Inside: The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting
Disclosure: I received the Velocity 200IR 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 every iron I’ve ever owned – occasionally taking out sheetrock and once gouging a newly refinished wood floor.
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, clearly in need of an ironing solution.
An Ironing Dilemma
As a sewist and quilter I desire 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. Something tells me budget-friendly irons will somewhat disappoint in these two areas.
I thought about getting a steam generator iron. After all, they’re heavy enough to not drop off my ironing board. The only problem is most steam generator irons require a little maintenance, don’t have automatic shut off and, as a bona fide ironing disaster, I may or may not remember to turn the iron off. Plus, a steam generator iron requires more space which I’m not willing to part with at this time.
An Ironing Solution
In a perfect world, I would be able to find an iron that offers the heating and steam capabilities of a steam generator iron but still have all of the other benefits of a regular iron. I’m here to tell you there is an iron that is the best of both worlds and that’s why I’ve dubbed it The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting. Let me introduce you to the Reliable Velocity 200IR Compact Vapor Generator Iron.
UPDATE April, 2020:
Reliable has a new version of this iron. Check it out here.
This iron combines the best of a steam generating iron with a regular iron. How does the Velocity 200IR do this? It has two heating elements. One that heats the soleplate and a separate tank that pre-heats the water. That means the pre-heated water is turned to steam before it hits the soleplate. For us regular folks that means the iron doesn’t drip, dribble, or spit water. Ever!
The steam functions on this unit are pretty impressive. There are two settings: Medium Steam and High Steam. For regular garment ironing and most sewing projects Medium Steam is the best option.
High Steam does some serious work. It will take hard creases out of fat quarters and does a great job at fusing things like interfacing. High Steam also works as a garment steamer when you need to remove wrinkles but don’t want to touch the fabric with an iron.
Fat quarter with creases BEFORE using maximum heat and high steam.
A few seconds later and no creases AFTER using maximum heat and high steam.
My Favorite Features
There is really nothing negative I can say about the Velocity 200IR. It does all of the things you want an iron to do and it does them extremely well. That’s why I’m dubbing it The Best Steam Iron for Sewing and Quilting. Here’s why:
- The steam functions are amazing. Lots of steam. No drips or dribbles.
- The anodized aluminum soleplate effortlessly glides over fabric and hardly needs cleaning.
- It has a huge water chamber (1.25 Cups) with a wide opening and a handy water jug with a clever spout. No unnecessary spilling when you refill the iron.
- It has an auto-shutoff AND the ability to bypass the auto-shutoff. Hold the steam button for 8 seconds and the auto-shutoff is bypassed.
- The Touch Sensor Handle quickly wakes up the iron from auto-shutoff.
- 18oo watts means your iron gets super hot and stays hot because it has two heating elements. One for the soleplate and one for steam.
Why I Won’t Be Dropping Anymore Irons
When Reliable approached me about reviewing this iron, 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 (that’s me!); it was the ironing board.
The Reliable Corporation makes these super-sized ironing boards that are much wider that a standard sized board (such as one you’d find at a discount store) and seemed like a good option for my clumsy ways.
True story. Until recently I’ve only owned one ironing board. It was a wedding shower gift 40 years ago. It was sturdy and durable, but not very big. Since I’ve been using the same ironing board for 40 years I felt like I could splurge on a new one and possibly eliminate my clumsy ways.
Choosing the Best Ironing Board
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 100IB is a sturdy ironing board that includes a heavy-duty support tray that is durable enough to hold a steam generating iron. The Board 200IB 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.
Ironing Quilts and Other Large Projects
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 area for a second ironing board dedicated to quilting.
Reliable has a solution and that’s what I purchased. The Reliable 300LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board with Extension has the stability of the 200IB, but easily converts from a regular shaped ironing board into a very large, very stable rectangular ironing board that’s perfect for ironing quilting 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. Even better, the set includes the ironing board cover for the large rectangle. And, notice how the end of the cover is black. It’s a heat resistant fabric so you don’t have to worry about burning the cover.
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.
All of these pieces are included with The Board 300LB 2-in-1 Ironing Board with Extension
While the ironing board was a significant investment, overall, I am thrilled with my new 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 I think my iron-dropping-ways may have come to an end.
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