Thursday, 3 February 2011

My Creative space ...

How often do you clean your iron?

While working on one my Monochromatic Sampler my iron decided to spew brown gunk all over one of my beautiful blocks. Not a good look when you are dealing with black and white fabric. So blogging about my blocks has come to a grinding halt until I can wash the block in question and clean my iron.

So I spent a few hours the other night cleaning my iron. I could have gone out and bought iron cleaner, (or even a new iron) but I wanted to see if I could use what I had in the house.

In the past if I accidently went over the wrong side of the iron-on interfacing, I would use a cloth with Eucalyptus oil to remove the sticky bits. This seemed to work well, but then left a slight residue. Hours of continuous use of the iron while sewing, had left the base plate with a brown residue on it (and inside it!). Researching online, I went with half vinegar half filtered water poured inside the iron to clean out the steam ducts.

While the iron was hot, I continued with the Eucalyptus oil and rag and did some hard yakka trying to remove some of the residue. It was a slow process. Some more research revealed that vinegar on a rag might work, so again, some hard yakka was involved trying to remove the brown residue. This worked moderately well, but not fast enough for my liking. I ended up using alternatively, pure vinegar and bicarb soda and it worked a treat. The burnt interfacing and material came away so easily with the bubbly reaction between the bicarb and the vinegar and it didn't seem to harm my non-stick surface.

As you can see, the base plate looks like a new iron and it works wonderfully. I used a rag on tongs to clean the iron while hot and an old toothbrush to get into the steam ducts. Once clean, I cycled the iron through some more vinegar/water and then clean distilled/filtered water to clean out the junk. Now I have a new iron (and a bin full of rags with brown gunk on them)!

Of course, while doing this Victoria was hard at work cleaning her iron as well .. with tongs and a rag! The ironing board that she has once belonged to me when I was her age.

Of course, Tori doesn't normally play in my sewing room when I am using my iron. An accident just before Christmas 2008, has left her with a scar on her foot the size of a 50 cent piece. While endeavouring to have a "handmade christmas" she snuck up from behind and pulled on the iron cord and a hot iron fell on her. Bouncing off her left arm, left thigh and then it landed on her left foot. Quick action by Mum and Dad had her covered in wet towels and ice packs and at the Royal Childrens Emergency in 10 minutes.

In the picture below you can see her foot all bandaged up. And following the accident, we had 6 months of treatments in at the Royal Children's Burns unit. Now I never leave her in my room unattended and I tend to sew when there is no risk of her coming to "help me".

Now that my iron is clean, I can get back to the task at hand. I am working to a deadline, my due date is next Tuesday .. will I make it?

For more creative spaces this week, check out Kootoyoo!

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