So, last week, as I felt well enough, I decided to work on the Sunbonnet Sue blocks that my cousin, Nik Ima, ordered from me. She wanted 16 blocks in pinks and purples. She wants to turn them into a queen size quilt. Hmmmmm, wondering why she's not commissioning me to make the quilt too....... LOL! *wink*
Anyway, I set out to trace the template onto fusible web, cut up the fusible web, ironed the web onto the fabrics, cut up the fabrics into the required shape and started appliqueing them onto blocks of 10 1/2" x 10 1/2".
My blood pressure was almost back to normal the whole of last week as I spent a few nights of last week working on the blocks.
However, I felt that a lot of time was wasted going from my sewing area to the utility room where the iron is located and back to the sewing area at every stage of the appliqueing process as I had to iron on the pieces of the dress, the aprons, the sleeve of the dress and the hat.
The fact that the normal iron was too big for my 5" x 7" embroidery hoop made the process even longer because I had to be really careful when ironing the pieces onto the blocks when the blocks were still in the hoop.
I had burnt the rubber mat that helps to tighten the hoop a few times already. That's when I thought about getting a mini iron which would work nicely within the size of my hoop.
I had actually bought a mini iron from Clover when I was in Singapore a few years back. However this particular iron took a long time to heat up, and even when it felt really hot to the touch, it wasn't hot enough to melt the glue on the fusible web to adhere it onto the fabric. Even leaving the iron onto the fabric for a few minutes made no difference.
I was starting to get frustrated using the iron and decided to put it aside and went back to using the standard iron. But it was clumsy using the standard iron in the hoop and trying to be extra careful when ironing in the hoop was beginning to feel like it was almost like a difficult task.
I am not about to get all stressed out trying to iron my applique pieces onto my blocks when my intention to work on the blocks was to get myself to calm down and bring my blood pressure down! LOL!
So I posted on my Quilt Group on FB to ask if anyone could recommend to me a mini iron.
Someone suggested I check out Greenie Clover on FB (http://www.facebook.com/clover.greenie).
However, Edina from Edina Crafts came to the rescue when she posted that she sells the Prym Mini Iron that is the size of the palm of your hands.
I immediately checked it out, and after doing some research on it, decided to put in an order for it.
It arrived by PosLaju at my MIL's house on Tuesday. However, I was only able to pick it up today when we went over there for breakfast.
I couldn't wait to get home to try it out!
So, after coming back from having a late lunch at Subang Parade, I came home to try it out by working on the Sunbonnet Sue block.
First, I must say that the iron is really small and it takes getting use to holding the iron on the top (Edina, pinjam photo! Thanks!) which is where the thermostat is located and also where the water reservoir is if you want to use it as a steam iron.
It wasn't hot enough to burn my fingers though as I had only put the thermostat to the number 2 dial instead of the number 3 dial as instructed in the manual when ironing cottons.
This is because the whole process of embroidering each block of Sunbonnet Sue alone from start to finish, including ironing each applique piece (not including the preparation process of tracing, cutting and ironing the fusible web onto the fabric) takes between 40 to 50 minutes, sometimes even an hour when I have trouble with tangled threads.
The size was just right, though, when it came to ironing the applique pieces inside the embroidery hoop.
It looked so cute, almost like an iron that belongs in a doll house! LOL!
I suddenly went into an ironing mood frenzy so that I can play some more with the iron when I decided to iron some of the scraps from my scrap bin.
I then cut them up into 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces with the intention to make them into a Postage Stamp Quilt (PSQ) SOMEDAY! Heheh....LOL!
Some of my stitching friends from Needles n' Crafts have started since last year on the PSQ where as I have even yet to cut my pieces! LOL! Well, now I have, and yes, Sally, I owe you some! *blush*
By the way, did I tell you that I made myself a portable ironing board? Well, I did!
Same like the reason why I bought the Prym Mini Iron, I also made myself the portable ironing board when I realised that a lot of time was wasted going back and forth between the utility room and my sewing area.
Initially, I thought of going to a hardware shop and buying a thick plywood, have it cut to size and then covering the plywood with batting and heat resistant material. After that, I thought that I would wrap the batting and heat resistant material with fabrics.
However, when I went to the Popular Book shop last week, I found this ready made portable plywood table of about 1/2"' thick and about 17'' x 12'' in size.
Sorry, no photos because I was excited to get started on making the ironing board! LOL!
I then went to Ace Hardware and bought an ironing board cover which says that it is made out of heat resistant material. It was expensive though, but buying batting and a heat resistant material separately would probably have cost me more, I think.
I then covered the ready made portable plywood table with the ironing board cover twice over since the ironing board cover was long enough to cut in two.
I felt like a handyman using the stapler gun for the first time as I stapled the cover to the back of the plywood table! LOL!
As I wasn't happy with the way the back of the board looks like as it was uneven when I wrongly cut the cover in two, I decided to cover it again a cotton fabric I already had in my stash.
Here's the finished ironing board with my cute little Prym iron on it!
Here's the back of the board and the sides.
I think I will have lots of fun playing with my new toy on my DIY ironing board!
The iron is small, yes, as it is the size of your palm, and yes, it is hot enough for appliqueing work, but a friend said that it does not iron clothes that well.
I think it is not meant to be used to iron clothes, but more for small craft works. But, in emergencies when you need to travel and stay at hotels that does not provide irons, I guess it should be good enough.
I like the fact that it works very well inside my embroidery hoop but I really don't like the handle to hold the iron. But, I guess once you get used to it, it shouldn't be a problem.
It also takes getting used to turning the mini thermostat dial too. I think I should find an easier way to not have the iron switched on all the time, yet need not have to keep turning the dial to '0' in between ironing the applique pieces.
If I resolve this so called issue, I think my Prym iron and I are going to be good friends and friends for a long time! LOL!