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Thread: Best Press, Starch, Etc., please share your knowledge one more time

  1. #1
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Best Press, Starch, Etc., please share your knowledge one more time

    Hi All: I've been reading some of the entries about starching and the likes. Have quilted for 30+ years and until I joined the QB, never knew that it was used as far as quilting goes. For that matter, I'm still not sure if I 'm understanding the concept for sure. I bought a bottle of the Bounce Ironing Spray this afternoon. Do you:

    1) Spray down and iron the fabric to stabilize before you rotary cut it for better precision in cutting?
    2) Use it on completed blocks if they are wonky, trying to force them to behave?
    3) Use it just to add in pressing for a flatter quilt top?

    Thanks for your patience and input.

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I pre-wash. If i'm going to use the fabric right away, I take it out of the washer and dunk it into a50-50 mixture of StaFlo and water, then dry and iron. If the fabric is going into my stash, I just dry it and fold it. When I'm ready to use it, I really spray it (not running, slightly damp) with Niagra non-aerosol (sp?), then iron it dry.
    So I do #1, starch before you cut
    I have also used it to coax blocks into square, but usually if I've starched first, I have pretty good luck with them being square when I'm done.
    I made 1 really complex block with small pieces. For this block I saturated the fabric before I cut with spray starch. It was almost cardboard-like I think it helped.
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  3. #3
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    I like to rough cut my yardage and starch and iron my sections. I then rotary cut my quilt pieces and I double starch if my pieces will have bias edges. I also starch and press my top and back before machine quilting. I wash completed quilts to remove the starch when finished. I make my own starch mixture from cornstarch but I also have picked up the Bounce ironing spray and I will try that next.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    starch often will help (stiffen) pre-washed fabrics so they are easier to cut precisely- if the fabric has not been pre=washed a spritz of water usually does the trick-since the sizing has not been washed out.
    i've been using plain ole Niagra spray starch for 47 years---my mom & grandmother both used it-
    i starch fabrics when they need a little more than what water can do- or if i want the fabric to be stiff for some reason- also it really helps when cutting flannels for good cuts. i do not use it to try to (force) blocks- seems like when the quilt was washed the blocks would be back to being (wonky/wrong)
    i do not use the 'best-press' or other (designer) starches/sprays---i don't like the smell of them- i pre-wash to get rid of any stink in my fabrics- i don't want to then add a new stink - with plain old niagra there is no lingering odor on my fabric.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    stai do not use the 'best-press' or other (designer) starches/sprays---i don't like the smell of them- i pre-wash to get rid of any stink in my fabrics- i don't want to then add a new stink - with plain old niagra there is no lingering odor on my fabric.

    As an FYI, for those interested, Best Press does come in an unscented.
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  6. #6
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    If I've pre-washed my fabric, I use sizing (I prefer it to actual starch) as I press the big pieces (if I have pre-cuts, I don't pre-wash them so they don't need starched). I also starch a little on the finished block. I usually always wash my quilts before I give them away or use them for the 1st time so the sizing washes out then & the quilt isn't stiff.
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  7. #7
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    I'm not familiar with Bounce Ironing Spray, so I can't comment on it, but I will tell you what I do. I don't pre-wash, ANY fabric I'm going to be cutting, I spray a minimum of at least 2 hours before I'm going to be working with the fabric, I use Sta-Flo starch, diluted 50/50, after the minimum time I allow for the starch to soak into the fibers of the fabrics, then I'll either air dry or put in the drier for a few minutes, when dry then I'll iron. If you spray the fabric, then iron, you're really only ironing the STARCH and not the fabric, which is why your iron will usually get all yucky brown with starch, you will not usually have that problem if the starch has soaked into the fabric, then when you iron, you are truly ironing the FABRIC and not the starch. This is my personal opinion and I'm sure that others will have their own opinion, so what I suggest is to try different tips/hints, and see what works best for YOU.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I too am a Stay Flo addict. I love that I can custom mix the strenght, depending the project. Love the crispness and the accuracy it brings to the cutting. Before I discovered Stay Flo I use spray... it got to be more money than I needed to spend on starch.
    I let it soak in completely and if I have time let it dry completly for the best results.
    When working with scraps I will mix a batch put them (scraps) into a big tupperware bowl , hang on a drying rack iron then cut.
    It also makes paper piecing go easier , as the fabrics don't flip back.

  9. #9
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I only starch before I cut my fabric and will heavily starch that. I don't spray individual blocks anymore because once my fabric is wet again it tends to come out wonky when I press--probably operator error but still something to watch out for.
    Bernie

  10. #10
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I too am a Stay Flo addict. I love that I can custom mix the strenght, depending the project. Love the crispness and the accuracy it brings to the cutting. Before I discovered Stay Flo I use spray... it got to be more money than I needed to spend on starch.
    I let it soak in completely and if I have time let it dry completly for the best results.
    When working with scraps I will mix a batch put them (scraps) into a big tupperware bowl , hang on a drying rack iron then cut.
    It also makes paper piecing go easier , as the fabrics don't flip back.
    Ahh-ha... so that's how you handle PPing fabrics with ease. I am doing the 50 stars Block of the week and I believe next week will go quite a bit more smoothly.

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