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May 03, 2017


Colleen Gander

I like to use the Niagara Starch that is non-aerosol but I can't get it in Canada. So one day I mixed up the recipe using cornstarch from my pantry and boiling water with just a drop of lavender to make it smell nice.
I add the mixture to a dish pan of warm water which works very well for most precuts, or if using yardage, I add it to the laundry sink. I dry it as you have shown and press after. Some argue that it might be a problem drawing insects but I only do what I am using for the current project and usually the quilt is washed at the end. And you are right, the most accurate piecing I have ever done.


Nicole, I TOTALLY agree! I have been sewing for MANY years and quilting for about 10 and YES the starching is really a bonus to percision piecing. Once again your blog is a great source of very helpful tips and info! Love stopping by to see whats up in your neck of the woods. :)

A side note, I am doing the Triangle Gatherings sew along and the Moda Blockheads. I didn't use starch for the blockheads and last night I was about to go crazy trying to get one of the blocks "right"...I should have listened to my gut and starched the fabric before hand! :/ Anyway, I will be starching the Block heads from now on. :)
Have a great day!

Raedene Frost

Considering spraying in a large plastic tote if you don't have the outdoor space. This works great with fat quarters and smaller. Even a large cardboard box would contain the overspray.


I'm a total believer too, starching is the way to go. I used to be an outdoor sprayer but then winter arrived so now I spray my fat quarters in our giant soaker tub, one on top of the other. I let them "marinate" for an hour then hang to dry in my loft, overnight does the trick. Someone told me that the starch works better on the backside of the fabric, so that's the side I spray now, but my pieces are so wet I can't imagine it makes any difference. You need to plan ahead, but getting the next batch of fabric starched is a real motivator to finish the current project, after spraying each piece you're really ready to start working with it.


I have become a starch girl too!! Here in Iowa I can't wait for sunny days to starch away! But then there is always the garage or bath tub for drying. Thanks for sharing!

Becky T

If you look up "quilters moonshine" you can make a great best press!!!
Love the stuff. I have not starched as heavy as you describe but the next time I am working with biased edges its going to be the first step!

pam hansen

Delightful bunch of comments from your readers. I am a starcher as well but lighter in the amount I use. This works well for most uses but I will add more and compare my results.


They sell big jugs of liquid starch at Walmart. Just FYI 😊


Hey Nicole, you need vodka!


A friend of mine put me on to this one---look for Faultless at the Dollar Store. Not all of them carry it, but I found one that does and is much cheaper than the grocery store. When available, I buy the entire case.

Verna Groger

Do you wash the fabric first so that it doesn't shrink or does the starching take care of that?


My grocery store carries a large bottle of starch, which I dilute down in a spray bottle...and it works great!!


Great post thanks for sharing! I don't starch or prewash my fabrics and so far it's working just right for me. I think i'm to impatient if I wanna sew I wanna sew right now;-)

Mary Kastner

Thanks for all the details Nicole! Very helpful!

Nancy Watkins

Thanks Nicole! I appreciate this very much!


Be sure to wash the finished quilt before giving it away or storing it. Bugs LOVE starch!


I'm in! Next quilt I'm going to pre-starch the fabric! Thanks for the great tips!


I have a new project coming up involving fat quarters. I'm going to give this a try. Thanks for the info!

Barbara Anne

Veddy interesting! Will have to give starch a try. Thank you and all commenters!



Make sure you rinse/wash your work when done. The silverfish LOVE starch. They will eat your fabric up in the process of going for the starch. They can be really destructive with fabric and paper. I need to try this on some fussy piecing though.

Sharon Tucker

this is a great post. I use Niagra Sizing, a 'lighter' version of starch. and yes, you can buy liquid starch, I have a jug of it in my laundry/ironing room


After one of your earlier posts on this subject, I ordered Sta-Flo from walmart (picked up in store):

Can't beat the price! I put it in a Tupperware tub with water and put folded fabric in to soak, then hang dry. It works well enough. Spraying would work better, but I don't like getting overspray everywhere ... and I live in Portland, OR... so it's pretty much always raining :)

Claire Drake

I start my mornings with your blog. I enjoy reading about all your great projects. I have a question for you. Do you try to cut the fabric on the grain? Is this very important to you?
Bolton, Ct


I made a mistake when starching fat quarters, I ironed them to what I thought was dry. It wasn't. I cut out my squares but the following day when I went to sew them they were quite a bit smaller than I needed. Oops!

Allowing them to dry like you did would have made it a lot better for me.

Barbara S Atkins

I buy Linit liquid starch in the laundry product aisle at the grocery. Have been getting it there since the 1980s. I dilute about 50% in a plastic container (usually the bottom part of a Rubbermaid container about 6" deep and maybe 12" x 18") and hang it to drip dry as you do. It is a bit of a sticky mess for my hands, but my hands are washable. Makes my cutting more precise.

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