Crispy Fabric

Say what? I’ve shared this in the past, but it has been a while since I’ve worked on a quilt with a lot of bias and/or curved seams.

When I do so, I like my fabric heavily starched. And I mean crispy!

Heavily Starched Fat Quarters
Heavily Starched Fat Quarters

See that stack of fat quarters? The weight of them doesn’t even make the bottom ones droop. They are like sheets of card stock!

I’m preparing these fabrics for the Cleapatra Fan quilt block, which is all curved seams, and a whole lot of bias. I tried one quickly about a year ago, with some scrap fabric I hadn’t bothered to starch, and let me tell you it was a mess!

The seams stretched and distorted and the block was horribly wonky, so I made a note in some obscure corner of my brain that when I eventually tackled a quilt with this block, it would need some extra care.

I buy jugs of Sta-Flo liquid starch from Walmart. It is absurdly cheap. It gets mixed half and half with water, and I put it in a bucket or large bowl.

Sta-Flo Starch
Sta-Flo Starch

OUTSIDE… I dunk my fabrics in it, lights to darks in case of bleeding, (I don’t pre-wash), gently wring them out (no twisting, they’ll still be dripping wet) and hang them out to dry.

Starched and Drip Drying
Starched and Drip Drying

This is a messy job, and if there is a breeze, you might find yourself wrapped up in slimy fabric, so do this before you shower. Trust me.

In my first picture at the top I showed how stiff the fabric is when dry. Here is a fat quarter on my ironing board before I press it.

Before Pressing
Before Pressing

And here is the same fat quarter after I’ve pressed it. I use steam.

After Pressing
After Pressing

As you can see, it softens up quite a bit, but is still quite firm and a joy to cut and piece. There is enough starch in the fabric to stabilize the bias, and it will not stretch out of shape while piecing those pesky curved seams.

CJ Tinkle

Your feedback is always welcome! If you have a question, I will respond to it here.

Close Menu
Close Panel