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Thread: Starching cut pieces?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Juztme's Avatar
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    Starching cut pieces?

    I am working on my first quilt and have all the pieces cut and laid out on my design board. I now find that I should have starched my fabric. Is it too late? Can I spray starch? When and who is the best way to starch so I don't do this again!!

  2. #2
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have starched mine after cutting, just make sure not to move the iron around them and stretch them. Just set the iron down and lift to press them. Mine have always turned out good.

  3. #3
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    In the future if you are going to starch it is best if you do so before you cut. There is no rule that says you have to starch - I do think my cuts come out better if I do, but that is just my personal opinion

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    go ahead and starch. spray them and let it set for a few seconds until the white foam disappears so that you won't get the white residue and then becareful and not move your iron too much so you don't stretch you fabric. You don't always have to starch but if I'm doing angles then it's a good idea for sure. If I'm doing a block and need it to lie flat I'll starch it.
    Judy

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would probably wait to spray starch until after you have completed a block. At that point you can use spray starch to "block" the block to correct size.

    Starching before cutting, just as with washing before cutting, is a personal preference. I don't starch fabrics before cutting, but then I also don't prewash. Starching, for me, is not necessary for fabric right off the bolt because that fabric already contains some sizing from the manufacturer. If I need to wash a fabric, however, washing removes the manufacturer's sizing and can leave the fabric limp. That kind of fabric I will starch before cutting, to restore some stability and stiffness to the fabric.

    Did you wash this fabric before cutting out the pieces? In that case, you do have the option of spray starching before piecing, as you can be pretty sure the cut pieces won't shrink or bleed. If the fabric was not pre-washed, you run the risk of the pieces shrinking or distorting if you spray starch. Besides, unwashed fabric usually has enough sizing in it so that starch is not needed.

    In a situation where I need extreme exactness in piecing, I would heavily starch unwashed fabric before cutting to ensure extremely precise cutting and piecing. A few quilters do this routinely. I just skip any step that I think is not absolutely necessary, as it takes me long enough to complete a quilt already!

  6. #6
    Super Member Doreen's Avatar
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    I don't starch. When I press my fabric before cutting I use Best Press. You need to be care that you don't stretch your fabric since it is already cut.

  7. #7
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    If I forget to starch before I cut, I generally will spray starch the pieces and let them dry all the way before I press. I can never get it right if I press while the fabric is damp/wet--it either shrivels up or stretches out--operator error?probably--but letting it dry cuts down on my catastrophes.
    Bernie

  8. #8
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    I don't starch very often. When I do it is cause the fabric is kinda wimpy and I am sewing some pointy triangles. If I have lots to do, I'd lay down some scrap pressing sheet on the ironing board first, just so it doesn't get all scuzzy. then I'd lay lot's of pieces down close together cause that spray goes everywhere. then like the others suggested spray and let set till foam goes away and press up and down to dry. Move when cool.
    I don't usually spray yardage, but I will decide to spray after I cut strips - occasionally.

  9. #9
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty pat View Post
    I have starched mine after cutting, just make sure not to move the iron around them and stretch them. Just set the iron down and lift to press them. Mine have always turned out good.
    I agree. Go ahead and starch just lift and press. Don't slide your iron.
    Tammy

    Life Is A Banquet and Most Poor Suckers Are Starving!

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Press on a firm surface. Too fluffy or soft surface will distort the cut fabric.
    Got fabric?

  11. #11
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    my routine is to cut, starch, press, sew block together, starch, press block.....LOL!!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I have never starched fabric when making a quilt top. I honestly did not know about that trick until I joined this board and have yet to try it. I understand it can help if you have diagonal cuts. I always wash my fabrics to remove the sizing, before cutting, because I prefer working with soft, pliable cloth.

    But I have found that if you are sewing a diagonal cut to a straight cut, put the diagonal on the bottom and it will not stretch as much.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  13. #13
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    Aaah Be Careful ! On my first quilt I ran into trouble with half square triangles and it was suggested I try starch - so I did. But I used spray starch on unwashed fabric and proceeded to either shrink or distort the squares. Of course being so new I didn't notice until I had sewn the whole thing together and everything came out wonky. I ended up unpicking the entire quilt and recutting all the pieces a half inch smaller to make uniform sizes and then reassembling the now-smaller quilt. It all turned out okay in the end - but there was a lot of heart ache along the way.

    By the way - the trouble I was having with half square triangles ? I have since figured out that if I had just pressed the seams before pressing open most of my troubles would have gone away. Ah experience - she is cruelly won sometimes.

  14. #14
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    i wonder what happened SoSewSue - I never prewash my fabric and have always starched....hmmmm...????
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  15. #15
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 117becca View Post
    i wonder what happened SoSewSue - I never prewash my fabric and have always starched....hmmmm...????
    You spray starch after cutting the fabric? It's a risk. A lot depends on the fabric; some will not shrink, but some will and there's probably no good way to tell in advance. This is why it is not recommended to wash or spray starch pre-cuts (which are always unwashed fabrics).

    Also, half square triangles are one of the worst cuts in terms of distortion problems. Shrinkage of 1/32" might not show up in cuts of 5" squares when put together, but that same shrinkage in cuts of small half-square triangles could well be disastrous.

  16. #16
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie View Post
    If I forget to starch before I cut, I generally will spray starch the pieces and let them dry all the way before I press. I can never get it right if I press while the fabric is damp/wet--it either shrivels up or stretches out--operator error?probably--but letting it dry cuts down on my catastrophes.
    I starch everything after washing & before cutting. With that said, I totally agree, if forgotten...let them dry before pressing. I've had them do all of the above and/or stick to the iron, yuk!

  17. #17
    BMP
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    In the future if you are going to starch it is best if you do so before you cut. There is no rule that says you have to starch - I do think my cuts come out better if I do, but that is just my personal opinion
    I agree and do it the same way..

  18. #18
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    Sounds like starching is a good thing with the preference being when you starch is what works best for you. This is really great info for a beginner. Especially on the stretching of the fabric. I am so glad to hear about so many ways to do things from people who are experienced. Maybe I will learn and won't make the same mistakes. At least it will give me different ways to do something so I can see what is best and easiest for me.

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    Read on a few posts on these forums that jelly rolls can stretch when sewing (know I have had some of my own 2 1/2 cut stops start raveling a lot eve n if I set them aside someplace where I want them to not gt touched a lot--and I use quality quilting fabric from quilt stores). Want to find that post to ask if she starches purchased jelly roll strips before sewing. Do know I need to see strips in opposite directions when sewing complete strips full length. Anyone here starch purchased jelly roll strips?

  20. #20
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    Been wanting to cut lots of strips fro my scraps and some fabric I want to use in donated quilts that may be 1 yard lengths or so with my new AccuQuilt to have on hand for future scrap quilts. Took some 1/2 yard pieces and placed on a laundry dryer where I could place the fabrics over the wires to dry after spraying so I could do several pieces outside t a time and let them air dry since our weather has been clear and nice (Alameda, CA) the past few days. Does anyone see a problem with starching my fabrics this way instead of pacing the fabric flat on ironing board and letting dry thre? Ironing board not that big so would take a while to starch 1 yard pieces t a time and want to cut several at a time since but cutter can do 6 layers of fabric in one swipe. Once they have dried I press,then cut down to needed widths for accuquilt die pass through. Does anyone see a problem with fabric hanging to dry (like we used to do with sheets, etc per dryer days) versus laying flat? Otherwise would need to lay on a tarp on lawn then possible flip sides over! Trying to make myself some "kits" so when I want to sew without a planned quilt in mid I can just grab some precut strips and quickly get some charity strips sewn. Next ? will be best way to store. I think starching helps stop fraying when strips are of looser woven fabric too. These strips are all quilt store quality fabric but some seem to fray quicker than others due to how tightly they were woven by manufacturer, etc. Like making strips of my scrap batiks as they are made from Pima cotton I think or cotton has a much tighter weave then printed type usually. Sorry for long post!

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