Sewing Room Essentials

A reader wrote Sunday that she was fairly new to quilting and wondered what three items I would recommend as “must haves” for the sewing room.  I have already answered her but was wondering what you all thought.

Please be specific – don’t just say “a sewing machine”.  If you were helping a new quilter get started, if a sewing machine is one of your top three items, what features would you recommend and why?  Please just name three items and make them fairly large/important items — not good scissors, or a rotary cutter, or a mat — big ticket items or items that require planning.  Some items that come to mind, and I’m not saying these are on my “must have list” but the ones that come to mind are design wall, sewing machine, Go Cutter, big cutting table, big ironing table.

Will you think about it and give me your three must have items for a new quilter?

Later I’ll tell you what’s on my list.  Thanks!

Another Iron

I’m still using the Digital Velocity iron that a very nice blog reader sent me when mine went out.  I had no idea there were two sizes and she had both and sent me both.  After trying them, I like the smaller one a whole lot better than the bigger one, which was what I had.  I’m still using the smaller one at my big ironing table where I iron yardage and borders and rows — bigger stuff.

When we were at the retreat in February, a retreater, Pam, had a Rowenta that I loved.  It seems that I always love the Rowentas everyone else has but when I get the exact same iron, I don’t so much like it.  When my iron went out in March or April, and before I knew the blog reader was sending me her Digital velocity irons, I contacted Pam and got all the info about her Rowenta and ordered one.

I had never opened it til yesterday when I set up the little ironing table next to my sewing machine.

It’s a little on the large side and a bit heavier than most irons, and I like that.

If you notice, it’s much wider at the bottom and much narrower at the top.  I think that’s an excellent design — whether we’re talking about irons or quilters!  Wouldn’t you agree?  :)

Comparing the two Rowentas that I had handy, you can see the new one (on the right) has a bunch of tiny steam holes, where the one on the left has fewer and bigger steam holes.  I know there’s always a debate about whether to use steam or not, to spritz with water or not, to use starch or Best Press or not  . . I love steam and I love Best Press.  This new iron seems to steam quite a lot and I like that.  The brochure said not to use rain water, distilled water, softened water, hard water . . it left me kinda wondering what us folks in central Texas might use.  I was headed out to the well to get plain, straight from the ground water and Vince said no . . use bottled drinking water, so that’s what I did.  We’ll see how long it lasts.

I’m not recommending anyone buy this iron based on my opinion . . I’ve used it less than 24 hours and it usually takes at least 2 full days before my Rowentas start leaking so give me a few days before making a decision.  Seriously, I don’t even remember how much this iron costs but I’ll try to remember to report back on it after about six months of use.  I am pretty hard on an iron because they stay on almost all day every day but dang . . I once upon a time thought that’s what they were meant to do!

Design Wall – November 12, 2012

Here’s what’s done on Nicole’s new quilt.

Lots more blocks to get done . . but it’s a good start before I put it away for another project.