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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
    Power Poster 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
    Power Poster 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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    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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    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

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    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.

  11. #11
    BMP
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    I always use spray starch or Best Press, I think it helps when cutting . One light spray on the back side again after each block when its completed.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I usually don't pre-wash fabrics and find they have enough body in them for accurate cutting for piecing. If you pre-wash, it's a good idea to starch all of the washed yardage before cutting.

    What I do is mix up a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo and water and "paint" the starch onto the yardage using a large wall painting brush. (This is a *lot* faster than spraying!) When the fabric is saturated, I toss it in the dryer, then iron with steam. I always use this technique on backing fabrics before piecing them, as the heavy starch helps prevent puckers when machine quilting. I also use this technique on any fabric that will be cut into bias strips, because the starch prevents the bias edges from stretching out of shape. This is also a great technique to use if you are piecing flannel, as it will keep the flannel pieces from stretching while you sew.

    I use spray starch on the quilt top before layering. Again, this helps prevent puckers when machine quilting.

    Spray starch can be used on wonky blocks to block them into submission. Sharon Schamber has some videos on Youtube showing how to do this.

    Best Press and other spray sizing products do not have the same amount of stabilizing power as starch, and even starches come in different strengths. The 1:1 Sta-Flo/water solution is about as heavy as you can get with starch.

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    Senior Member sammygirlqt's Avatar
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    I am always so interested in topics on starch. Can you believe this, in Canada I cannot buy liquid starch in a jug! I have to make starch from cornstarch and I would love to have a jug of Sta-Flo. We also cannot buy color catcher sheets, why, I have no idea but it is very frustrating. I believe in using starch in quilting fabrics for various techniques.
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  14. #14
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    I like Best Press. I press my seams as I go.
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    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    So - if I want to use Niagara before cutting but after washing fabric , what should I do? Spray, let it dry (in the dryer?) then iron without steam? I have never starched but would like to give it a try. Thanks.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaiQuilter View Post
    So - if I want to use Niagara before cutting but after washing fabric , what should I do? Spray, let it dry (in the dryer?) then iron without steam? I have never starched but would like to give it a try. Thanks.
    The idea with using starch is that it needs some time to be absorbed into the fabric. This is probably faster with washed fabric than unwashed, since there will be no surface conditioning agents on the material. It can be absorbed into the fabric and the fabric still be damp.

    I personally like to have the starch dry before ironing because then I know it will not scorch on the bottom of my iron. (Starch that is sitting on the surface of fabric has a tendency to scorch, and I have a tendency to run my iron too hot.) I use steam when I iron, because steam re-activates the starch (by adding moisture back into it) just enough to help get wrinkles out.

  17. #17
    Junior Member crafty3236's Avatar
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    sammy
    pm me if you would, lets see if I can send you a bottle of sta-flo

  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammygirlqt View Post
    I am always so interested in topics on starch. Can you believe this, in Canada I cannot buy liquid starch in a jug! I have to make starch from cornstarch and I would love to have a jug of Sta-Flo. We also cannot buy color catcher sheets, why, I have no idea but it is very frustrating. I believe in using starch in quilting fabrics for various techniques.
    Colour Catchers were here, and they took them away from us ... look for Dr. Beckmann's Colour and Dirt Collectors, as they do the same job, and some of us have been able to find them.

    Starch ... ditto on not getting the same products. We do have spray starch available here, or Mary Ellen's Best Press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPStitches View Post
    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.

    All of the above.... just depends on the fabric and what it needs. I really use it a lot with all of my finished blocks. They lay flatter after they are bombarded with starch.... I just bought the Bounce to try last weekend and haven't even had time to spray it once.... I usually use the liquid and make my own (which is a much better monetary deal), but wanted to see if the Bounce smelled as good as Best Press (which I absolutely LOVE, but won't buy because of the price, I'd rather have fabric )....... can you imagine---I am getting the message that the above is to short and I need to add characters.....

  20. #20
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I like Best Press. I press my seams as I go.
    I do exactly the same.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
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  21. #21
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I appreciate everyone's input and advice. I just got a kit from Connecting Threads of cotton lawn fabric. I'm thinking it might be the perfect place to try the Bounce, on the lighter weight fabric? What do you think?

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