Friday, December 16, 2011

Looking for a great Christmas gift?

New iron!

In my 4+ years of sewing and quilting, I've discovered many tools and products that I absolutely love. One item I've never fallen in love with, however, is an iron.

It's almost ironic, because I am an almost obsessive presser. As I've mentioned before, I'm largely self-taught ... so I don't really have a sense of how other quilters do the very same tasks that I do. It wasn't until I started talking to (and sewing with) my fellow Triangle Modern Quilt Guild members that I realized just how obsessive a presser I am. I press every seam, after every run through the machine. I use spray starch like a madman. I like my iron hot, my seams neat, and my quilt blocks flat. You might think I'd prioritize a high-end, highly functional iron.

Not so.

Typically, I've purchased and used fairly low-end irons from big box retailers, and have never found one that I'd recommend or would even purchase again. In most cases they're ... fine, I guess ... but nothing to get excited about. I think that the game may have changed ...

New iron!

I was recently contacted by the team at Panasonic about a new iron that is now available for sale: the Concept 360° Freestyle Cordless Iron, which seems to have been designed and built with sewists, quilters, and crafters in mind. They offered to lend me a sample of the iron to use on a trial basis, so that I could let them know what I think. Instead of just telling them, I thought I'd share it with all of you as well. After just a couple of uses, I am definitely impressed.

New iron!

First, the iron comes with this highly practical & portable carrying case. 90% of the time, my iron just sits on my ironing board ... but, having just attended my very first quilting retreat, I can appreciate this great feature. Plus, for quilters whose sewing spaces pull double-duty and have to break down and store their iron and ironing board after sewing, this is an even more valuable feature.

New iron!

Another reason why it seems this iron is made with quilters in mind is its unique elliptical shape. It doesn't have a pointy front end and flat back end like most irons. With no official forward or backward motion, I've found that this makes it easier to truly move the iron back and forth, pressing the full length and both ends of each seam easily.

I will say that the shape of the iron takes some getting used to. For me, ironing is a completely mindless task, and I didn't realize until using this iron that it's normal for my mind to drift off and for my body to fall back to routine motions. So, I had a few scares when I tried to set the iron down on it's backside -- of which this iron doesn't have one! I nearly dropped or fumbled the hot iron on more than one occasion but, once I trained myself to place the iron back into its dock, I didn't have any more issues.

New iron!

And did I mention that this iron is cordless? I didn't understand what a huge convenience this would be. I have never been able to find a good ironing board / outlet / plug & cord configuration that didn't lead to some awkward movement or tangled cords. Having a cordless iron takes away those concerns completely.

I used to iron with steam all the time but had too many issues with irons spitting black gunk onto my quilt blocks, so I've only used dry irons for a long time now. So far, I've only used this iron on its dry setting, so I can't yet comment on its performance as a steam iron.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic tool for quilters and sewists. It currently sells for $99.95 on the Panasonic site -- not too bad by Rowenta standards, but certainly more than I am accustomed to spending on irons. However, with its unique design, cordless nature, and practical carrying case, I think it's a great value for the money.

Plus, I am excited that Panasonic is allowing me to offer you guys an additional $20 rebate on this iron through 12/21 (that's next Wednesday), while supplies last. That brings it down to $79.95, which may be a great idea for a last-minute Christmas gift -- and Panasonic is currently offering free shipping! To take advantage of this deal, simply enter the code FREESTYLEQUILTER (case sensitive, so be sure to enter all caps) at checkout.

Here's the link to purchase.

(For a not-so-subtle hint, feel free to forward the link to this post to your moms, dads, husbands, wives, or anyone who may be doing some last-minute shopping for you!)

Disclaimer (only because it seems like bloggers who review products are increasingly being criticized or scrutinized for their positive reviews of gratis products):
From time to time, I am contacted by companies, publishers, business owners, etc. to "test drive" or review their products. I only review or endorse products that I truly like, and would want to share with my readers. I am contacted about many more products and services than the ones that make it to my blog -- some I turn down outright, and others I try but choose not to review -- so you can be confident that I am only recommending products that I myself would (and do) use.

23 comments:

  1. OOH I think I can like this and put on my wish list... Thanks for sharing

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  2. I have this iron and love it. I got it last Christmas and use it daily for sewing and pressing my clothes. I never want to own another corded iron again!

    :)
    Courtney

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  3. Oh thank you for this! I'm so in the market for a new iron... too bad my husband and I decided not to buy gifts for each other because we bought a new couch. :)

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  4. I've been seeing this product more and more around the blogs I follow, and overall it has received wonderful reviews. I am in need of a new iron myself, but have never paid this much money for one so it's great to know that real people have used it and liked it. Thanks for your review!

    MGM

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  5. That just went on my Christmas list (my family are last minute shoppers!) Thanks so much for the heads up and your disclaimer - it makes a big difference to know that.

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  6. I've had this iron for about eight months and I love it! It's great for quilting! That's a good price too :-) If you're interested, check out my posts about this iron in May and again in November. Cordless is the way to go in my book!

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  7. Oh I am going to hint big time when DH gets home today!

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  8. Thanks for this review. Very handy.
    Cheers,
    Robyn

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  9. yours is the second review/comment on this iron. looks like a great tool.

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  10. This is the first iron review that I've read, and I find it extremely helpful. I actually am wondering if the iron will be available in Australia. It sounds quite helpful based on your review. Like yourself, I've never been an iron aficionado. I use whatever iron my husband buys for his shirts on dry iron with mega high heat. It sounds like our ironing styles are quite similar, so I this review has helped me out. Thanks for an honest and insightful review.

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  11. Thanks for the honest review! I might have to consider this iron when our current one dies.

    For the junk that your iron spits out, have you tried filtered water? Most water has minerals dissolved in it (from the pipes it runs through) that then back up in your iron until they build up to a big enough lump to suddenly come out. Distilled water is suppose to have been processed to take these minerals out but I find if I use water that has been run through a Brita filter first, I don't get the gunk any more.

    Sorry to be anonymous. I got stuck in a loop that said I didn't have access to view the site.

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  12. i like your disclaimer.
    and i want this iron.
    :)

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  13. thanks for the review and the disclaimer.

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  14. I am an Olisso fan but the draw on this for me is the cordless!
    I am traveling to Raleigh for the holidays-can you recommend a fabric store to visit?

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  15. Hi there....your blog is sooooo lovely. A big hi from Kelly in Australia :-)))

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  16. Hello! I kind of love that iron, so thanks. I also wanted to mention that I have "heard" (through various blogs) that spray starch is actually not good for your quilts and can attract silverfish. Heard it a few times, actually, but can't recall where. Not trying to be a "hater", but just wanted to mention that you may want to look into it. You make great stuff and it would be a shame for it to be eaten up by pests!!!!
    Happy Holidays!

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  17. Thank you for the review. I just ordered the iron and the code still works. Thanks

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  18. I iron the same way...tons of starch, every seam, every single time it goes through the machine. Because of this, I opt for the cheapest iron that is out there, because I can't stand the 'auto off' feature. I need it hot all the time. So to finally get to my question...does this iron stay on all the time or does it turn itself off? Because I really love the shape and the fact that it is cordless! If it doesn't turn itself off and stays on and hot, I might have to get it!

    PS: I found your blog through Pinterest because of the "Hey girl" stuff. OMG! The funniest thing I have read in a long time!

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  19. Update!! I received my new Panasonic iron a few days ago...I love this iron it's the perfect size and loving that it is cordless.

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  20. So sad - there is a version of the 360 available in Australia but it is not cordless. Will have to keep an eye on this and hope they bring one out here soon. Even I might enjoy doing the ironing with one of those (Maybe).

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  21. thanks for the review - I'm in australia as well so maybe you could let the people at panasonic know that we quilt too !! and just recently I've been wondering if there is such a thing as a cordless iron cause I hate that cord especially when I'm pressing yardage - it always creases the fabric I've just pressed :( and lol I can just see you forgetting about the flat bottom and trying to put it down - that's about the only thing I see as an issue - having to take it out of its holder constantly :)

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