Friday, May 21, 2010

Piecing progress

A big pile o' blocks.... Woo-hoo!!

And here we are sewn all the way from strip #1 to #10... out of 21 strips. Not quite half-way through piecing.

Unfortunately, the sewing's taking me about an extra half-hour per added strip; and the ironing takes just as long as the sewing, almost to the minute. But at least I have a cool new toy with which to console myself!!! :-D

Isn't it cute?? No more steamed fingers trying to get "scant 1/4" seams" to lay open flat!!!

Somewhere in my e-travels ordering quilting supplies, I read about mini-irons. Supposedly great for ironing small things. Since I have like bazillions of small seams to iron open on these blocks, I thought a mini-iron might be a worth-while investment--especially after the first round of steam burns, LOL.

OK, so maybe it's not quite a bazillion seams, but at 150" of seams per square by 80 squares... let's see, 12,000"?? Of which I've finished 3,400" so only between a quarter and a third of the sewing down even though I'm almost half done by strip count... man, a pennant is sounding better all the time!!! ;-)

But the mini-iron is cool. And does the job. And I got it for 50% off from Joann' And I managed not to burn myself on it in the middle of the night last night--always a plus not to go to bed with throbbing fingers!!


All set up for strip #11. Time to quit blogging & get sewing!! Tomorrow... (yawn)


Lisa said...

I am loving watching your quilt come together. I have debated about getting one of those mini irons for years, but never have. Now that I actually know someone with one who likes it, I may have to get one at the next decent sale.

It's looking GREAT sis!
Quilt on!
Love and kisses from us all to you all. :*

The Savage said...

I like it... but... it's not a steam iron. It lays the little seams open flat (without having to "finger-press" them open first), but they don't seem to stay flat long term like when steamed. By the chart that comes with it, I should be able to use it on medium. BUT high works better (and faster. And I don't want to have to go slow with this many feet of seams to press open.)

It is *really really* nice for touching up those seams that are now way inside the outermost edge (where steam pressing with the big iron is still possible), but I wonder if they'd need as much touching up if they'd been steamed open to start with, KWIM?

You might like it for the girlies--not having to worry about steam burns. I'm a big kid now & have a pretty good idea where my fingers are in relation to the iron's steam jets, LOL; although the big iron got me often enough during the first two blocks (and while I was waiting for the Clover to arrive) that I welcomed the hot little thing when it got here.

Let me put it this way, I didn't even consider getting one until after I did those two blocks all the way through; but 20 seams each 1" apart will change your mind about a lot of things. ;-D I still don't think I would bother for a 9-patch, unless I was in a really big hurry to do a big quilt.... but now that I have it, I'd definitely use it.

So... pros: no steam burns, no "finger pressing" which makes the ironing go faster, easy touch-up of "inside" seams
cons: not as effective as a steam iron (even on hottest setting)

And another thing. There's a reason there are 3 or 4 wooden stands available for each mini-iron for sale. The little pop-up stand that comes with the iron does work, but it's kinda sketchy. Don't want the kids messing around when I'm using it, that's for sure. So yeah, if you get one, go ahead and spring for a wooden stand--they're cheap (or get one of your men to build you a rimmed tray). It'd be worth the peace of mind (although I can't imagine it starting a fire unless you left it somewhere unattended for a *really* long time).