There is a new movement that is underway. You may or may not be aware that a lot of fabric and pattern designers are practicing a technique that supposedly makes cutting, sewing, and fabric handling much nicer.
I have never been a pre-washer. Not at all. Well, once when I made a red and white quilt I did pre-wash the reds, but that is it. I love to use pre-cuts, and pre-washing those little pieces of fabric (that already come so nice and crisp and tidy) is insane. They end up in a linty, tangled ball in the machine. Don't do it, I am warning you. It's a mess.
That being said, this new method I am referring to has completely gotten my attention. It started with a Carrie Nelson post on "The Moda Cutting Table". Go ahead, click on the link and go read the post, I will wait.....
So, what Carrie does is starch the dickens out of her precut pieces before cutting and sewing them. She references Lisa Bonjean of Primitive Gatherings, who also recently posted on her starch habit. Both these pros use spray starch or spray sizing before cutting and piecing. They agree that it helps pre-shrink the fabric and most beneficially, aids in cutting and piecing as the fabric is crisper and has more body.
Since these two gals have a proven track record of knowing what they are doing, I decided to give their suggestion a try. In the photo above, you can see my set up on my patio table. I spread out some plastic to protect the table and got going with my spray starching. One accessory Carrie recommends is a spray attachment you can put on any spray can to make the spraying go easier.
I got my spray nozzle at my local ACE hardware store for around $4. It snaps on the top of any spray can (you can find it in the paint section). I bought a new can of Faultless Spray starch at the grocery store and was good to go. I went with the least expensive starch, because I was warned that I would go through A LOT of starch.
No kidding. That full can of spray starch did not quite last through the full fat eighth bundle I was prepping. If you were starching a fat quarter bundle, I swear you would need at least two cans of starch. You want to completely saturate the fabric. I had two fat eighths to go when I ran out of starch, so I switched to Magic Sizing. I will be interested to see what if any difference there is between the two products.
I turned the tables on my crazy neighbor down the hill from us. He is always doing bizarre things, and this time I trumped him with doing something wacky. Hah. Bet he is still guessing what the heck I was doing out there on my porch.
I will let you know what I think of this method when I start cutting and piecing my Gardenvale fabrics for the Crop Circles project!