Iron Out the Details
Iâ€™ve gained a new appreciation for irons after picking up aÂ few for my mantel. Did you know that thousand year old paintings have documentedÂ the Chinese using metal pans filled with hot coals to smooth and prepare silk?
Irons got their name because they were mainly made from theÂ metal iron. Flat Irons or Sad Irons were heavy, simple shapes often weighing 5Â – 9 pounds. They were hot to handle, had to be reheated often, and collectedÂ soot from the fireplace. Â Although usingÂ these irons was difficult at best, the name Sad Iron comes from Old EnglishÂ meaning heavy not because of the way they made women feel.
The 1800â€™s saw new innovations in an effort to improve on theÂ Sad Ironâ€™s flaws. Box Irons came with slugs that could be heated in the fireÂ then inserted inside the iron and Self-heating irons could be filled with coal.Â Self heating irons are still being produced and used in many countries today.
In 1871, a then 19 year old Mrs. Potts patented the ColdÂ Handle Sad Iron. The simple idea of a removable handle revolutionized the ironÂ industry.
In 1882, Henry Seeley patented the first electric iron.Â Since most households lacked electricity, these were far from a â€œhotâ€ item atÂ the time.
By the late 1800â€™s, irons were being fueled by kerosene,Â ethanol (alcohol), and natural gas. If that description doesnâ€™t scare you, takeÂ a look at the photo below. Yipes!!
All that hard work made the arms tired, and hot irons neededÂ a place to rest. Trivets were originally hand wrought by blacksmiths and laterÂ mass produced by casting. They were both functional and decorative.
Iâ€™m Feeling â€œSewâ€ HOT, HOT, HOT
Today the â€œhot topicâ€ is traveling with our irons. OurÂ biggest worry is how to get that iron to and from classes and retreats. Why notÂ whip up a handy combination hot iron carrier and ironing mat to impress yourÂ friends.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Pattern Designed by: Nancy Dill
If you need something more compact, the bootie style hotÂ iron covers might just what youâ€™re looking for.
Pattern Designed by: Kay Buffington
Donâ€™t forget about your hot curling iron!
If you want to be the â€œhottestâ€ guest at the party, make theÂ hostess a handy set of hot pads. Theyâ€™re aÂ great place to showcase your piecing. Set includes double ended mittsÂ that become a trivet at the table, 8â€ square and circular hot mitts, and a hotÂ pot handle cover.
Double-Ended Mitt: 7.75″ x 29″
Pot Handle Cover: 3.5″ x 6.5″
Square Mitt: 8″ Square
Circle Mitt: 8″ Diameter
Skill Level:Â Advanced BeginnerÂ
Designed by: IJ – Indygo Junction – Amy Barickman
Carol Steely, FunThreads Designs