Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tidbit Tuesday #45 - Starching

Good Tuesday to you my friends! 

I have another tidbit for you today! Two weeks in a row even! 

This is a tip that I have grown to love and use all the time.  At first I groaned because I thought it took too long but after giving it a fair chance, I can't imagine not doing it.  

Starching.  Is. Amazing. 

I don't know about you, but I use a lot of Fat Quarters and Fat Eights.  Upon opening these, they always have folds that are not always so easy to get out. If you are anything like me, you want to give those pretties a quick iron and get to cutting so you can delve right into your project, right? That was me.  Inpatient and quick to cut.  This almost always resulted in inaccurate cutting which doesn't bode well when it comes to putting the quilt together.

Fabric is Ansonia by Denyse Schmidt for Freespirit!

Here is what I do with all my fabric before I cut it. 

First open up the fabric and lay it wrong side up. Using your favorite starch spray the wrong side of the fabric.  I like to use Faultless Heavy Starch as I can just starch one side and be good.  If you use a lighter starch, you may have to repeat the process on both sides, and perhaps more than once.  You will have to test to see what works for you. 

Note:  When I am pressing my blocks (using the same method) I use a lighter starch like Flatter! Love that stuff!! It smells sooooooo good! 

Love my Oliso Iron and Flatter by Soak!!

After you lightly sprayed the starch, let it sit for a minute or two.  I usually work in pairs.  I will starch two fat quarters, or whatever, wait two minutes, press one and before I start the second one, have a third sprayed.  This way one is always ready to go after I am done pressing. 

BEFORE you press, flip your fabric so the right side is now up.  Now press your fabric.  Go kind of slow.  You want the starch to raise up through the fabric as you press and you don't want the fabric to be wet so give it a good pressing. If you still have stubborn wrinkles in your fabric, after pressing the right side of the fabric, now spray the right side of the fabric with the starch, let sit, and then flip it to the wrong side and press.  Just remember you always want to draw the starch up through the fabric to your iron.  Never iron directly on the starch you just sprayed.  

Once you do this, your fabric will be wrinkle free and crisper.  Starching also stabilizes the fabric which is extra good when you are working with the bias edges!! It also helps  your fabric from fraying.  Who doesn't love that when you have to trim all those frayed edges from the back of a pieced top before getting it quilted??!! 

Another thing I have noticed with starching is that my cutting has been much easier and more accurate.  Nice crisp clean cuts! 

Oh and don't worry.  Your quilts won't be super stiff from starching (unless you go reallllyy overboard..lol)  and all of it will wash out!!! 

The morale of this story is that if you take your time in prepping the fabric, your quilts will go together easier and will come our more accurate.  Who doesn't want that? :)

These are all my personal thoughts on this subject matter.  What are your thoughts on starching?? 

Much Love!!!!


  1. Humm, maybe I should try that. I'm currently doing a diamond quilt, cut on a Jelly Roll, Because I will sew on the biais, I starched heavily. I have made a home made starch from corn starch and water. It is a bit ticker but it gets really stiff, it's like cutting a sheet of paper. But I ironed directly on the starch, and did'nt wait 2 minutes. Thanks for your tricks, I will do better for the other half of the qui;t

  2. Any thoughts on the ironing board with all that starching? I ask because I've been doing more starching lately and this morning had to iron an actual blouse. First I had to clean all the threads off my board that had stuck to the starch. Then I was nervous about ironing clothing on the starchy board. I guess it can't hurt right?

    1. I LOVE starch especially when doing tiny blocks-love tiny blocks! I have actually mixed my own so my fabric was stiff like paper. My bias didn't stretch!LOL I never ironed the opposite side of the sprayed one. I will definitely try that. I covered my ironing board with some silver utility fabric that let's me wipe off the excess starch and accumulated lint/threads

  3. Such a great tip. I never knew you needed to iron on the unsprayed side to draw the starch up through the fabric.

  4. Well, I guess now I'll have to give it a try! My hubby has always been the starcher in the family - he likes his shirts to stand in the corner by themselves - but maybe I should try it myself! Thanks for the tip!

  5. I have just discovered starching my fabric and love it! However, I read that since starch is food based, it attracts bugs. Shouldn't be a problem as long as the quilt gets washed. Another alternative is Mary Ellen's Best Press - LOVE it! It's not food based so it won't attract bugs. Thanks for the great post - I didn't know to iron on the opposite side either!

  6. I use spray starch all the time, usually Niagara (like Faultless) but also use MaryEllen's Best Press (much lighter). I haven't tried Flatter yet, but I'm sure I'll be checking it out at QuiltCon....if not before then.

  7. I love the crispness of starched fabric!

  8. I ALWAYS starch my fabrics. It make the fabrics behaves and really works great with bias edges. Didn't think about pressing from the opposite side...good hint. I cover my ironing board with a piece of old fabric or kitchen towel so that the starch doesn't build up on my ironing board cover. You might want to find some liquid starch in your local grocery store. I usually dilute it with water - 1 cup starch to 1-1/2 cups. Works GREAT and saves money.


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really love hearing from you!! :)

Happy Quilting!

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