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Thread: heavy starch and pointy points

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Lightbulb heavy starch and pointy points

    I'd like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU!!!!! to all of you who have casually mentioned that you like to starch your fabric until it's stiff. I've even seen some of you say that when you peel it off the ironing board it should stick straight out. I used to think that was overkill, but now I'm a believer!

    I took a class over the weekend. I consider myself an advanced beginner (if that makes sense) and this is an ongoing drop-in-when-you-can BOM thing. Saturday's block is a star, and omg, the points have been driving me nuts. If only the fabric would stay still while I cut/sewed it!

    And then I had a lightbulb moment. Actually, more of a stadium lights moment. I fished out another fat quarter, starched the dickens out of it, cut it, and ta da! My points are pointy!

    I'm sold! Light starch on my blouses, heavy on quilt parts.

    I learn so much from you guys!
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Welcome to the "other" side! It just makes your quilting life easier, doesn't it?!?
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  3. #3
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    awesome to know...glad it worked so well for you!..PIX now!

  4. #4
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Yeah for Team Starch!!!! We won another one over!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
    I'd like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU!!!!! to all of you who have casually mentioned that you like to starch your fabric until it's stiff. I've even seen some of you say that when you peel it off the ironing board it should stick straight out. I used to think that was overkill, but now I'm a believer!

    I took a class over the weekend. I consider myself an advanced beginner (if that makes sense) and this is an ongoing drop-in-when-you-can BOM thing. Saturday's block is a star, and omg, the points have been driving me nuts. If only the fabric would stay still while I cut/sewed it!

    And then I had a lightbulb moment. Actually, more of a stadium lights moment. I fished out another fat quarter, starched the dickens out of it, cut it, and ta da! My points are pointy!

    I'm sold! Light starch on my blouses, heavy on quilt parts.

    I learn so much from you guys!
    What kind of starch did you use?
    Earleen The best helping hand is at the end of your arm.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    that is my question too......what kind of starch? what I have tried so far really didnt do much for helping.....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dotha's Avatar
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    I have used the sta-puf liquid starch as well as spray starch. One teacher I had starches her fabric until it is like 'typing paper'. Can't argue with her, she wins national contests...an amazing piecer, appliquer and even more amazing quilter.

  8. #8
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4dogs View Post
    that is my question too......what kind of starch? what I have tried so far really didnt do much for helping.....
    I personally like sizing better than starch. But if I do use regular starch, I like to mix mine own up from the concentrate. Has anyone used that scented kind (maybe by Marti Mitchell or Mary Ellen or somebody)? I've seen them use it on Sewing With Nancy or Fons or Porter or some quilting show on PBS.

    I like EVERYTHING I iron starched... even my pillowcases. I know... I'm a weird-o.
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  9. #9
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    I am a "new" believer myself; with the project I am working on right now, I starched till stiff the fabric and WOW was it fantastic to cut and stitch. Will definetely be a starch fanatic from now on.
    Brenda

  10. #10
    Senior Member Christine27's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever starched faux suede? I'm working on embellishing fabric for a bag. I'm using several different brands of faux suede and batik cottons. I starched all my cottons and I'm ready to try starching the suede, on the back side and at a lower temp. That suede keeps wiggling around!

  11. #11
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earleen View Post
    What kind of starch did you use?
    Faultless Professional Formula Heavy Starch-it's what The Husband had for starching his uniform hats. He's also got a jug of Sta-Flo liquid starch around somewhere, but I've never used it.

    I'm open to other suggestions; this just happened to be on hand when I was desperate. I use vodka and water for sizing.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  12. #12
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    Christine27, I don't believe that you can starch faux suede.

    I use the concentrated Sta-Flo starch and dilute 50/50. To use it "properly", you should starch the dickens out of the fabric, then put in a plastic bag and let the starch really get "into" the fabric, then let it air dry or in the drier, although air dry is actually better(will be stiffer than drier), otherwise when you iron, you're really just ironing the starch and this is why your iron will get all yucky.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine27 View Post
    Has anyone ever starched faux suede? I'm working on embellishing fabric for a bag. I'm using several different brands of faux suede and batik cottons. I starched all my cottons and I'm ready to try starching the suede, on the back side and at a lower temp. That suede keeps wiggling around!
    Because Faux suede is not a natural fiber , and is made of oil based raw materials , its ability to absorb the water /starch solution is very very limited, if any. One reason oil/petroleum based fibers dry so quickly is that they don't really ever get wet. There are molicules of water that are between the fibers , giving the feeling of moisture, but the fibers themselves don't get wet.

  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out well for you, but it is entirely possible, and quite easy actually, to have pointy-points (also straight cuts, square blocks, even seams, etc) without the use of starch or any other additives whatsoever. I much prefer my fabric to feel like fabric, not cardboard...or even typing paper.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Glad it worked out well for you, but it is entirely possible, and quite easy actually, to have pointy-points (also straight cuts, square blocks, even seams, etc) without the use of starch or any other additives whatsoever. I much prefer my fabric to feel like fabric, not cardboard...or even typing paper.
    I totally agree!

    As a pre-washer, I like to have some "feel" back into the fabric, as the sizing has been removed in the wash.

    I did like using Magic Sizing, and because it's unavailable here in Canada, I hade been using spray starch, which if not careful it becomes that cardboard and typing paper feel! Just last week I tried Mary Ellen's Best Press for the first time, and can see it will be my option now instead of the spray starch.

    As for pointy-points and perfected work ... a lot of that comes from your technique and abilities and NOT from starching til it is like cardboard! And one of those techniques is learning the value of pressing, and pressing well, throughout the process.

    And if you're looking for really perfect-pointy-points paper piecing might be your solution!!
    (now there's a lot of Ps!)
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  16. #16
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    whatever works!

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    I too like the one made from Vodka & water, I put Lavender essence in it also for a good smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
    Christine27, I don't believe that you can starch faux suede.

    I use the concentrated Sta-Flo starch and dilute 50/50. To use it "properly", you should starch the dickens out of the fabric, then put in a plastic bag and let the starch really get "into" the fabric, then let it air dry or in the drier, although air dry is actually better(will be stiffer than drier), otherwise when you iron, you're really just ironing the starch and this is why your iron will get all yucky.
    I use this too but mix it in a one gallon yard sprayer. Put the fabric in the bathtub on top of a plastic shower liner and spray until saturated. Let it dry in the tub until damp, then press. I put a pillow case on top of the iron cover so as not to get starch all over it. Wash pillowcase when it gets too stiff or full of starch.
    Linda

  19. #19
    Super Member yetta's Avatar
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    starch is our friend...starch is our friend..starch is our friend....
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  20. #20
    Vat
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    I buy Sta Flo at Walmart and mix it half with water. Works great! ! ! ! And less costly than lots of the name brands.

  21. #21
    Super Member southernmema's Avatar
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    I'm so glad the starch did the trick for you!

  22. #22
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    Starch does a great job of holding the fabric in place. I usually start out light and add as needed!!

  23. #23
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    i wouldn't starch faux suede. try backing it with freezer paper, use a pressing cloth on top. I don't put much direct heat on that stuff.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  24. #24
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    I totally agree. Starch is great it makes cutting and piecing so much easier.
    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    Welcome to the "other" side! It just makes your quilting life easier, doesn't it?!?
    Texas raised, Texas Proud

  25. #25
    Senior Member kat112000's Avatar
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    I always thought using starch was a waste of time UNTIL I had my stadium light bulb moment too!!! Now I don't leave home without it!!!
    Kathy

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