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Thread: starch? when

  1. #1
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    On another thread here, I read how important it is to starch, but what do you starch ...or when do you starch? After a block is done? After the blocks have been sewn into a quilt top? Are we talking spray starch here or that awful stuff that I barely remember?

    I thought I was beginning to be more than a beginner, but I have not starched anything yet. What should I be starching? Have I goofed on the quilts that I have made?

  2. #2
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    This is what I learned from this site...starch before you cut your fabric because it helps to make more accurate cuts and helps control bias edges. They also starch the blocks as they go along. I didn't use to starch but I find it helps my accuracy in cutting--I'm a terrible cutter :roll: I use the Stay-Flo liquid starch that comes in the 2 quart bottle from Walmart mixing it with water in a spray bottle. Some use a 50/50 ratio, some more, some less. I have also used the starch in the spray can.

    There's also another brand of starch that comes in various aromas, lavender, rose, etc. I forget the name of it but other's on this board swear by it because it doesn't leave the flakes that regular starch uses but it costs more than regular starch.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    You haven't done anything wrong, your other quilts will be fine. Starching (I use the spray) just stiffens up the fabric enough so that you can handle it better, line it up better, etc. One of the most important things it can help with is when your working with bias to help keep from stretching it out (or warping it out of shape) just remember to "press" and not to "iron"

  4. #4
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie
    This is what I learned from this site...starch before you cut your fabric because it helps to make more accurate cuts and helps control bias edges. They also starch the blocks as they go along. I didn't use to starch but I find it helps my accuracy in cutting--I'm a terrible cutter :roll: I use the Stay-Flo liquid starch that comes in the 2 quart bottle from Walmart mixing it with water in a spray bottle. Some use a 50/50 ratio, some more, some less. I have also used the starch in the spray can.

    There's also another brand of starch that comes in various aromas, lavender, rose, etc. I forget the name of it but other's on this board swear by it because it doesn't leave the flakes that regular starch uses but it costs more than regular starch.
    I just saw it on another post! It's called "Mary Ellen's Best Press!"

  5. #5
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    I always starch my fabrics before I ever cut them. I have used regular starch from the grocery store but I prefer Mary Ellen's. It is alot more expensive so I suggest that you 'hide' it from the rest of the family (in case they are ironing any of their clothes and might want to use starch).

    Another word of caution...I buy my Mary Ellen's in a gallon container and then refill my little spray bottle as needed. I took a Sharpie marker and wrote on my gallon container that it is NOT to be put inside my iron. According to a quilt shop employee, someone was under the impression that one should put it in the iron (like distilled water)...that is a very big no,no. I did not want my hubby or daughters doing that so I labeled that bottle.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks for the information. I will be starching my stuff before I cut from now on!!

  7. #7
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    love all of the comments, we learn from each other

  8. #8
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    I learned at our Guild that using Sizing helps to stabilize the fabric before cutting, and after completing a block, or a big section you have completed.
    That was 5 years ago that the spray sizing was talked about at our Guild. At that time, they were telling us to not use spray starch, as it attracts insects and moths, esp. So, the sizing didn't, they told us at that time. It could have all changed by now, for all I know.
    That is what I like about the quilting board; you get all sorts of opinions and ways of doing things. We are always learning!
    Mariah

  9. #9
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I like to cut before I cut, then again when a block is finished. I square up my blocks and find if I starch them they are so much easier to handle.

  10. #10
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I make my own spray starch that is similar to the expensive stuff you can buy in the LQS. Contact me if you need the recipe. It takes only a few min and makes a couple of qts. with 2 T of liquid starch.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam B
    I always starch my fabrics before I ever cut them. I have used regular starch from the grocery store but I prefer Mary Ellen's. It is alot more expensive so I suggest that you 'hide' it from the rest of the family (in case they are ironing any of their clothes and might want to use starch).

    Another word of caution...I buy my Mary Ellen's in a gallon container and then refill my little spray bottle as needed. I took a Sharpie marker and wrote on my gallon container that it is NOT to be put inside my iron. According to a quilt shop employee, someone was under the impression that one should put it in the iron (like distilled water)...that is a very big no,no. I did not want my hubby or daughters doing that so I labeled that bottle.
    Where do you find Mary Ellen's by the gallon?

  12. #12
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stitchhappy
    Quote Originally Posted by Pam B
    I always starch my fabrics before I ever cut them. I have used regular starch from the grocery store but I prefer Mary Ellen's. It is alot more expensive so I suggest that you 'hide' it from the rest of the family (in case they are ironing any of their clothes and might want to use starch).

    Another word of caution...I buy my Mary Ellen's in a gallon container and then refill my little spray bottle as needed. I took a Sharpie marker and wrote on my gallon container that it is NOT to be put inside my iron. According to a quilt shop employee, someone was under the impression that one should put it in the iron (like distilled water)...that is a very big no,no. I did not want my hubby or daughters doing that so I labeled that bottle.
    Where do you find Mary Ellen's by the gallon?
    JoAnn's sells it online. It's $41.00 but I just ordered some with my 40% off coupon!

  13. #13
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    I buy mine at the LQS I frequent. They always have it in smaller containers but will special order it in the gallon for those who want it that way. It is about the same price as the Joann's on-line price in a previous post. Yes, I do realize it is costly but it lasts me a long time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    at our last quilt guild meeting it was recommended to use starch and not sizing for the reason above about attracting bugs, etc.

  15. #15
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammie Sharon
    at our last quilt guild meeting it was recommended to use starch and not sizing for the reason above about attracting bugs, etc.
    I've used both and had no problems with bugs... :shock:

  16. #16
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    There's been some great discussion on the Board about starch. I've learned a lot from them. If you put "starch" in search up above, you'll probably come up with several hits that have some good information. There's more than one way to do it, but I now starch and my piecing is getting more accurate.

  17. #17
    Junior Member Corry's Avatar
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    I have made my first two quilts without starching and managed. Since, I have learned all about the reason for starching and am doing so on my new quilt I have just started I have been starching and my cutting seems to be much better, more accurate. I am not very good at this cutting and have really struggled but am doing much better since I bought some good rulers and using the starch.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    Does spray starch go bad? I found a can in my closet and I'm not sure if I should use it or not. I can't even tell you how old it is?

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