Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Honest review of the Hot Steam Gravity Feed Steam Electric Iron SGB-600/SGB-900

I bought this iron back in 2015; although, I didn't get around to hanging it until late last year.  When I did finally unbox it, it didn't work.  I called customer service and they walked me through some diagnostics and when that failed, they shipped a new iron.  How's that for great customer service??

The iron presses very well, much better than my Rowenta.  It gets very, very hot and has a tremendous amount of steam.  However, it is like any other iron in that when I use it for extended periods of time, it will cool down and start spitting.  I was pressing large amounts of linen fabric when it started spitting and left a brown stain on my white linen.  Then I noticed the light had come on indicating that it was not at the correct temperature.

This is my setup.  Excuse my really stained press top.  It gets a lot of use!

If you plan on buying any type of gravity feed iron, I have a few tips:

First, see how the water tube and the electric cord are bound together with clips?  Those clips are supposed to keep them from getting tangled up.

That doesn't always work.  Why?

The water tube is hanging from the water reservoir from the ceiling.

While the cord is plugged in below. It's the gold outlet at the bottom of the picture.  I had my electrician install it before I put in the hard wood.  Sure wish I had taken a little closer shot.  But you get the idea.

If I could do this over again, I would have put my outlet in the ceiling next to where the reservoir hangs so they'd both be in the same place, and the cord is plenty long enough to do that.  They would still tangle a bit but not nearly as much. It is also easier to determine placement.  I laid out my room with tape before I laid the hardwood and got all the furniture placed.  That's hard to do when there is nothing else in the room.  If it were in the ceiling, it would make moving around my work table much easier.

Second, be absolutely certain you place the iron completely on the rubber mat.  If you don't, it will scorch the surface beneath.  I've made that mistake twice.

Third, this iron does not have an automatic shutoff and the light goes off when it's hot, not the other way around.  I like the no shutoff feature, so I don't have to wait for it to heat up again in between pressings.  Get in the habit of turning it off as soon as you know you won't need it anymore.  You can also put a note on your light switch or your door reminding you to turn it off when you leave the room.  Better yet, have your outlet connected to the switch, so you only have to turn the switch off to turn everything off.

Fourth, I do not like having to climb up on top of my table to turn the knob on my water reservoir when I need steam.  The instructions say to always turn the valve off when not in use.  So I climb up to turn it on and again when I turn it off.  It has to be 3 feet above the table, so I can't lower it.  I need some sort of pulley that I can lower it more easily.

All in all, this is a fantastic iron if you pay attention to the heat while using it.  It eliminates the need to have a boiler sitting on your table and getting in the way of your pressing.

Hope this helps if you are looking to buy a gravity feed iron.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, April 10, 2017

New Sewing Space with Custom Pressing Table

I have moved my sewing space up to our bonus room.  I have totally outgrown my smaller room.

Because I do quite a few custom window treatments, I really needed a longer table for cutting and pressing.  I was very tired of cutting these on the floor.

I had a custom table made about 3 years ago and wanted to keep it.  So I had this new table custom made to butt the original table.  I knew I would never match the paint, so I purposely made this table quite different.

This is the whole setup.  The original cabinet which I call my island has lots and lots of drawer space.  That's where I keep fabric, patterns, ribbons, etc.

I wanted a more industrial feel to this new table and I think I've achieved that.

I searched and searched Pinterest and Google for ideas.  This is sort of a mash up between two tables that I found and really liked.  This is one, but I wanted one extra shelf.  This bookshelf had the look I wanted.

The bottom shelf holds rolls of fabric.  I really don't like leaning these against the wall because they scratch my wall and they crinkle.  I can also store extra bolts of fabric that won't fit in my island.  The second shelf hold extra cutting mats, larger rulers and my iron when not in use.  That little flap on the end is a drop leaf.  It's an extra 12" that I can flip up when I need more room.  This table measures 6' x 4'.  The original island is 5' x 4'.  I now have a total usable surface of 11' or 12' when I flip the drop leaf.

The flanges can be found here and the pipes or nipples here.  I used a 3/4" flange on all shelves.  The top shelf has a 6" nipple, the middle shelf has an 18" nipple and the legs are 3.5" nipples.  The height of the table is right at 38".  The top shelf is just a piece of plywood that I've covered with batting and canvas.

My cutting mat is still on the original cabinet.  I haven't done anything to it yet, because I needed to wait to see what my height would be on the new one.  Now I can finish this up to get them pretty close to the same height.

I am loving my new table and will get much use from it.  I still have some organizing to do and one more large piece of furniture coming that goes on that back wall.  I hope I will be finished other than some decorating.

Thank you for stopping by.  Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Too Cool T-shirt Quilt

Finally I have pictures uploaded, so I can reveal my baby girl's t-shirt quilt made from all her sorority t-shirts she collected in college.  I bought the book, so I'd know exactly how to make it.  Although, a little math is really all you need.

I had originally planned to make the traditional t-shirt quilt that is backed with interfacing and bordered with cotton fabric.  We decided we liked this layout instead.  Because I had already cut most of the t-shirts based on the other style, it took a little thought to make this work.  I didn't get the layout exactly like I wanted, but I like it nonetheless.  And so did Britt, and that's all that matters.

I love the different size blocks.

Gabby wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but she wanted to be in on it whatever it was. LOL

I loved being able to use the pockets too.  It took up the added space without using blank blocks, and some of them are just really cool.

I chose an all over meandering pattern.  I took it to Blessed 2 Be Quilting in Portal - just north of Statesboro.  They did a fabulous job!  They knew when to cross the actual print and when not to.  I'd definitely recommend them.

So a couple of notes about this type of quilt.  It is not backed, so you treat it just like any other knit fabric you would stitch.  I used a walking foot, and that made a huge difference.  The quilt is heavy without the interfacing.  I can't imagine how heavy it would have been with it.  I used warm and natural batting, a cotton backing, and a cotton binding.  I also used a polyester thread rather than a quilting thread to stitch the blocks together.

Also, I did not use her instructions to bind.  I used the same method for binding that I use for all my other quilts.  I used one long strip and folded it in half.  I stitched the raw edges and folded it over to the back.  I hand stitched it down.  I was a bit nervous to hand stitch this quilt, but it went very well.

I made some mistakes on this one, but now that I have one under my belt, I feel very confident in the next one.

As for the book, if you are an experienced quilter, you may not agree with some of the instructions.  I basically used her method to cut the blocks but we laid them out on the floor in lieu of drawing out on graph paper.  We needed to see the layout and we couldn't get the visualization without physically laying it out.  And quite frankly, Britt had an idea of how she wanted this laid out.  We also didn't have enough of certain size blocks and I didn't want to make the quilt larger just to accommodate symmetry in the block sizes.  I found the instructions a little confusing too.

From there, I just proceeded the way I do every other quilt until the end.  I did use a temporary binding and would highly recommend you don't skip this step.  It keeps the quilt top from stretching during quilting.

I would recommend the book if you want to make this type of quilt.  It's worth it just to get the proper layout.

Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to ask questions.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simple Tote

I made this tote bag for my MIL for Christmas. When I started on this post, I realized, I made her one in 2014. Oh joy! You can't have too many totes can you? I think not. But I do wish the time frame had been a bit longer. Oh well.

This is the same tote bag from "Home Stuff" by Linda Lum DeBono.  I made this one and this one. As you can see, I love this pattern.

I chose not to quilt this one and instead used a heavy stabilizer on the focus fabric to keep it standing up.  The fabrics are quilting cottons that I found at Quarterdeck Quilts in Springfield.

The inside is so roomy.

My Christmas sewing is almost complete.  I have two shirts left to do for my son, and then I can work on my bedroom window treatments that have been on hold for a year.  I'll be glad to get those completed.

Thanks for stopping by.  And Happy Wednesday!