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Thread: Starching the quilt - Need specific advice....

  1. #1
    Junior Member trugger's Avatar
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    Hi All,
    I just read through some of the previous starch conversations/threads and did not see that anyone had commented on my specific thing.

    Before today, I have used tap water in a spray bottle to wet what i could fit onto the ironing board and pressed.

    I wanted to take it to the next level, so I bought some liquid starch.
    I diluted it in a spray bottle 1:1... and have been spraying that onto some fabric to try it out.

    I let it soak in a while, then press it.

    I have a white residue after pressing.

    I'm confident that I'm doing it wrong and will openly admit it!

    Please, if anyone uses or knows how to use liquid starch, please send me specific directions.

    (sometimes I wonder how I made it this far...)

    -Thanks!

  2. #2
    triciasquilts's Avatar
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    I just use the spray starch and find sometimes I will get white residue too. I usually will spray a light mist of water, then the spray starch and this usually doesn't leave the residue. I've never tried the liquid starch. The residue doesn't really bother me because it just brushes off after pressing.

  3. #3
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I've been reading the starch threads too and wondering about starching the center medalion of a giant dahlia quilt. I'm almost ready to applique it to the background and since it is a 54" circle, would it help to starch it so that I don't get stretching around the circle as I pin it and applique it?

    Right now the curved edge is really nice and not wavy and I did take heed of the directions to not handle it too much so that it doesn't stretch.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trugger
    I let it soak in a while, then press it.

    I have a white residue after pressing.
    The white residue is starch sitting on top of the fabric; it hasn't soaked in.

    If you haven't pre-washed your fabrics, they likely contain finish coatings from the factory that may retard absorption of the starch. I don't pre-wash my fabrics, and this is one of the reasons why I think spray starching doesn't work well for me. I have even scorched the starch!

    If you want to continue spray starching, you may need to spray the entire yardage and roll it up for awhile to allow the starch to be absorbed. Alternatively, you could pre-wash your fabrics before spray starching.

    If the fabrics have been pre-washed and you are having this problem, I will be interested to hear other explanations of what is happening! When you say you let the starch soak in for awhile, how long is awhile?

    If you are starching yardage, you may want to switch to my method of "painting" on the starch solution and then drying in the dryer before ironing. In this case, I am saturating the fabric with water and starch and rolling it up to allow absorpotion before drying. For piecing, I would use more like a 1:2 or 1:3 starch solution (water:starch) for this. I use a 1:1 solution for starching fabrics that are going to be used for machine applique backgrounds and/or for cutting bias strips for binding.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam
    I've been reading the starch threads too and wondering about starching the center medalion of a giant dahlia quilt. I'm almost ready to applique it to the background and since it is a 54" circle, would it help to starch it so that I don't get stretching around the circle as I pin it and applique it?

    Right now the curved edge is really nice and not wavy and I did take heed of the directions to not handle it too much so that it doesn't stretch.
    I don't know. With a big piece like that, it seems to me likely that it would become distorted from handling while doing the starching and ironing. Here is a youtube video that shows how to "true up" a block with spray starch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6aplw_tVZc
    I just don't think you could do this properly with a giant dahlia.

    The ideal would have been to starch the fabric before cutting. This would have resulted in already-stabilized edges.

    I think I would be more inclined to spray baste the entire medallion to the background fabric, making sure that there are no ripples. The spray starches are re-positionable, so it seems to me you could get everything pretty much trued up before taking it to the sewing machine. This would be easier than pinning and re-pinning, IMO. (Caution: I have never done a giant dahlia, so this is armchair speculation!)

  6. #6
    Junior Member Arizona Sunrises's Avatar
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    If the fabrics have been pre-washed and you are having this problem, I will be interested to hear other explanations of what is happening! When you say you let the starch soak in for awhile, how long is awhile?
    Fabric softener added to the rinse cycle?

  7. #7
    Junior Member trugger's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    I appreciate all of this help... I really want this to work!

    I did prewash the fabric with just a small amount of soap.

    No fabric softener.

    I might try the painting on the starch... I wonder... does that get messy?
    :)

  8. #8
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I didn't know about using starch before cutting until after I was done with the dahlia. :-) I'll try it on the next one.

  9. #9
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    if you starch on the wrong side it doesn't matter. that's what i do and i think others do also.

    i REALLY soak my quilt tops and the starch doesn't come through. give it a try.

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam
    I've been reading the starch threads too and wondering about starching the center medalion of a giant dahlia quilt. I'm almost ready to applique it to the background and since it is a 54" circle, would it help to starch it so that I don't get stretching around the circle as I pin it and applique it?

    Right now the curved edge is really nice and not wavy and I did take heed of the directions to not handle it too much so that it doesn't stretch.
    on the curves the starching would definitely help. i use 50/50 and i have a heavy hand. starch on the wrong side and you shouldn't see any residue. and it's like handling cardboard.

    if it's possible try to iron it on a large flat surface. maybe fold up your board and put it on the floor or something, so the weight of the fabric doesn't cause drag on the curves . the starch will make the dahlia much heavier than it was originally.

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