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Irons and sewing machines, oh my!

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Steph Posted: Fri, Sep 30 2011 10:09 AM

It looks like I'm in the market for both right now.  So, I come to you for your wisdom!  Two questions:

1)  If you were buying a new iron for quilting (and general use) which one would you get?  AND

2)  I'm looking for a lightweight sewing machine to take to classes, retreats, etc.  One with decent stitches but without the heavy duty weight.

Any ideas you have would be most gratefully received!

Stephanie

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scmatz:

2)  I'm looking for a lightweight sewing machine to take to classes, retreats, etc.  One with decent stitches but without the heavy duty weight.

Stephanie

I have the Baby Lock Audrey. About 11 lbs of sweetness and grace for carrying to class. I comes with a nice carrying bag. I got mine for $299 on sale and really like it. I truly love this little girl. A neighbor bought a cheaper machine at Costco and is really unhappy with it. She tried out my Audrey and fell in love.


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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safrmaz replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:15 AM

1)  If you were buying a new iron for quilting (and general use) which one would you get?  

I would avoid Rowentas.  I had 2 Pro models and really like their performance but both shorted out at the base where the cord meets the iron.  Sparks flew and I was nearly burned.  Come to find out, a friend had the very same thing happen.  I have to say, however, I haven't found an iron that I'm as happy with.  Right now I'm using a Black & Decker but it gets mineral build up and spits even though I don't use tap water.  I'd like to splurge and buy a Reliable someday.  

 

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Elizabeth replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:31 AM

interesting about the Rowenta I have had mine for 5 years.  Bought it at Cosco and I love it.  I would also like a light weight machine.  I will keep my eye on this post

 Elizabeth

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Ramona replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:36 AM

Stephanie,

I can not answer to a lightweight sewing machine except I know several who have the featherweight and love them for classes.

As for the iron, I have used several Rowenta irons. Had each for years with no problems. This last one is about 4 years old and still going strong. The only reason I purchased a new one is because I wanted one and it was a good price. I have also used a Black and Decker that I purchased at a garage sale and it pressed nicely. I have had it for probably 10 years and now use it for just ironing.

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Stephanie replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:37 AM

I would look for one with a teflon face plate. Hard to find nowadays.

 I have had my Rowenta for almost 30 years and still believe it's one of the best ever made. Never had a problem with it.  I went through several others in a very short time when I was taking in ironing for some side money.

As far as a machine goes, I'd look for one that has needle up/down, and 1/4 inch piecing foot

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gini replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:38 AM

i have a black and decker and a rowenta.   the rowenta was my expensive iron, it cost $5, the B&D $2.   the thrifts have great irons, i haven't bought a new one in years.

gini in north idaho

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Ramona replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:38 AM

Judy,

What a cute machine. I love it has a little table! What a great class machine!

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Barbara replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:43 AM

This is a great question about the irons, I have been thru 3 now in two years , my biggest problem is they start leaking something awful and then I'm afarid to use them .as of now I'm using a Sunbeam Pro, but I have no Idea how long it will last ,If this keeps up I just may have to buy one of those  Rowenta. Can you let  me know where you can get them...Thanks Barbara

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Eileen replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:49 AM

I don't have a machine specifically for classes but some of my quilting friends have inexpensive machines from Costco that they like (Brother, I think).  Maybe a basic model Singer or Kenmore would be good? I had a Kenmore before I really got into quilting & it worked just fine.  You could check with your machine dealer(s) for reconditioned used machines - might be less expensive.

For a long time, I had an inexpensive Proctor & Silex iron which was just fine for my needs until I wasn't looking & knocked it off my ironing board.  I did some research on Consumer Reports & got great feedback from others on QCA and ended up buying a Reliable Digital Velocity. I like it but I have since had the opportunity to try the Oliso & I loved that.  I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a new iron when I already did, but it may be my next one.  The Reliable heats up quickly & I like the different heat and steam settings.  However, unless you change it each time you turn it on (can't remember how off the top of my head), it will automatically shut off after 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity.  Now, if you are just pressing seams and not actively moving the iron around, it thinks that is inactivity so I've had it shut off several times while I'm pressing seams.  At least I can turn it right back on & it's still hot. Also, if you want to put water in it, they recommend using distilled (I think), not tap.  There are filters for it, too.  My one piece of advice is to see how many irons you can try out, either at a store, your local quilt shop or from other quilters.

Good luck :-)

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Elizabeth replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 11:52 AM

the other reason I like my Rowenta is that it turns itself off.   My hubby loves this feature

 Elizabeth

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Ginny replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 12:25 PM

That is the reason I got rid of my Rowenta, I had one and it started leaking.  Thought maybe there was some defect so I bought another one and it started leaking too.  So I figured why spend that much money on an iron if it is just going to leak anyway, so I bought aT-fal iron.  It lasted much longer and then it was the temp regulator that went.  I bought another T-fal and I am happy as a clam with it.....Ginny

     

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Maggie replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 12:53 PM

I bought a Rowenta Steam Generator on sale for about $100 8 years ago,  Not sure which store it was but I think it was Hancock Fabrics (they have since closed in Phoenix)   I love it and have not had any problems.  I have my ironing board set up next to my washer and dryer in the garage.  Most of the stuff that comes out of the dryer I just hold the iron vertically and give them 15 seconds of steam and they are done. (My daughter and 11 year old grandson live with me)     I also bought a Joann's cordless iron about 5 years ago that I use for piecing if I am working in the house.  Its a full size steam iron -- I think it was about $20.  Also have a small travel iron I take to class and one of those mini irons that I only used once or twice.   OMG   My name is Maggie Smith and I am an iron addict!

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Barbara replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 12:55 PM

Eileen:
but I have since had the opportunity to try the Oliso & I loved that.  I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a new iron when I already did, but it may be my next one.  
  Eileen, I just found these on Amazon ,I love it , I just purchased one , I didn't get the real expensive one but the mid priced one. I did watch the demo on th Oliso ,and said WOW to myself.. Barbara

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Maggie replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 1:00 PM

Barbara, Congratulations on the new iron.  My lqs has the Oliso in the classroom and it works really well.  My biggest problem with it was remembering not to stand it on end.   They say that is bad for it.  If I buy another iron it would probably be that one.

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