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Thread: Starch the Backing

  1. #1
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    I wanted to thank all the fellow quilters that suggested starching the backing to lesson wrinkles when quilting! :thumbup:

    I used Mary Ellen's spray starch, because it smells good, and I just can't believe all the difference it really makes. I had been on a war path to find out ways to lesson the wrinkles in the backing when I quilt. I don't mind the ones that I had to squint real close-up to see. But when I can see them from across the room without my glasses on, I knew there was a problem. I had already done all that was suggested and still to no avail. I figured, why not try the starch. I didn't at first because the spray and steam from the iron aggrevates my asthma. If it solves my problem I am willing to endure holding my breath when I squirt the starch and I turn the steam off on my iron.

    I did this on a little baby quilt. Will the starch give me the same results on the bigger size quilts too?

  2. #2
    Junior Member tinkerfeet's Avatar
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    I don't know if it will work on larger quilts or not but thanks for posting this because I will try this to. Great idea.

  3. #3
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    Yes, starch makes quilting so much easier in my opinion. It helps control the fabric. When cutting, sewing and quilting. Big or small, I use starch.

    Suzy

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Yes it will help on the bigger backs too. Give it a try for piecing as well, you may be surprised at those results too :D:D:D

  5. #5
    granniebj's Avatar
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    I'm glad you posted this! I think I will try it too!

  6. #6
    Super Member SharonC's Avatar
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    I love the results I get with starch.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water for backing fabric, "painting" it onto the fabric with a large wall painting brush. When the fabric is saturated, I toss it in the dryer and then iron with steam. This method would likely be less aggravating than using a sprayer. (The 1:1 solution makes the fabric very stiff. If you prefer less stiffness, just dilute with more water.)

  8. #8
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    I have been reading the starch topics. If you soak a lot of pieces at once and then put them in the dryer do they have to be ironed when hot or can you just fold them and iron as needed? I had also read about putting them in the refrig and iron within a week or put them in the freezer to keep from mildew. So I was thinking what if they are all dry and when I get in an ironing mood they are ready.
    Does the starch mess up the dryer like spraying does to the floor?

  9. #9
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I am a starch convert. After avoiding ironing for most of my life, quilting has turned that around. Now I starch everything except the batting before I cut anything. I wash all my quilts before gifting, so it all "comes out in the wash." Then they are soft and cuddly - and no unexpected wrinkles!

  10. #10
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    I really like Mary Ellen's spray!
    I buy it by the jug when it's on sale.

  11. #11

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    how do you keep the starch from building up on your iron?

  12. #12
    Super Member bisseau's Avatar
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    Starching before you sandwich was a quilt saver for me...not to master machine quilting.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramma8
    how do you keep the starch from building up on your iron?
    If you let the starch saturate the fabric by letting it sit for a bit . I use the concentrate diluted and completely saturate the fabric , I then let it dry on a rack over night, then iron. I do keep a spray bottle with the solution at the ironing board for minor or small pieces , the trick is to let it soak in. If you iron too quickly , the starch is just laying on the surface and thats when it gets on your iron. Same thing for avoiding the white flakes , if you let the starch soak in .. no flakes.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngeorgia
    I have been reading the starch topics. If you soak a lot of pieces at once and then put them in the dryer do they have to be ironed when hot or can you just fold them and iron as needed? I had also read about putting them in the refrig and iron within a week or put them in the freezer to keep from mildew. So I was thinking what if they are all dry and when I get in an ironing mood they are ready.
    Does the starch mess up the dryer like spraying does to the floor?
    You can store starched fabric unironed. However, if you live in a damp climate it may not be a good idea because some types of bugs are attracted to starch. If bugs are not a problem, then storing starched fabric will not be a problem either. Also, if storage is only for a month or two bugs are much less likely to be a problem; it's when you get into years of storage that they have the chance to find the fabric.

    Starch has not had any bad effect on my dryer, and I use a very heavy starch solution.

    For spray basting on the floor, I always recommend putting a large sheet down first to cash any overspray. It also helps to spray from the outside edges towards the center.

  15. #15
    Super Member Just Me...'s Avatar
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    I love the Mary Ellen's, too! The only difference I have noticed is that you don't get the white flakies. Use it on hubs dress slacks.

    I would assume that it would help on the larger quilts as well! :)

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