Friday, January 14, 2011

Do you starch?

vintage starch pillow from Leslie Janson.

Back when I was first exploring machine quilting I found a wonderful website written by Diane Gaudynski. She taught me how to machine quilt feathers, inspired years of purchasing muddy fabrics (kinda regret that now, sorry Diane), and taught me the joys of starch!

If you haven't starched before, you're in for a huge surprise. A floppy block suddenly becomes crisp and cooperative. Seems lie flatter. Edges don't ravel. Angels sing. No, seriously, angels sing.

Now don't go out and buy a can of spray starch. That stuff is nasty. This starch you make at home! It's easy peasy and all you need is water and cornstarch. Yup, the regular kind, used for thickening sauces and pastry cream. I'm not super exacting with my measurements, but here's the recipe I roughly follow:

Homemade Spray Starch
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups boiling water

Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1/2 cup of cold water. Add the boiling water, stirring, then stir until the mixture turns from cloudy to almost clear. Pour into a spray bottle and you're ready to go! If you don't use all the starch in one sewing session, store it at room temperature for a day or 2 or put it in the fridge for up to a month. Shake before using if it has sat for more than a few hours.

That's it! Simple, right? You can use as little or as much as you want since it washes right out. If you use a lot it will look a little white once ironed, but don't worry, as I said, just wash it.



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  1. Oh yay, I'm definitely making some of this! Thanks for your recipe :)

  2. Interesting! I recently started using that magic sizing spray from walmart, but this sounds like fun too. Starch definitely does make angels sing, lol.

  3. oooh i think i'll try this!, never heard of making your own!. i just use the spray stuff.

  4. oh man! i am so glad i clicked on your link. i want to make some of this right now!

  5. I made some about a month ago. It's been working great, thank you!!

  6. I'm kinda committed to Mary Ellen's Best Press but when my stash runs out, I'll give it the old fashioned try!

  7. my bottle of best press is pretty much gone so i am making a batch tonight. thank you

  8. Seems to me I need this recipe $$$ , ty much !