Monday, June 19, 2023

Quilting 101 Series: Spray Starch for Quilting

Starch - What is it?

Do you remember ironing when you were a kid?  My mom (way back in the dark ages - OK, maybe the 1960's) paid me 10 cents a pillowcase, 5 cents for a handkerchief, and 15 cents for my dads shirts!  She hated ironing - at least she never asked me to iron sheets - (whatever)...

Well, with all this ironing, came STARCHING!.  Mom used to starch dad's pants, and then put these wire frame 'thingee' (technical term) in them to make them in this weird shape.   I was never part of this strange process, but trust me, it used to happen weekly!

But again, way back then starch was a big deal.  Today, with polyester and new technologies have made starch relegated to old times - and to quilters... !

Starching Quilt Police

There are so many opinions about whether you should starch, not starch, wash, not wash your fabrics.  

Understand that it is up to YOU whether you do any of these steps.  There is no right or wrong. It is up to you whether you starch, use water or nothing at all when working with your fabric. This is your project, do what makes you happy.

When you are quilting, it is important that your fabric cutting and piecing is accurate.  Otherwise you end up with corners that don’t meet up, or maybe even wonky points.  Starching fabric is what a lot of quilters do to ensure precise piecing.  Again, your choice.

Quilter’s Moonshine Recipes

#1 Quilters Moonshine
1/3 cup vodka (the cheapest is best and it must be potato-based)
2/3 cup distilled water (distilled water is recommended to ensure there are no minerals that could spot your fabric) 

Shake well and put in your favorite spray bottle.

#2 Starch Variation
1 gallon distilled water
1/2 c liquid starch (like Sta-Flo)
1 cup vodka  cheapest vodka you can find, etc)
Optional: A couple of drops of your favorite essential oil (like lavender or a citrus).
Shake and put in your favorite spray bottle. You can probably adjust the amount of Sta-Flo to your liking for stiffness.
#3 Best Press
Popular retail quilt fabric sizing that many quilters use.  Comes in in a bottle with spray device.  (Note, bought one bottle of Best Press and I now use as my WATER spray bottle.)

There was some discussion on-line about the darkening of the liquid, is it still safe to use? The general consensus was to discard it and not take a chance. Or, test it out on a piece of fabric you don’t like or maybe muslin. My thought, make small batches to avoid and damage!

You may also be interested in:

This Quilting 101 series is a compilation of the demonstrations and lectures that we have been providing to the Mulberry Chapter of the Quilt Guild Of The Villages. (QGOTV) in Florida. We began this series with various speakers. Many thanks to Barb, Dale, and MaryAnn and Betty B. for their contributions. I have been taking the notes and turning them into blog posts to share with other quilters.

Mulberry Quilting is a Chapter under the larger umbrella of the Quilting Guild Of The Villages (QGOTV).  In July of 2023,  QGOTV membership count is 1,238. Chapters are formed in different regions of The Villages, a 55+ retirement community in Central Florida.

Shadywood Quilts is a full service professional business that can help you complete your quilt at most any stage. We also 'fix' quilts made by non-professionals. If you get started, and don't feel you are going to be able to complete your quilt. Take pictures of your quilt in process, email it to us, and we can let you know if we can help you get it finished.


No comments: