Just Keeping Up

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It’s been a slow couple of weeks for me.  Still sewing up the blocks for Trail Mix, and keeping up with the 365 Challenge blocks…I’ll be glad when the 6″ blocks start so I can take a break from the daily updates!  My cutting table shows the mess I haven’t cleaned up as I continue to work on these two projects.

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Towards the bottom of the cutting board you’ll see the flying geese x 4 ruler.  It eliminates the math to make flying geese from four squares.  Its a nifty way to make flying geese, especially small ones.  I don’t use the ruler too often but it comes in handy once in a while. This block with 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ was a good reason to use this method.    There’s a tutorial on this method here.

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I haven’t yet sandwiched the next quilt as I like to use the Juki for putting together a quilt top and sewing large items as its table has much more room.    I think my goal for this weekend will be to prepare and cut the blue yardage for the Off the Grid quilt, and sew together the pieces that will surround the Quilt Block Cookbook blocks.  I’m ready for some sewing that isn’t all teeny tiny!

And the iron?  I received the blue Oliso TG1050  last Friday and I must say that I’m not as happy with it as I was with the yellow TG1600.  The glide is much better, but that’s it.  It doesn’t seem to press as well, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I plugged in the TFal and realized that the TG1050 wasn’t as hot! (and its about a half pound lighter than the 1600).  The wattage difference should only make a difference in how fast it heats up, not the temperature it achieves.  So, I can use the Oliso which is not quite as heavy or as hot as I’d like, but has the lift feature.  Or the TFal which is hot, but lighter than I’d like for pressing but just the right weight for always having to stand it up.  I’m still so diappointed that the iron surface of the yellow 1600 will always remain a question to me – whether it was a problem of that iron, or my own preference issue.

Iron update

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I’m getting lots of opportunity to press and iron while working away on the Trial Mix Blocks.   This will be the third stack of blocks completed, two more to go.  There are some interesting fabric combinations developing!

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I’ve started sewing the binding on Just Takes 2.  I’m thinking of putting the quilt aside for a while, so I can hand sew the binding outside on the porch in the cool spring weather.  That’s something to look forward to!

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And another Quilt Block Cookbook block.  I’ve picked out eight blocks I’d like to sew to add to the 12 I made during the Sugar Block quilt along.  This will give me twenty blocks, out of which I’ll choose 16 for  the quilt called Off the Grid.

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Now the continuing iron saga!  I had a great conversation with an Oliso rep about my concerns with the sort of sticky glide I feel it has.  Of course, he had no way of seeing or hearing what I was talking about, but he was happy to listen to my story, lol.  We decided that as there is no way to see the iron in person  it was difficult to determine if it was me that didn’t like the type of surface on the iron, or if that particular iron had a problem.  (Definitely a point against the company on their lack of retail display/distribution.)

I have a five yard piece of fabric that will need ironing before cutting, and when I felt dread at the idea of using the Oliso for that job, I realized that the TG1600 was not for me.

I returned the iron to Bed Bath and Beyond, and ordered the cheapest version.  The Oliso TG1050 has a stainless  steel sole plate which I think might be more suitable for me.  Unfortunately, it has 1600 watts instead of 1800, and the stupid (to me anyway) 8 minute and 30 second shut off.  As I now know it will take a couple of weeks to receive that iron, I bought a TFal iron to use in the meantime.  I’ve never had a TFal.  I’ve used Black and Decker, and several Rowentas, and the iron that just died is a Sunbeam.  The Rowentas were fantastic, but very very heavy at 4 lbs and there is no way I can handle that weight now.  The Sunbeam died in about a year and a half, I liked it so much I bought a second which died in about eight months!  The Rowentas never lasted very long either.

The TFal has some kind of coating on it – durulium? – how do they make up these names of coatings!  I feel it too has a bit of drag, but not as much as the Oliso TG1600.  I think now I’ve realized that I’m most happy with the stainless steel pressing surface on irons. The TFal heats up quick, isn’t too heavy, and makes good steam.  It would be a keeper, if I wasn’t so determined to get the auto lift that Oliso offers – that feature will save so much pain and wear on my shoulder and arms.

Iron workout!

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Two pretty quilt blocks from the Quilt Block Cookbook.

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Teeny tiny triangles for the 3″ 365 Challenge blocks – this one was the most annoying – er, challenging!

 

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Then came the big disappointment.  I pulled out the piece of fabric for the binding of the Just Takes 2 Quilt.  I’ve had this folded and put away for maybe two years.  The Oliso iron just didn’t make me happy when trying to iron this half yard or so piece.  The fold marks stayed in place, I felt like I was pushing the iron a little too much.  Sigh.  I can’t tell if the iron I have is itself a problem, or if this is how they all are. (I listened very very carefully to You Tube videos of this iron, and I can hear that kind of shooshing sound that I’ve heard with my iron.)  I certainly expect a $200+  iron to meet all my expections! Or am I asking too much to press out creases that have been there for 2 years?  But I also didn’t much like that pushing feeling.

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So, it might be back to having to cope with a heavy iron to meet my pressing needs but will hurt my shoulder when I place it upright…or choose a lighter iron which might make for more work to get the good flat press needed.