“NO” to the new iron

Last month I put out a plea as I was looking for an iron that would get hotter than the one that I had.

I thought that getting a higher wattage iron would help and, after doing some research, I purchased this 1800 watt iron…..

It is a nice iron and it gets hot fast, but it really isn’t any hotter than my normal iron!!

Then it dawned on me that the wattage won’t make it hotter but the temperature setting WOULD!!

So, I returned to my favorite iron….

….and simply bumped it up one temperature setting!!!

And….voila….I had just what I was looking for!!

So the new iron went back to Amazon and I am enjoying my old iron even more!!

The second iron in my studio is a cordless Panasonic….

It doesn’t get nearly as hot, even on high, and it takes a while to warm up, but when I am ironing larger pieces of fabric, it is sweet to not have to worry about the cord!!!

So now I am happy with the iron situation in my studio, so let’s quit talking and get back to sewing!!

Is Perfect tension possible??

One of the things that I have struggled with on Julio, my Juki sit-down Longarm machine, is TENSION!!!

When I first purchased him, it was perfect but, as I made changes here and there, to both the top and bottom tension, it got worse and worse……

NOT good!!!

I had tried using the method of pulling on the thread until the bobbin stands up in your hand but doesn’t lift off your hand. But, it was imprecise and I was never able to get the tension exactly where I wanted it.

Being an accountant, I believe that NUMBERS are always the way to go and I longed for something that could quantify the bobbin tension…..and I found it!!

Introducing the TOWA Bobbin Case Tension Gauge….

Now it was a bit pricey ($US 55), but it looks like it will definitely be worth the money.

It is designed for bobbins that rest inside a bobbin case (NOT for drop-in bobbins), and this particular version is for the larger “M” style bobbins that are used on a longarm.

This is how it works…..

If the tension needs to be changed, you can easily reach the screw and make the changes….

But you may be asking…… “how do I know what number to aim for?”

Several of the major thread companies, including Signature and Maderia provide information as to where the gauge should fall for each type of thread. Superior Threads provides the best chart that I have found and can be downloaded on their website…..

Since I am loving Bottom-Line thread in the bobbin, this is the perfect chart for me. AND, I am thinking that I can use these numbers as a starting place if I switch to a different thread.

But the real question is whether it helped. You tell me…..

I don’t think that it gets much better than that!!

The gauge is also available for L-style bobbins which are used on many home machines.

I am super excited about this tool and am looking forward to using it for “perfect” tension!!!

PATTERN UPDATE….. did you know that you can get a FREE copy of my pattern “Crumbs for the Geese” just by signing up for my newsletter? But, this offer will be ending soon!! To make sure that you don’t miss out, please sign up in the top right column of this post.

Clipping wings the Deb Tucker way…

In one day, I had two readers mention that they used the Deb Tucker “Wing Clipper” tool to perfect their Flying Geese units.

I decided that I had to try it out…..

After making this video, I realized that I could put some non-slip grips on the back of the ruler to help stabilize it. As I searched, I found that there are tons of choices….which ones do you prefer??

I recently purchased 3 more of the Deb Tucker rulers and cant wait to try them and, of course, review them on this site. Be sure to come back for more!!!

PATTERN UPDATE….. did you know that you can get a FREE copy of my pattern “Crumbs for the Geese” just by signing up for my newsletter? But, this offer will be ending soon!! To make sure that you don’t miss out, please sign up in the top right column of this post.

Cleaning out the batting!!

In all the 35 years that I have been quilting, I have NEVER worried much about how my batting was stored. Any leftover cuts just got tossed into the corner of the closet and, when I needed some for a new quilt, I would rifle thru them until I found one that would fit.

But, in the last few years, I started measuring the leftovers and marking how big each piece was…..

It was a good idea…..or rather PART of a good idea!!

There were two problems….. first of all, when you use safety pins to attach the size paper, bad things can happen…..

After this mishap, I got smart and just used the post-it note wrapped around the tie…..

The next step was to make a listing of the battings that I have on hand. Instead of writing it down on a piece of paper that I would lose, I went to my task board and dedicated a corner to battings…..

Now I just have to remember to mark them off when I use them!!

The final step was to bag up the smaller rolls and clean up my storage…..

I didn’t have a photo of “before” but I can GUARANTEE you that it looks SO much better!!

Now to get back to making quilts that can use up those bats!!!

Let’s buy an iron!!

Last week I asked a question about irons and got some great advice. Here is what I heard…..

First of all, MOST people do not use the steam function on their iron. Instead, they use a spray bottle to better control the amount of water that is being added to the fabric. I had NEVER thought about that.

Also, they said that irons will last longer if you don’t add water to the mix. That certainly makes sense.

One individual suggested this Sprayer from Angela Walters

I might buy it just for the saying!!!

One person suggested that, if you are not using steam, you may not need the higher wattage. That is something else to consider.

Several people liked the Chi brand irons

The one that I found on Amazon was 1700 watts and had a $US80 price tag.

I don’t know anything about this brand but do remember my daughter being so excited when she could finally afford a Chi Hair Straightener!!!

Olisio irons also got a shout out, although I had a hard time finding a full-size one on Amazon. But, maybe I just didn’t look hard enough!!!

The general consensus is that Rowenta irons are simply not worth the money!! Several people said that they like the iron but that it didn’t work for long and had to be replaced.

One that I had never heard of was a dry iron from Vermont Country Store....

This model was $US55.

The most suggested brand was Black & Decker, with this one being singled out…..

It is 1100 watts and sells on Amazon for $US29.

Several people mentioned that they are still using the iron that they bought MANY years ago and one reader said that, when hers finally dies, she will go to a thrift store for a new one.

This really makes me wish that I still had my Mom’s old iron….the one that Dad had replaced the cord on several times!!

The one that I had found when I originally started looking was the Beautural 1800-Watt…..

It had really high reviews on Amazon with 11,000 people rating it!! That number of ratings is hard to fake!!

One reader said that she really liked this iron. The only drawback that she had was that it would sometimes blow the fuses in her old house!! Since my house isn’t that old, I would hope that I wouldn’t have that problem. Having said that, I often have two irons on at the same time so that could be a problem!!

Since I am interested in seeing the difference that an 1800-watt iron would bring, I am planning to order this last iron and give it a try.

Keep coming back and I will let you know what I think!!

And, THANK YOU to everyone who commented and gave advice. Sometimes, it does take a village!!!