Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do You Starch?

In 2003, while making the Storm at Sea quilt, 

it was recommended to use spray starch to stabilize the fabric so it would not stretch on all the bias pieces.
This quilt was made on my old Viking machine and I am amazed that it is still in one piece. I starched and starched to make sure that the edges would not stretch on the bias cut pieces, but it was a wavy mess.
I decided spray starch was worthless, too perfumy and expensive and stopped using it.
Fast forward 9 years and I have evolved as a quilter. I read a ton of blogs and gather as much knowledge as is humanly possible for my brain. I have read that the idea behind using spray starch is to use it BEFORE cutting the fabric. What a huge difference it makes! It does stabilize the fabric, making for less stretch and more perfect points. I have been starching the fabric before cutting while making my Swoon quilt 

and all those granny squares.
but I still hate the perfumed smell of the purchased spray starch.
So I searched the internet and found lots of information for making your own spray starch. Who knew it could be so easy? Here is a great article on using spray starch. There are different ideas but I like this one the best and now I am an avid starcher! is that even a word?

Recipe
2 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water.
Mix the cold mixture into the boiling water and allow to cool.
Put into a spray bottle and you are all set. Shake before using.

The rules are, only starch the fabric before you cut it and only starch what you are going to use soon. Since spray starch is a food item it can attract little bugs, so you don't want to store fabric that has been starched.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

10 comments:

Flying Blind... said...

Does it wash out nicely? I am too worried about it leaving marks, especially on darker fabric.

ritad said...

Mary Ellen's Best Press works like a charm! No flaking, or sticky residue. I use it after pre washing, before cutting.

LuLu said...

I love starch! And I pretty much starch everything before I cut it. It keeps your fabric from warping underneath a hot iron. You can't beat that! Thanks so much for this recipe!

Leanne said...

Well, I never starch and worse I pre-wash everything so there is not even any sizing to stabilize. I am just careful of the bias stretch and so far that has worked. I like that you make your own if you are going to be starching at all.

Katy Cameron said...

Oh I've been starching since I started the SHQ QAL, and am now a complete convert. I only ever starched before I cut though, I never imagined anyone doing anything else...

susan said...

Have never tried starch so have no idea how it would improve things for me. Suppose if I tried more difficult blocks I should think about it.

The Cozy Pumpkin said...

I use mary ellen's best press. It's a starch alternative. And they make it in a scent freeversion. LOVE!!!

Rachel said...

Confession-I have never used starch, it scares me (silly, I know, but true!) Maybe someday....

Lynz said...

My iron got all yucky the only time I used starch. It worked fabulously but what a mess was left behind. I wish I could find Best Press here (I hear such great things about it) so I may try your DIY method. Intrigued!

Quilter in the Gap said...

I am a huge fan of starching but I use a great alternative that is not food based called Best Press. It has a great scent too! It also does not gunk up the iron. I am a huge fan...I buy it by the gallon! Here is the site to get some... http://maryellenproducts.com/Best-Press-Caribbean-Beach-The-Clear-Starch-Alternative.html