The Little Iron That Could

I often tell my students that the most important thing in any sewing related project is an iron.  And it had better not be a $6 iron from Wal-Mart… sputtering rusty water all over your expensive fabric! ugh.  I hate cheapy irons that don’t work properly.  I do a whole lot of ironing and pressing.  Notice they are NOT the same thing.  I “iron” my husband’s work clothes every night for the following day…. but I “press” my quilting cottons for my piecework.  One involves you swiping the iron back and forth to iron out all the creases.  The other requires you pressing in a simple up and down motion, as if you were stamping the iron onto your fabric.

For my ironing duties I have a Rowenta Effective (DX1700) iron.  It is coming up on 5 years old and works great.  It is nice and big and covers a lot of ironing space quickly (especially on my DH’s XL long sleeved work shirts).  It also has a super strong steam blast button and even vertical steam which I use on occasion.

What I do and don’t like about my Rowenta is that it has an automatic shut-off feature.  I like that because it’s great for keeping your house from burning to ashes if you’re a busy working mom (like me!) and are still suffering from mommy brains (like me, too!) and accidentally forget to shut it off.  The down side to that same feature is that if you are an avid quilter you know how important it is to have a steaming hot iron ready to press your blocks as you stitch each seam together.  I hate it when I reach for the iron and it has shut itself off…. ARGHHH! I have to sit there and waste precious crafting time waiting for it to warm back up!  And these days any free minute I get to quilt is so valuable I knew I had to search for a solution.  And I know you may be thinking… get another iron without that feature.. duh!  But no.  I did not want to dish out another $60+ for another iron when mine worked just fine.  I was determined to find a solution… and I did!!

I started doing some research on a travel iron.  A smaller, simpler version of my iron but that was smaller to use just for my sewing & quilting projects.  I came across BESTCOVERY.  It’s a site that reviews everything!  They tell you the “best” in every category you can think of.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Well, when I looked up the Best Travel Iron…. there she was!  The Steam Fast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron.

I was hesitant at first because she’s so darn small!  I didn’t believe a mini iron could even have steaming capabilities.  Well, I found it online at Amazon.com for $17 (and FREE shipping!) and I had to buy her!  2 weeks later… here we are together in quilting heaven!  She holds a little over an ounce of water, steams all the creases out of my fabric, and sets very precise seams.  What more could a quilter ask for??

*Note: The block you see in this picture is one of the 12 blocks I am making for a Spring Time April Block Swap over at Hinterberg Block Swap yahoogroup. This block is called Double Z  and I found it over at the Quilter’s Cache.
Oh yea…. and that block is a 12.5″ block…. look how small my mini McSteamy is next to it! love, love, love it!

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12 Responses to The Little Iron That Could

  1. Grandma Nell March 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Vanessa,
    I have one of those – bought it last year in Paducah at the AQS Quilt show – the same place (Paducah Quilt Show) where I bought my Hinterberg Voyager 17 and Stretch Frame! I LOVE them all! Love my little precious iron and LOVE my quilting machine and frame! Life is good!

    LynnEl in Champaign, Illinois

  2. Crafty Gemini March 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Same here! I ♥ my mini iron and my V17/Hinty Stretch setup! I’m jealous, though… Paducah?! AH! I’m dying to go! Maybe one day….

  3. jmgs55 March 12, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    I just love your little Iron I had to find out what it was My other Iron has a shut-off to and it shuts off more then I want the little one looks like what I need and I can have it right by my little desk thank you and I wanted ti tell you I really like watching you on you tube you make things look so easy 🙂 You are very crafty!!!!!
    Joanie s

  4. Jules June 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Just discovered your youtube channel, subscribed to it today. Love the little iron so I just ordered one through amazon.com, hope it works as well for me as it appears to do for you.

  5. Crafty Gemini June 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Jules: Glad you found me! I have two of these irons and I love them! It even steams! Enjoy it! :o)

  6. Lisaleh December 24, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    I’m a big fan of your YouTube tutorials and was really hoping to learn what iron you used in the videos. A quick search and here it is! Hooray! Thanks so much.

  7. I love your McSteamy. Had to get me one, Thank you for the quilting Tutorial. I am stuck on your blogs now.

  8. Anonymous April 4, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    Just ordered my little friend!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to try her!!!! Laurie

  9. Laura July 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    Hello. Congratulations on your new Crafty Gemini videos with Missouri Quilting Co.! I’ve been convalescing this week and found your triangle zipper pouch to keep myself occupied. It was fun, thanks! I was intrigued by your little panasonic iron. I’m Looking for a good little iron to use on sewing projects and am wondering which one you prefer… Is it the one in that video or the mini McSteamy? Thanks!

  10. Jackson Watkins December 8, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    Hello there. I have been a huge fan ever since you taught me to foundation paper piece on YouTube a couple years ago. I believe you also used Mr. McSteamy in that video. I finished your Tablet Sleeve from YouTube yesterday as a quilt guild gift today. Either way, just ordered my very own Mr. McSteamy Iron.

    • Jackson Watkins February 10, 2016 at 7:16 am #

      UPDATE: I rec’d my little steam iron that I first saw in the CraftsyGemini’s paper piecing video on YouTube a few years ago, and have not been able to get off my mind ever since. It was my favorite Christmas present.

  11. Nisha Valverde April 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    I love love your videos and reviews. They are so helpful for a new quilter like me. Thank you. Nisha

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