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The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

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Inside: The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

Disclosure: I received the Velocity 260IR in exchange for a blog review. I have the freedom to express both positive and negative thoughts about this product. I just couldn’t find anything negative to say.


Me and irons; what can I say. I once accidentally answered the iron instead of the phone. #ouch

I’ve dropped almost every iron I’ve ever owned – occasionally taking out sheetrock and once gouging a newly refinished wood floor.

When I dropped needed to replace my (kind of expensive) iron, I was set on getting a budget-friendly iron because…well, you know, I’m an ironing disaster.

The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting image

An Ironing Dilemma

As a sewist and quilter I need an iron that gets really hot and produces massive amounts of steam. It shouldn’t leak or spit water, and it needs to be heavy enough to sit firmly on the end of an ironing board.

I’ve considered a steam generator iron. They’re heavy enough to not drop off an ironing board, but most steam generator irons require a little maintenance, and don’t have automatic shut off. Plus, a steam generator iron requires more space which I’m not willing to part with at this time.


An Ironing Solution

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In a perfect world, I would be able to find an iron that offers the heat and steam capabilities of a steam generator iron but still has all of the other benefits of a regular iron.

I’m here to tell you there is an iron that does this.

Let me introduce you to the Reliable Velocity 260IR Compact Vapor Generator Iron.

Velocity 260ir image

This iron combines the best of a steam generating iron with a regular iron. How does the Velocity 260IR do this?

  • The Velocity 260IR has a compact vapor generator with patented dual heating element technology. Fancy words that mean the pre-heated water is turned into steam before it reaches the soleplate. For us regular folks that means the iron doesn’t drip, dribble, or spit water. Ever!
  • Touch the sensor handle and get steam on-demand. Just pick up the iron and the steam starts flowing. If you don’t need steam, touch the steam button and it stops.

The settings on the 260IR are pretty impressive. There are eight settings and each has steam or no-steam.

The iron defaults to AUTO which is setting #4. Perfect for most needs.

Then, there is the TURBO setting #8. I’m talking full Krakatoa here! It gets super hot, super fast and can kill a wrinkle in quilting fabric like nobody’s business. 

Below is a typical fat quarter with creases that can be difficult to remove.

example with wrinkles

A few seconds later and no creases AFTER using TURBO heat and high steam (setting #8).

example without wrinkles

Note: There is no burst of steam button because it’s not needed. If you don’t want or need steam, just tap the Steam On/Off button. 


Why this is the Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting

There is really nothing negative I can say about the Velocity 260IR. It does all of the things you want an iron to do and it does them extremely well. That’s why I’ve dubbed it The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting.

What I Love

  • There are 8 Ironing Programs. AUTO is the default program and is perfect for quilting. The other 7 Ironing Programs cover every type of fabric that needs ironing.
  • It works as a garment steamer when you need to remove wrinkles but don’t want to touch the fabric with an iron.
  • The steam functions are amazing. Lots of steam. No drips or dribbles. Ever. This was also true with my previous Velocity 200IR.
  • The anodized aluminum soleplate effortlessly glides over fabric and hardly needs cleaning. 
  • The red steam button is very accessible when ironing and can easily toggle between steam and no-steam. 
  • It has a nifty digital dial. You can set the the heat and steam level and easily adjust to the fabric being ironed.
    • Notice these displays: The steam setting is in blue on the left, the auto setting of #4 in the middle, and the heat setting in red on the right. 
settings dial
  • The water chamber is huge (1.25 Cups) with a wide opening and a handy water jug with a clever spout. No unnecessary spilling when you refill the iron.
  • There is an auto-shutoff AND the ability to bypass the auto-shutoff. 
  • The Touch Sensor Handle quickly wakes up the iron from auto-shutoff. It also shuts off the steam when it’s not being held – which means the water in the tank lasts longer. 

This is My Second Velocity Iron

This iron is a bit of an upfront investment, but it will outlast inexpensive irons, making it less costly in the long run. It’s ideal for people who do a lot of quilting and sewing.

I totally stand behind this iron. The Velocity 260IR is my second iron from the Reliable Corporation. My first iron was from a previous generation. In the nearly five years of daily use it never once spit or spewed water and still functions today. 

Note: I followed Reliable’s recommendation of only using distilled water.


Get the Velocity 260IR here:


All About Ironing Boards

Why I Won’t Be Dropping Anymore Irons

When I first met the Reliable people at Quilt Market, I mentioned that I’ve been known to drop an iron or two. The representative assured me that there was a solution to my dilemma. It wasn’t the iron or the iron-er; it was the ironing board.

lady ironing shirt

The Solution

The Reliable Corporation makes these super-sized ironing boards that are much wider than a standard sized board (such as one you’d find at a discount store) and seemed like a good option for my clumsy ways.

I’m so glad I listened because after using one of these ironing boards for almost five years, I have not once even come close to dropping an iron.


Choosing the Best Ironing Board

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Having a wider surface means more space to set the iron and less opportunity to drop the iron. Fortunately, Reliable Ironing Boards come with an ergonomic support tray for the iron to rest when not being used.

They make two very stable ironing boards that include all of the best features you’d want.

The Board 120IB is a sturdy ironing board that includes a heavy-duty support tray that is durable enough to hold a steam generating iron.

best ironing board

The Board 220IB is the same size, has the same features, but includes double-wishbone legs which make it even more stable and ideal for large projects like quilts. It also includes a laundry rack.


Ironing Quilts and Other Large Projects

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Many of you are likely thinking I need to take my old ironing board and convert it into one specifically for quilts. In an ideal world, yes! But, I only have space for one ironing board which means I don’t have enough room for a second ironing board dedicated to quilting.

Reliable has a solution and that’s what I purchased. The Reliable 320LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board has the stability of the 220IB, but easily converts from a regular shaped ironing board into a very large, very stable rectangular ironing board that’s perfect for ironing quilt projects. I’ve even been able to iron the full width of my fabric on the ironing table. I’m sure it could handle tablecloths and sheets, too (but I’m not ironing these anytime soon).

The entire unit comes assembled as a regular ironing board and includes a beautiful ironing board cover. However, in about two minutes it converts into this amazing ironing table. The set also includes the rectangular ironing board cover with a heat-resistant zone. 

ironing table

This image shows the extension piece that slips over the narrow end of the ironing board, forming a rectangle. I found it to be simple to install/remove and it didn’t affect the sturdiness of the ironing surface.

ironing board extension table

All of these pieces are included with The Board 320LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board.

ironing board accessories

While the ironing board was a significant investment, overall, I am thrilled with this ironing set up. For me, this combination offers the perfect solution to my needs. I have an awesome iron that gets the job done and the convertible ironing-board-to-ironing table is the best solution for my sewing and ironing space.

And, my iron rests nicely in the support tray so my iron-dropping-ways may have come to an end.


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