I've been using a homemade spray starch on my blocks for a couple of weeks now and really like the results. I was really pleased yesterday when I got my new "Heirloom Machine Quilting" book by Harriet Hargrave because I learned that she uses a homemade solution as well. It sounded close to the one I use.
Mine: 2 cups water to 2 tbsp. cornstarch. Put in spray bottle and give a good shake. Works well for me. I can mix it as stiff as I want..but this recipe is what I've been using.
I was talking to my mom about it. She's 86 and as a girl they did their clothes over a backyard black washpot. Her grandfather was the preacher and her dad led the music for the church back then. Mom said that when they held revivals all the preachers stayed at their house and her mom had to starch all the men's collars and cuffs.
You may/may not know that those collars/cuffs were stiff as a board. Mom said that the cornstarch formula was used. They made a stiff solution of it and boiled it on the stove (kinda like making brown gravy but without the brown part...just cooked cornstarch and water).
But she said that the community favorite starch for the collars, cuffs, and those doilies with the stand-up ruffles was a mixture of flour and water. They stirred it and cooked it until beginning to thicken..then dipped the article in and squeezed it very well. She said you had to be careful with the crochet doilies to make sure you got as much out as you could squeeze because the mixture would be stuck in the little holes.
So I guess I'm not doing anything new after all.
If any of you decide to try this, just know that cornstarch and flour are foods and bugs love both. So, when storing your quilts it would be better if they were starch-free.
Anyone else use homemade starch?