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Thread: Starch

  1. #1
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    Do any of you starch before you start a project - and how stiff do you make your fabric. Also, I have been looking for the liquid starch in a gallon container - usually its blue but cannot find it here in the Ozarks. Do they still make it? There was an article about making your own liquid starch with corn starch. I tried it - nope, didn't work.......any suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member laureneberhard's Avatar
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    I don't general starch any of my fabrics unless they are really flimsy. I like to use Magic Spray as it isn't quite as stiff as starch. I think this is a personal preference and has lots to do with what type of piecing you are doing.
    The WM and Dollar Stores near me sell blue starch, but not by the gallon.

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    Wal Mart has gallon sized Sta Flo. I really like it to help keep the backing fabric stiff when I do FMQ. Sometimes I use it when I piece. I like to mix my own strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stitchinwitch
    Do any of you starch before you start a project - and how stiff do you make your fabric. Also, I have been looking for the liquid starch in a gallon container - usually its blue but cannot find it here in the Ozarks. Do they still make it? There was an article about making your own liquid starch with corn starch. I tried it - nope, didn't work.......any suggestions? Thanks
    Last I knew Wal-Mart carried it. My last bottle I bought was over a year ago and I use it all the time! It is in the laundry isle usually on the top shelf just above the magic sizing.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I starch everything. I cut better and sew better when the fabric is about stiff enough to stand up! Seriously, I starch pretty stiff. It helps me. Our Wal-Mart has Sta-Flo in the big jugs near the laundry products.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I use starch most of the time. So far I have only used the spray starch or sizing, but I did buy a big jug and intend to try that soon.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    Just last week I picked up a jug at Walmart, haven't used it yet. It was under $3, and looks like it'll go a long way.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's a quart size blue bottle of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch that I keep on hand. It is still made and sold. Try going to customer service and requesting your local store to carry it.

  9. #9
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I starch the crap out of my fabric. It makes it easier to cut and holds the fabric together as well as it makes it so much easier for FMQ. Also, I use kids washable markers for marking my quilt tops and I never have had any problem with marks coming out after washing. I think it's because I'm marking on the starch and not the fabric :D

  10. #10
    QM
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    I don't like the feel of starch, but I do use spray sizing on some projects, particularly Mariner's compasses.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    I can understand the starch making it easier to rotary cut, and piece on a machine, but won't starch make it more difficult to hand quilt? I've never learned to quilt on a machine because the only machine I have is a Singer Fashion Mate 360 from the 1970's (It has 6 stitches-LOL) I am learning to piece on it though. When I was taught quilting the rule was always wash first and use no starch. Since I'm trying to learn new ideas, I was wondering.

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I soak my fabrics with starch, let them air dry and then press. I find for me, the fabric is easier to cut, press, and my blocks do not stretch. I can also finger press some seams and they really stay nicely.

    Starch the backings the same way, I rarely have a pucker.

    I don't hand quilt, so I can't answer that question :D:D:D

  13. #13
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    I starch the fabrics that I'll be using for a quilt a day or two before starting the project. I use the Sta Flo brand in the blue bottle and dilute 50/50, spray or soak the fabric, then let it "soak" into the fabric for a minimum of 2 hours, then air dry, then press.

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    It looks like both of our WalMarts choose NOT to carry it - I have been checking it out for the last 6 months. Thanks

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    Super Member Furza Flyin's Avatar
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    I just got home from buying some. Both Walmart and Winco carry the liquid starch. I use 50/50 and a spray bottle. I do make sure I rinse out the spray part of the bottle after a day of sewing it tends to gunk up if I dont and leave it sit over night.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamagal
    I can understand the starch making it easier to rotary cut, and piece on a machine, but won't starch make it more difficult to hand quilt? I've never learned to quilt on a machine because the only machine I have is a Singer Fashion Mate 360 from the 1970's (It has 6 stitches-LOL) I am learning to piece on it though. When I was taught quilting the rule was always wash first and use no starch. Since I'm trying to learn new ideas, I was wondering.
    I hand quilt and also use the Sta Flo starch with no problems.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Thank you so much!! Can't wait to try it !! Will make things much easier!!

  18. #18
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I just spray starch my dresden plates when they were all put together so it would stay better while working with them. this is the first time I did this and it does make a difference. I like it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member dgsmom's Avatar
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    i starch when i'm piecing blocks like jacob's ladder, shoo fly. i use mary ellen's best press i purchase mine at the lqs and the have the bigger containers. i also have seen it at hancock's. it is a clear starch alernative and it is available in different scents.

  20. #20
    Cyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamagal
    I can understand the starch making it easier to rotary cut, and piece on a machine, but won't starch make it more difficult to hand quilt? I've never learned to quilt on a machine because the only machine I have is a Singer Fashion Mate 360 from the 1970's (It has 6 stitches-LOL) I am learning to piece on it though. When I was taught quilting the rule was always wash first and use no starch. Since I'm trying to learn new ideas, I was wondering.
    I'm curious about it making hand quilting harder also.

  21. #21
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn
    Quote Originally Posted by Bamagal
    I can understand the starch making it easier to rotary cut, and piece on a machine, but won't starch make it more difficult to hand quilt? I've never learned to quilt on a machine because the only machine I have is a Singer Fashion Mate 360 from the 1970's (It has 6 stitches-LOL) I am learning to piece on it though. When I was taught quilting the rule was always wash first and use no starch. Since I'm trying to learn new ideas, I was wondering.
    I'm curious about it making hand quilting harder also.
    I starch and hand quilt also and I don't have a problem.

  22. #22
    Senior Member calicocat's Avatar
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    I starch nearly everything. My quilts come out much much better and the fabric is easier to work with, less stretching and slipping.

    It took me a while to figure out how to get enough on the fabric and then how to not get to much.

    I now use and old wash tub. I pour in one bottle of starch and two bottles of water. Then I just dunk the fabric until it is soaked wring out and throw in the dryer.

    Using a spray bottle of water I mist the fabric the iron. Don't stretch the fabic as you iron or it will distort. Jus press it out nicely.

    It is a process but I find it to be well worth my effort.

  23. #23
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    I do starch sometimes, especially if I know I will have lots of bias edges to contend with. I make my own however. It's much cheaper, no chemicals and I always have the ingredients on hand since it only requires water and corn starch.

    Here's the recipe if anyone is interested:
    In a two cup Pyrex measuring cup, mix 1/2 - 1 tsp. corn starch with a tablespoon or two of room temperature water. Add one cup boiling water and stir well. Add one cup room temp. water and stir well. Cool just a bit, then pour into your own spray bottle (the kind they sell in the gardening section at walmart).

    A few notes - the amount of corn starch you add will determine the stiffness of your fabric. I like mine a bit stiffer so I add a good teaspoon.
    Remember to give the sprayer a shake before you use it and a few times while using it to keep everything well mixed.
    Because this has no preservatives, each batch will only last a week or two and will then need to be discarded, if there's any left.
    Like all starches (either homemade or store bought) it can attract critters like silverfish, so make sure you don't store starched fabric. (Honestly, I have never had this happen, but since it can, it needs mentioned.)

  24. #24
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    I heve been quilting about 50 years abd I never use starch.

  25. #25
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I use the Stay-Flo starch in a 1 to 1 ratio. I bought a spray bottle of Niagra starch that was OK, but expensive. I kept the bottle to reuse for the Stay-Flo mixture, my reasoning was the Niagra spray bottle was designed for starch. It has not clogged once.

    I starch heavy and I don't worry about bugs eating the starch since I don't store the starched fabrics. I figure by the time I'm done piecing a top, dragging it across the floor, running over the corners of it with my chair, general handling, and a Dachshund sitting on my lap while I pieced it, it needs a run through the washer after it is finished and quilted, so all the starch will come out in the wash. I don't make works of art so my system works for me. YMMV

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