I often tell my students that the most important thing in any sewing related project is an iron. And it had better not be a $6 iron from Wal-Mart... sputtering rusty water all over your expensive fabric! ugh. I hate cheapy irons that don't work properly. I do a whole lot of ironing and pressing. Notice they are NOT the same thing. I "iron" my husband's work clothes every night for the following day.... but I "press" my quilting cottons for my piecework. One involves you swiping the iron back and forth to iron out all the creases. The other requires you pressing in a simple up and down motion, as if you were stamping the iron onto your fabric.
For my ironing duties I have a Rowenta Effective (DX1700) iron. It is coming up on 5 years old and works great. It is nice and big and covers a lot of ironing space quickly (especially on my DH's XL long sleeved work shirts). It also has a super strong steam blast button and even vertical steam which I use on occasion.
What I do and don't like about my Rowenta is that it has an automatic shut-off feature. I like that because it's great for keeping your house from burning to ashes if you're a busy working mom (like me!) and are still suffering from mommy brains (like me, too!) and accidentally forget to shut it off. The down side to that same feature is that if you are an avid quilter you know how important it is to have a steaming hot iron ready to press your blocks as you stitch each seam together. I hate it when I reach for the iron and it has shut itself off.... ARGHHH! I have to sit there and waste precious crafting time waiting for it to warm back up! And these days any free minute I get to quilt is so valuable I knew I had to search for a solution. And I know you may be thinking... get another iron without that feature.. duh! But no. I did not want to dish out another $60+ for another iron when mine worked just fine. I was determined to find a solution... and I did!!
I started doing some research on a travel iron. A smaller, simpler version of my iron but that was smaller to use just for my sewing & quilting projects. I came across BESTCOVERY. It's a site that reviews everything! They tell you the "best" in every category you can think of. It's definitely worth checking out. Well, when I looked up the Best Travel Iron.... there she was! The Steam Fast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron.
Amazon.com for $17 (and FREE shipping!) and I had to buy her! 2 weeks later... here we are together in quilting heaven! She holds a little over an ounce of water, steams all the creases out of my fabric, and sets very precise seams. What more could a quilter ask for??
*Note: The block you see in this picture is one of the 12 blocks I am making for a Spring Time April Block Swap over at Hinterberg Block Swap yahoogroup. This block is called Double Z and I found it over at the Quilter's Cache.
Oh yea.... and that block is a 12.5" block.... look how small my mini McSteamy is next to it! love, love, love it!