little accomplishment has made my heart sing, can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Distracted by my Stash

Alluring stacks of fabric are always beckoning me.
A couple weeks ago, I received a lovely bundle from LittleMushroomCap, and was inspired by Amira's BOM QAL to make Lucky Penny, a Churn Dash Block. He has been hanging out, screaming for some company, until at last I dropped everything and went nuts with the rotary to provide some pals. So, another scrappy in the works! That 12th, missing block is in ICU - upgraded to 'recovery' this morning after removing stitches.
I have a 6" block in mind to draw up and audition as cornerstones.
I did manage to whip up hundreds of HSTs for Ty's Quilt prior to the big distraction.
And I found a couple yummy fabrics to add to it.
I happened upon these when picking up needles at JoAnn's. I actually forgot the name and only bought the minimum (!). They were located right underneath the new line by Juliana Horner. Two of those snuck home with me as well..
Which prompted yet another starter pile...
Linking up with Freshly pieced  for  WIP Wednesday!
I am taking a break from piecing today to return to some FMQ.
Finally, I made a decision for the next part of Hugs & Kisses...
Preview for Friday...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Block Talk!

Like planned, I did some block work over the weekend, but I was sidetracked quite a bit!

That's not unusual for me lately though. With all the pretty piles of fabric I have going on right now it is hard to avoid distraction and stay focused, :-)

Hello Moon gave me a bit of grief this month. We stuck it out with determination, and at last I have something I feel OK about keeping. The pattern this month is so cute!
The fabric I selected for the fire didn't work out too well, and somehow my flames were quite a bit larger than the pattern. To save it, I darkened the wood fabric by adding some grain lines, and then I added the orange solid to shrink the flame a bit, & creating a better happy face place. Ahh, much better. Here is the Flickr group with lots of blocks from this fun BOM by April Mae Designs.

Last week I received a new block for the Add-a-Border Block Swap. This is round three, a 12" block I will add to and return as an 18" block. (Or 24?) When I began this Robin, I sent two 6" blocks, and I have now completed and mailed back two 12" border blocks. So this is my first 'Round Three'. Each one seems a bit tougher, which is a challenge I rather like. (check out the Flickr group- you really never know what you will get!) If there were a deadline, I would probably not enjoy it so much, but I am allowed to pin the block up to contemplate as long as I wish. I have found the blocks grow on me. And the story behind them helps a bit. This one is called Resolve, and both quilters used new-to-them techniques. I pulled some fabrics for it, and I have in mind a kind of fractured feather.

I also pulled some fabrics to make more Churn Dash blocks.
I like my Lucky Penny block so much, I am going full-on for a lap quilt.
Here's a bit of the palette...

I know, I was supposed to whip up more sailboat blocks for Monday Block Talk, but I really wanted to see some of these blocks and got carried away with them.
And this will be my WIP this week, so that is all I am sharing for now!

Linking up with Lyn @ What a Hoot for BOMs Away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...