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Thread: Starch before cutting?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Today I was marking seam allowances on strips for strip sets. I mark the seam allowances because I don't have a quilter foot for my machine and never got accurate seams when I marked 1/4" on my machine. I seemed to have a bit of trouble today marking them. Sorry if I don't make sense on this... I'd lay the strip down on the table, lay the ruler down, and kept having trouble getting the edge of the strip to line with the 1/4" mark on my ruler. Kept having to shift the fabric underneath the ruler to line up that edge to the mark on the ruler. Guess not a huge deal, but probably could have gotten them done quicker if I didn't need to line the edge up. Checked the width my strips and went to see if they were wonky---nothing wrong there. They are thinner strips (1 3/8" wide) and I wonder if because they're so thin they're shifting around more than...say a thicker 2 1/2" strip.

    Still have more thin strips to cut out. Would using starch before cutting help with these thinner strips lay straight when I need to mark them and keep them from shifting and stretching?

  2. #2
    QM
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    Starch or sizing would probably help, although most of the time I am too lazy to do that.

  3. #3
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I use a heavier starch when working on something this small. Works great.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Cattyqwltr's Avatar
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    I have started using that Best Press - it's unwrinkles fabric and gives it a little stiffness without the messiness of starch

  5. #5
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    when i need to mark something and the fabric isn't cooperating i put a fine piece of sandpaper under the fabric and then it doesn't move at all.

    i always starch my fabric before cutting.

  6. #6
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric_fancy
    when i need to mark something and the fabric isn't cooperating i put a fine piece of sandpaper under the fabric and then it doesn't move at all.

    i always starch my fabric before cutting.
    Ditto! The sandpaper board works great!!!!! I've also found that I do love starching my fabric before cutting it also. Makes it much easier to sew.

  7. #7
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I often starch my fabric before cutting it. I like the stiffness it gives. It also makes it easier for me to cut and sew it. I don't like to starch after cutting because I have found it distorts my fabric some.

  8. #8

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    Put a peice of tape at your 1/4" line. If it is not exact that is ok, as long as your are consistent lining up at that mark.

  9. #9
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    I starch every piece of fabric before I cut.

  10. #10
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Yes starching before you cut will help, but I would also look for the sandpaper dots for your ruler. There are other stick ons that will keep your ruler from moving, but they seem thick and raise the ruler too high off the fabric. The sandpaper is very thin and keeps the ruler more stable. The only downside is that you can't see thru the sandpaper to the fabric, so position them carefully!

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I often work with strips that are less than 1 inch many are 3/4 inch. Heavy starch is my best way of dealing with cutting and sewing these skinny strips and maintaining accruacy. I buy the concentrate and use it full strenght prior to cutting when working with the really small diminesions. Do use the sand paper dots as mentioned in a earlier post to keep the ruler from sliding/slipping.
    Just one note : when heavily starching fabrics let the starch completly saturate into the fabric... and if at all possible for the best results let the starch dry prior to ironing. I starch and the press and cut the next day.

  12. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cattyqwltr
    I have started using that Best Press - it's unwrinkles fabric and gives it a little stiffness without the messiness of starch
    :thumbup: I prefer Best Press over spray starch or sizing for all my pressing, including my clothes. I water mine down 1 part water to 3 parts Best Press. I get the same results and it lasts longer. Worth the price. I get the big bottles at Hancocks when they have a coupon.

  13. #13
    Super Member RenaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QM
    Starch or sizing would probably help, although most of the time I am too lazy to do that.
    This is me to a "T"!!

  14. #14
    Junior Member vjjo743's Avatar
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    I use starch, but it makes my iron so dirty quick. Am I doing something wrong?

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Measure from the other side of the fabric strip, leaving " sticking out free. Line up the fabric on the 1⅛" line on your ruler and draw your seam line along the edge. The weight of your hand will keep everything from slipping.

  16. #16
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    I always starch my fabric before I cut it, it sure helps me out alot.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    Sta-Flo and I are good friends. I think I'd try the Best Press if it weren't so pricey. IMHO, starching fabric has improved my quiltmaking 100%!

  18. #18
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    If your trouble is fabric shifting when you are trying to mark it then try another surface to work on--something not slick. Another idea is when cutting the strips, be sure not to cut with the 'stretchy' way of the fabric. Test the goods by pulling each way.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ghquilter53's Avatar
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    Get the Easy Angler 2 to put on your machine and you have perfect 1/4 inch seams and won't have to mark them on your fabric any more.

  20. #20
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    Starching before cutting will definately help, also laying the fabric on sand paper will help to hold it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    Today I was marking seam allowances on strips for strip sets. I mark the seam allowances because I don't have a quilter foot for my machine and never got accurate seams when I marked 1/4" on my machine. I seemed to have a bit of trouble today marking them. Sorry if I don't make sense on this... I'd lay the strip down on the table, lay the ruler down, and kept having trouble getting the edge of the strip to line with the 1/4" mark on my ruler. Kept having to shift the fabric underneath the ruler to line up that edge to the mark on the ruler. Guess not a huge deal, but probably could have gotten them done quicker if I didn't need to line the edge up. Checked the width my strips and went to see if they were wonky---nothing wrong there. They are thinner strips (1 3/8" wide) and I wonder if because they're so thin they're shifting around more than...say a thicker 2 1/2" strip.

    Still have more thin strips to cut out. Would using starch before cutting help with these thinner strips lay straight when I need to mark them and keep them from shifting and stretching?

  21. #21
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I have found that when I'm sewing two pieces together that seem to be different weights I have to starch the thinner fabric more to kind of balance the weight of the two.

  22. #22
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    Also - lay the fabric on fine sandpaper when you draw the lines - the fabric won't move.

  23. #23
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    To save yourself time, have you ever tried putting several strips of masking tape to make a "dam" at the 1/4" inch spot on your face plate? Or, you can use a pad of extra sticky post-its at the 1/4" line. Put your favorite ruler under your machine needle and lower it gently on the closest 1/4" line to the edge and line it up with the face plate. Slide the post-its up against the ruler and stick it down. Or, put a strip of masking tape along the ruler. Then, remove the ruler and keep putting strips of masking tape on top of the first strip, making sure that they are evenly aligned. Do this until you have a substantial pile of strips, enough to guide your strips through the machine. It can be as long as you need to have it so as to keep the fabric from wobbling. Hope this helps.

  24. #24
    Senior Member QuilterGary's Avatar
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    I have just started starching before cutting, wish I had started sooner. I also found that those little sandpaper dots work great on my ruler.

  25. #25
    Junior Member
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    Since I have been using starch before I cut, I very seldom need to pin anything, your pieces just cooperate when stitching. It may take time to starch, but very little time to piece or match up points, things just fall into place. Won't go back to not using starch, it also helps with fabric that likes to ravel, such as homespun.

    good Luck

    Suzy

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