I am finally learning to love starch! It took me awhile to warm up to the idea but I’ve used starch on my last few quilt projects and have been pretty happy with it. Once I learned how to spray starch on the back side of the fabric and let it soak in first before I pressed the fabric, I was much happier with my results.
My good friend Alyssa from Pile O’Fabric put together these two wonderful video tutorials on how to starch your fabrics, including blocks and cut pieces.
My vote for favorite brand? Niagra spray starch. It’s super cheap and I can get it by the bundle at Sam’s Club. I was surprised at how quickly I ran through my first bottle.
Along with starch, my other favorite item to share with you this week is a Big Board. I’m sorry that I don’t have a source for them. I’ve only seen them at quilt shows and through distributors. Unfortunately they are way too big and bulky for me to carry in my store. 😦
If you see one out and about in your travels, be sure to pick it up. I can iron 1/2 yard length of fabric without having to move it around. Yippee! It sits right on top of my regular ironing board and I love it. When I fold up my iron for storage, the board stands right next to it.
Hi all – be sure to read all of the comments that go along with this post. Many of my wonderful blog readers have added links showing where to get one or how to make one. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!!!
18 thoughts on “Favorite Tools – Starch and a Big Board”
Another suggestion about starch. My mother taught me to spray completely with starch and then roll or fold fabric. Place fabric in plastic bag in refrigerator so starch has opportunity to completely be absorbed by the fabric. I usually leave my fabric in the fridge for 4-12 hours. The fabric presses beautifully, with very little effort, and the starch does not glop up my iron.
Just wanted to say Thank you for the referrals to my blog…The link for the DIY Ironing board is http://www.quiltmonstercloset.com/2011/12/diy-supersized-ironing-board.html
It’s pretty easy to make if you want to make one yourself. 🙂
To add to the previous comment on starch i found this recipe at quiltingboard.com that uses Vodka instead of starch —
1 tsp lavender essential oil Note: optional if allergic to scents.
3 oz. vodka
Then add to 24oz distilled water in large spray bottle and shake well.
Hint: Vodka is made from potatoes , a natural starch.
hi christa, i’m a big fan of starch now too, thanks to the Skillbuilders BOM, anyhow it gets expensive when we use so much and i don’t have the selections you have in the U.S. (i’m in Canada), so i started researching DIY starch recipes. I found this site with a simple recipe–
there is mixed opinions out there on whether it should be cooked or not, also the addition of essential oils or citrus oil acts as a preservative. Worth a try. Enjoy your holiday
I found this for you https://bigboardenterprises.com/ 🙂
I have also discovered starch recently, especially when cutting triangles, it’s o much easier to keep the bias cut from stretching! thanks for sharing the tutorials!
I am also a fan of starch and big boards. My caveat to the big board is to be certain that your ironing board can stand up to the weight of the board. Mine was set next to my bed, and I watched in horror one evening as the leg gave way and buckled and in slow motion everything on the board slid towards me. Fortunately there was not a hot iron on the board at the time.
I made my board based upon directions I found online. http://quiltingcorgis.blogspot.com/2010/08/productively-mixed-weekend.html Last year I removed the silver fabric and replaced it with a painter’s drop cloth (similar to cotton duck in that it is a thick cotton and substantially cheaper). The silver fabric was pretty slick and squares would slip while I was pressing them. It also reflected a lot of heat back and I was not as satisfied with it when using steam.
What a great idea to use it on top the standard board and stand it up next to it when not in use! Why didn’t I think of that. LOL I wanted to make one but just didn’t know where to set it up and store it. I use Magic Sizing instead of starch and it doesn’t glum up my iron. I appreciate the other tips your readers have left. THANKS!
For the best deal on startch buy Sta-Flo at Wal-Mart for under $3 and a spray bottle and mix your own. The $3 bottle will get you about 30 large spray bottles of starch – so BIG savings so you can buy more fabric!!!
Can you share how many parts starch to water? Thanks
I buy spray starch so there’s no need to add any water.
My bottle reads: super heavy starch: use it straight; heavy starch: half water and half starch … and so on. VERY economical.
Now I need to get the pieces to make my own “big board”.
~Christina in Cleveland
Thank you all for sharing your links with everyone else!
there was recently a tutorial on anotehr blog that I read about making your own big board and you can check out her tutorial over at http://www.quiltmonstercloset.com/ I am waiting on my hubby to make me one of these maybe this weekend if the rain holds out.
My DH made me a board like this from an old extra one I found in the junk room. Love it. Christine at http://www.quiltmonstercloset.com/ has a great tutorial on how to make one for those of us that are DIYers.
I learned the joys of starch from Sharon Schamber, she also recommends a **hard** pressing surface, spongy surfaces may distort your blocks when pressing. Another fave is Elmer’s School Glue — non toxic and washes out in the laundry. Use it to match your points then press and sew. It prevents your fabrics from shifting when stitching and you don’t have to use pins (which can also distort your fabric). Sharon Schamber is an award winning quilt artist and has several videos on YouTube.
A “big board” is something I would love to have. I hate how I have to keep rearranging my fabric or quilt top on my ironing board to iron it and then it gets wrinkly again. I am wondering if you would tell me the measurements of the big board, maybe it is something that could be made by going to Home Depot and purchasing plywood in the correct measurements, and then adding some batting and a top fabric to cover it. What do you think? Maybe it could be a tutorial, LOL.
Thank you! I love your daily messages.
Hi Christa – I was just reading your post and of course had to go check out the Big Board and found this link – https://bigboardenterprises.com/ Must have one of these!!!
Love using starch! Just discovered its many uses with quilting not too long ago. Can’t imaging sewing without it now!
Lisa Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam http://www.thequiltjam.blogspot.com