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Thread: Sorry, another question, please!

  1. #1
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    Sorry, another question, please!

    Sorry, forgot to ask this. Since I'm not only a new user to this site, but a new quilter also, I have a number of dumb questions. Here is my first one. Why do you spray start your material? Thanks!

  2. #2
    QM
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    I prefer spray sizing, because it does not draw any insects. In either case, the idea is to have the fabric relatively stable when you are cutting and handling it. The more intricate the pattern, the more this matters. The spray also tends to get rid of any wrinlkes, as you iron it. I bet the next question is why wash and iron. The washing is to preshrink and get rid of exess dye. In some cases, it's to identify fabrics that would run in splotches over your quilt, making a real mess after all of your work. If you don't iron, your measurements can be WAY off because the fabric is not really flat. I'll be honest. I hate ironing, but I am really convinced that it matters.

  3. #3
    QM
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    PS. Don't worry about asking dumb questions. I bet every one of us has asked the same questions. "older" quilters shared their knowledge with us, now it's our turn to pay it forward.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I don't use starch, probably would be a good thing if I did, I don't know. I have allergies and asthma so can't use it.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by QM View Post
    I prefer spray sizing, because it does not draw any insects. In either case, the idea is to have the fabric relatively stable when you are cutting and handling it. The more intricate the pattern, the more this matters. The spray also tends to get rid of any wrinlkes, as you iron it. I bet the next question is why wash and iron. The washing is to preshrink and get rid of exess dye. In some cases, it's to identify fabrics that would run in splotches over your quilt, making a real mess after all of your work. If you don't iron, your measurements can be WAY off because the fabric is not really flat. I'll be honest. I hate ironing, but I am really convinced that it matters.
    Do you wash all your fabrics before make projects? I've heard pros and cons

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    starch (can) make your fabric hold/stay better for more precise cuts- it helps give the fabric body/stiffness making piecing easier- and gets out those wrinkles-
    some people simply spritz with a little water- or use steam- or use sizing (which is like starch but does not give the stiffness) and some use starch- it is a personal choice-
    i've been using starch for 50 years-so prefer that when water is not enough-
    it washes away when your project is finished and laundered.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
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    You'll get lots of answers to wash/not wash...starch/not starch. It really boils down to personal preference. I pre-wash; I starch. I want to pre-shrink my fabric. I've pre-washed and still had things run due to excessive dye. Color catchers are a beautiful thing. I'm also older than dirt and grew up starching cottons when ironing. Just normal for me. But it does give the fabric more body and does make cutting/piecing more accurate - at least for me.

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    Not dumb, very brave and very sensible to ask what you don't know. You are in a safe environment here, so ask away. BTW, I don't starch unless the pattern is very intricate and stiffer fabric would be easier to work with. That happens once in a blue moon because I like the quick and easy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    I am a new quilter!!!! I don't prewash (I have 3 boys so I all ready have plenty of it) but I do starch and it helps a bunch with making sure I get a more accurate cut.

    To find out what works best for you, why don't you pre wash some scraps, iron and sew see how you like it. Then don't pre wash, starch and sew and see what works better for you.

    Like someone above said you will get many answers, its all about prefernce.
    And by the way there is NEVER a dumb question. You can never learn unless you ask.

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    I like to starch and iron my fabric. It helps the fabric to lay perfectly flat when cutting and this makes more accurate piece size. Starch is especially important if any of your cut pieces are not on the straight of grain. Bias edges on diamonds and triangles like to stretch and the starch helps to prevent that. I only wash fabrics that I have pretested for bleeding. (intense reds, purples, batiks etc.)

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    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a dumb question...a question means you would like an answer for something. No one is born knowing everything!..I use spray sizing and I definitely prewash. One time I didn't and the material ran when I washed it. Also, I am alergic to something on new fabric and I have sneezing fits in a fabric store so I wash what I purchase as soon as I get it home.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Several reasons why I like to starch my fabric. The top two reasons are... cutting is more accurate, the second is when the seams are pressed , they stay pressed much better than with just steam.... no seams flipping in a direction I did not want them to go when I am sewing.

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I don't prewash. I use Mary Ellen's Best Press, which is a starch alternative, before cutting. I don't use steam. Remember, a *bleeding* fabric is not the problem. The problem fabric is the one that picks up those loose dyes!!! And shrinkage is your friend!! When you do a less than perfect quilting job and then throw the quilt in the wash and it comes out puckered just a bit it'll hide all that less than perfect quilting.

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    I do not, and never have used any type of starch or sizing. A good quality fabric doesn't need starch or sizing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble951 View Post
    Sorry, forgot to ask this. Since I'm not only a new user to this site, but a new quilter also, I have a number of dumb questions. Here is my first one. Why do you spray start your material? Thanks!
    Keep in mind the only dumb question is the unasked one. You will find many many helpful quilters to answer questions for you. Sure wish I knew about it when I started quilting. Good luck on your quilting and keep those questions coming.
    Last edited by crazylady54; 01-28-2012 at 05:34 AM. Reason: spelling

  16. #16
    Super Member Fabaddict's Avatar
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    the only dumb question is the one NOT asked. I do not use spray starch very much at all. It tends to draw bugs and I don't want those in my stash. If I have to spray anything I use plain water. and because I am allergic to some of the chemicals in fabric - I wash every thing before I use it
    Fabaddict

  17. #17
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    just remember the only dumb question is the one that is not asked. I prefer to starch and also not prewash, unless I have a fabric color that is really rich. (Like RED). I will prewash also if I use a lot of white with a dark contrast just in case. And I always use color catchers. They are available at the grocery stores and you put them in the wash. They will collect any color that will run in the wash.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    I do prewash and starch. I started quilting without doing either and have had fabric bleed or behave badly after washing the finished quilt. If it is going to present problems I want to know about it before investing my time and energy. Also, when you iron/starch before cutting it requires hands and eyes on the fabric and you can catch any issues such as small holes or flaws that you need to eliminate in cutting out your pieces. Ann in TN

  19. #19
    Junior Member DeAnne-Mn.'s Avatar
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    At a LQS I was told not to bother washing or ironing beacause the "newer" fabric doesn't need it. Not true and I found out the hard way. I always wash and dry on hot and use spray sizing. Worth the extra work, plus some charities request washed items for people with allergies and for baby quilts.
    DeAnne

  20. #20
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    I prefer 'best press' to starch, it works really well and smells wonderful. A couple of tips, iron the fabric before you spray, the heat makes the starch absorb into warm fabric better, also, especially if the fabric is dark, spray on the back so you don't get any residue on the front.

  21. #21
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I don't prewash (except flannel) and use Best Press only if the folds and wrinkles are bad. However, that said as pinkberrykay said try both methods and see what you like. I use Colorcatchers when I wash any of my quilts.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Schnookie's Avatar
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    I do per-wash to get rid of any chemicals in the fabric, this is the time you would want your fabric to run or bleed loss dyes, not when you have all ready done the work in sewing a quilt of any size! If you chose not to wash you could always test the fabric first with a wet cotton swab, but then it would get rid of the chemicals in it. I use spray sizing just because I like all that is does for me as stated in others posts. I also think that fabric doesn't always shrink the same, this way the shrinking is done with and your quilt if washed ever won't go wonky! P.S. there are no dumb questions!!
    Quilter @ Heart

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbeadit View Post
    I don't use starch, probably would be a good thing if I did, I don't know. I have allergies and asthma so can't use it.
    Try using Mary Ellen's Best Press. It's wonderful, comes in many scents plus unscented. I keep the small size in my suitcase (inside a plastic bag) for pressing my linen travel clothes. Works great!
    Create with joy in your heart!

  24. #24
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    See there is proof that there are no dumb questions, I've been quilting for 5 yrs or so and never knew about startching stuff, will have to try it, thanks Bubble

  25. #25
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    I've been quilting for a number of years (too many to mention) and have never starched my fabric or pre-washed it. I can say that I have never had any problems so far!!!!
    To each his own

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