Back again - the week goes around pretty quickly around here. The new blogger interface finally appeared on my blog - I've been avoiding installing it until I was forced to. I'm sure I'll figure it out.
Today I want to talk about starch. I really like starch. It's changed my quilting life.
I pre-wash everything, probably because I started sewing clothing and there you have to pre-wash/pre-treat all your fabric. I also worry that colours will run - which has happened to me - thankfully in the pre-wash stage. I also like the fact that if there is going to be shrinkage in any way it happens before all the sewing work.
Anyway, when you/I pre-wash I take the sizing out of the fabric - that's the stuff the manufacturer adds to fabric to make it sort of stiff and have body. I add some back in with starch because I prefer to sew with a little body in the fabric. After I've pre-washed and dried (in the dryer) I iron/press my fabric. If I'm using the fabric right away, I give it a light starch when pressing; if the fabric is going in the stash, I don't starch it until I use it.
Another great thing about starch is it helps relax the fabric a bit so you can get the wrinkles out. My Dear Jane blocks lay really flat partly because I starch them when I'm finished (and all the fabric has a light starching before sewing).
Mostly I use this starch which I get at my local grocery store (Loblaw's)
It was recommended to me by my local quilt shop owner when I made a lone star quilt for my cousin
I like that's it's not too heavy, is very reasonably priced (under $4 a can), and is easy to find. It also flakes minimally. I think this company makes a heavier starch in a purple can but I've never tried it.
Some people say moths are attracted to starch - I don't know. I have never had a moth problem.
In the spring I bought some of this at a quilt show
I did some applique on my Dear Jane quilt and used the blue starch - it worked excellently for that type of job.
I think the most important thing to remember about starch is to not over do it.