Day 8…Needful things for Quilters…

8 days

Day 8…Magic Size w/spray handle…you have to get the spray handle meant for spray paint cans…

Spray size (not starch) will make a huge difference in your quilting.  Before, I used sizing, my quilt blocks would always come out small.  This was not due to my 1/4″ seam, it was a scant and not a true 1/4″.  I no longer wash my fabrics.  I think companies have figured the bleeding out, but I also do not do anything using white or really light fabrics, so i am safe…if I for some reason would I use white I would test the fabrics.

Now because I don’t pre wash and I use lots of fabrics form different companies, what was happening is, while piecing my blocks, my fabrics were shrinking because I use lots of steam when I press them.  They shrink ever so little but by the time your block is together you have lost 1/4 to 1/2″ on your blocks.  So how does the size come in?…BEFORE  you do any cutting.  Spray size your fabric, spray it good and then iron it dry.  This helps pre-shrink your fabric NOW before you cut your strips or pieces.  Now you have it all shrunk up, you have added more size to the fabric, it will now cut and piece nicely and your blocks will be the right sizesecuredownload-1!  Then here’s the added bonus….I have always envied my friend Carole’s quilt tops, They are perfect and crisp and they do not have all those little strings on the back…the SIZE also helps with that too!

Now you can buy Magic Size at many places in the laundry detergent isle…and then run to your local hardware store and buy some handles and spray that fabric!

Now the winner for Day 9 is…

comment #Kim KopacDecember 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

Ohhh I would love to try this one!!

Kim…we will be sending your a Hera Market and a Strawberry Pincushion shown in Day 11 Post…

I do not have a pattern for the strawberry pin keeps…I bought a bunch of them on EBAY from a wonderful wool artist…Susie-everything she makes is awesome!  Kim will be lucky to own one of her treasures!



156 responses to “Day 8…Needful things for Quilters…”

  1. Laura Kissel Avatar
    Laura Kissel

    I’ve used the sizing when I do the 9-patches your way, and it really does work! Beautifully accurate blocks!

  2. Karen in Breezy Point Avatar

    Great tip–I have a problem with some fabrics shrinking more than others. I will be trying this out, for sure!

  3. Shirley Avatar

    Will look for the sizing, another good tip..Maybe you have found another outlet besides quilting.

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      lol…and what would that be Shirley?

  4. Sue Kraft Avatar
    Sue Kraft

    Good idea on the sizing. I keep it in my sewing room but don’t use it because it comes out too heavy. Now, I’ll get the spray nozzle like you say. Added bonus for me is the little fraying threads on the back of the quilt going away!

  5. Gina Avatar

    Good idea, I love using sizing rather than starch for just about everything but had never thought of using it in my quilting…

  6. Paula Stuplich Avatar
    Paula Stuplich

    Wonderful information you are sharing with us. I will be trying this. Thanks

  7. Karen Schultz Avatar
    Karen Schultz

    OK Lisa, you always seem to amaze me. I have never seen those handles!! I will be getting one soon.

  8. Mary C. Avatar
    Mary C.

    I’ve been using the Best Press does it compare?

  9. Holly Howard Avatar
    Holly Howard

    I LOVE Magic Sizing. It is the first thing my mom taught me about for quilting….spray that fabric well….now I will have to get a handle…so after work I will be off to the local Ace Hardware.

  10. Sherrie Avatar

    The sizeing soundes like a very good idea. I will have to try it.

  11. Sandy Avatar

    I have preshrunk by spraying with water and ironing but haven’t tried this product. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Maddy McCaslin Avatar
    Maddy McCaslin

    I was always afraid to try sizing, but I’m not. loving all your hints

  13. Brenda O Avatar
    Brenda O

    I’ve bought the sizing, but forget to use it. I have a project coming up that I will be sure to try it on and should be able to pick up a handle before then. Thanks Lisa, for the great tips.

  14. Terri Jones Avatar
    Terri Jones

    OMG that makes so much sense! I have just stopped using steam but not for the reason of shrinkage. My iron just got yucky from the calcium and mineral deposits so I bought some sizing, I’ll have to run down the street from work to get a handle, and maybe an extra for my quilty friend’s Christmas gift basket.
    Thank you.
    Terri J

  15. carol l Avatar

    I use both but didn’t know about the spray handles, cute idea. Always look foward to the next idea.
    Carol L

  16. Linda Guzman Avatar
    Linda Guzman

    I love the idea of the spray handle. Didn’t even know it exsisted! I am going to get one, as the spray from the can does clump (or get heavy spots) and it really helps in quilting. Thanks for the hint.

  17. Nancy J Avatar
    Nancy J

    Great idea of using the spray handle. I too do not wash ahead but have been using sizing. It does make a difference. Thanks again for the tips and a chance to win.

  18. Barbara D'Antonio Avatar
    Barbara D’Antonio

    What a great idea, I certainly will give it a try!

  19. Margaret Avatar

    OMG! Thank you for this information!!!! Wow! I had no idea! I need some of this. Wonderful!

  20. Maggie Avatar

    I will have to try this starch. I’ve always used best press. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Sharon K Avatar
    Sharon K

    I am going to get some today. Thanks!

  22. Fran Bianchi Avatar
    Fran Bianchi

    I have never used this product, but will definitely have to try it. I’ve been having problems with my blocks being short on one side. If the block is supposed to be be 6 1/2 mine will be 6 1/2 on one side and 6 1/4 on the other.
    I always thought it was my piecing, and it may be…or not!
    thanks for another great tip

  23. Marcia Porcelli Avatar

    Great tip. I was spraying my blocks AFTER I sewed them!

  24. Carolyn Vogel Avatar
    Carolyn Vogel

    Been a starch user and knew it helped with cutting and piecing. Didn’t even think about the shrinking part. But will definitely be off to the hardware department for one of these spray handles.

  25. Diane B Avatar
    Diane B

    This is a great tool for turned applique too!

  26. Joyce Avatar

    I’ve started using it…it does make a difference! Merry Christmas!

  27. Joanne O Avatar
    Joanne O

    I have been sizing everything for awhile now. Didn’t know those spray handles existed! That would be much easier to use with the carpal tunnel!!!!

  28. Cheryl Rudnytsky Avatar
    Cheryl Rudnytsky

    Thanks for the tip, Lisa. I will get some sizing (and a handle, too) before I cut out my next project.

  29. Roberta Avatar

    This is a great hint! I had no idea. Thanks so much for all these useful tips.

  30. Audrey Avatar

    I love the idea of using the spray handle! Thanks for all your tips.

  31. Barbara Avatar

    Is there a difference between Best Press and Magic Size?

  32. Tina Avatar

    My blocks ALWAYS end up around 1/2 smaller and I’ve done everything I can think of without any luck! My cutting is exact, as is my piecing – drives me nuts!! I will be trying this and am keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks so very much for sharing this! I will be doing backflips if it solves the “shrinking” blocks!

  33. Lori Neisler Avatar
    Lori Neisler

    You have the best ideas, too bad there are only 12 days of Christmas tips. How about extending your great ideas into New Year’s resolutions??

  34. Lindi Avatar

    Never thought of this, will have to give it a try.

  35. Jane Lemm Avatar
    Jane Lemm

    another great idea! I like Lori’s idea of New years resolutions,

  36. Janet G Avatar
    Janet G

    Love that tip. I will have to buy some on my next trip to the store. My blocks can use all the help they can get. LOL

  37. Brenda Avatar

    I have never heard of this product before. Thanks for all the great things you are showing us.

  38. Betty Lockhart Avatar
    Betty Lockhart

    Hmmmmmmm. I’ve been spraying AFTER I cut. Next time I’ll get it right. Thank you!

  39. Leanne Avatar

    Another great tip! I’m just loving all these tips!

  40. Nancy Avatar

    Now why didn’t I think of this..I keep the big W bought out of spray sizing ever since I bought your little nine patch book.

  41. Kitty Avatar

    Thanks to you I use Magic Sizing all the time and I will surely get one of the sprayer nozzles!
    Thanks, Lisa!

  42. Carol Eberhardt Avatar
    Carol Eberhardt

    I have been prewashing AND starching for the last few years and my blocks are so much more reliable but I would like the time saving aspect of skipping the wash and just sizing and pressing. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Dortha Avatar

      I will have to check it out. My blocks are never the size they are supposed to be. Maybe this will help.

  43. Catherine Avatar

    Great idea to use a handle. Time to go shopping.

  44. Carol Eberhardt Avatar
    Carol Eberhardt

    Question: do you dry iron or use steam with the sizing?

  45. Wanda Avatar

    Ohhh , Thank you so much for this tip! Actually the best tip ever! I have this sizing and I always use it for just plain old ironing! Now I need to hit the hardware store for the spay handle. Thanks again for this terrific tip! My quilt squares will now be so much better!

  46. Kathy Avatar

    Great tip! Thanks.

  47. Brenda Y Avatar
    Brenda Y

    Lisa thanks for the great tip, I also have a problem with my quilt blocks not coming out the the perfect size, i=I’m going to give this a try to see if it helps with my problem. Thanks again and Have a Merry Christmas. Love your shop wish it was closer for me.

  48. Sandy Kipphut Avatar
    Sandy Kipphut

    Going to get this right now!

  49. DianeK Avatar

    I have been using sizing for quite a while now and it really does help. Now I need to go to the hardware store for the spray attachment. Do you totally saturate your fabric?

  50. Barb Avatar

    will be getting this thx BarbC

  51. Pattywacks Avatar

    🎈Will have to give this a try – like the bonus about getting rid of the little strings 🎈

  52. Teri LaVoy Avatar
    Teri LaVoy

    I always seem to shrink my square as I am working with it. I don’t wash my fabrics nor do I use steam…until I get to the end. And then it seems my nicely built block is smaller by an eighth of an inch. Thanks for this tip.

  53. Bonnie Larson Avatar
    Bonnie Larson

    Great tip. It makes sense, especially if you have lots of tine pieces in your block. Thanks for sharing.

  54. Janet Avatar

    I didn’t realize that spray sizing would also help by pre-shrinking your fabric. Great idea, thanks.

  55. ritainalaska Avatar

    what a great idea! if i use precuts, i worry about shrinkage … this would be a big help!

  56. Pat Avatar

    I’m putting it on my grocery list now!

  57. Cindy D Avatar
    Cindy D

    What a great idea – using the handle! Will make it so much easier.

  58. Debby Avatar

    what’s the difference between sizing, starch and best press? Love your idea.

  59. Evelyn Avatar

    I use Magic Size too but never thought about the spray handle.. love that idea.. Thanks….

  60. De De Avatar
    De De

    I have seen this on your blog in the past, I love this stuff, a cheap and easy way for better piecing.

  61. Brenda Sanders Avatar

    Thanks for sharing this! I seem to always have slightly small blocks, and like you I sew a very scant 1/4″ seam, but I press the dickens out of it, so now I know! I will definitely give this a try.

  62. Paulette Doyle Avatar

    I am going to buying a truck load of Sizing when I find it!! thanks for all these wonderful tips!

  63. Kathy Avatar

    I have been using the sizing for a while, especially on fat quarters. It gets those nasty fold wrinkles out too! Love the handles!! Isn’t it amazing what you can find at the hardware store to help with quilting?

  64. suejean1 Avatar

    Thank-you for all the great ideas. I will definitely try the sizing. I too iron with a lot of steam. This solution makes sense.

  65. Kathy Y Avatar
    Kathy Y

    Very interesting. I am a either a Best Press or Magic Sizing user but I have never thought about using the handle. Great idea.

  66. rosa Avatar

    I don´t prewash my fabrics.I spray them with water when I`m ironning them or iron with a lot of steam.Thanks for the fantastic idea!

  67. Barbara Daniel Avatar
    Barbara Daniel

    Great idea! It would make handling the fabric on the bias easier also. Thank you for all these suggestions and I am in love with your quilts!!!

  68. Lisa K Avatar
    Lisa K

    I’ve been using sizing, but not the handle. That will make a good thing even better!

  69. Carol Schallock Avatar
    Carol Schallock

    I’ve heard other people talk about sizing but haved never tried it. If Lisa does it – it has to be good!!

  70. Cecilia Avatar

    Thanks! I never thought about sizing and your tip about the handle is great. I always have a hard time with the spray nozzles.

  71. Mary Jean Avatar
    Mary Jean

    I have been using sizing for years…now I have to get that handle. I usually used it to get out any wrinkles but now I will use it all over the fabric. Great tip!!

  72. Elaine S. Avatar
    Elaine S.

    What a wonderful tip! I’ll be doing this from now on! Thanks!!!!

  73. Kristy Avatar

    This post answers so many questions. I have to hurry here and go contact everyone in my cross country friendship quilt group. This will help us get more accurately sized blocks…important when swapping. That handle is going to help those of us with arthritis. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas! PS. I am loving all of your tips.

  74. Felice G Avatar
    Felice G

    This is the best tip I’ve gotten all year! Thank you!!!!!!

  75. Audrey Avatar

    You rock, I love these tips! I keep running into people shopping for your mentioned items!

  76. Kathy B. Avatar
    Kathy B.

    I tried the sizing as suggested in the directions for your “Back In Time” kit – worked great! Now I’ll have to find one of those spray handles for spray cans. Yikes, my wish list just keeps on growing and growing!

  77. Karin E:) Avatar
    Karin E:)

    love using the sizing… Now why in the world did I not think of the spray nozzel. Awesome tip 🙂 Karin E:)

  78. Rachel Childress Avatar
    Rachel Childress

    Thank you so much, Lisa, for these fabulous posts! I am enjoying reading your great tips! :-). I love sizing, but I have been using it after I finish the block…NO MORE! I have some blocks to cut this afternoon…will be putting this one into practice!
    I am going to ask for the spray handle too, from Santa!

  79. Kim Friesen Avatar
    Kim Friesen

    I will have to try this!

  80. Janet Avatar

    Nifty idea on the spray handle! Thanks!

  81. Mary Avatar

    Guess I’ll have to make a Home Depot run!

  82. Avatar

    I use Magic Sizing. New recipe – – 1oz. Vodka. Mix in. 8 oz. distilled water.


  83. Kathy O in GA Avatar
    Kathy O in GA

    Thanks for the tip Lisa – I avoid the hardware store – I become deer in the headlights, but will have to venture forth for this!

  84. Kim Kopac Avatar
    Kim Kopac

    Yippee I won – Thank you so much!!! I also want to thank you for this idea. I hate prewashing my fabric and then have to iron it. This would help so much. Happy Holidays

  85. Jackie Avatar

    Thanks for the tip on the handle. I love going to the hardware store! Thanks, too, for the reminder that too much steam will cause shrinkage.

  86. Debbie T Avatar
    Debbie T

    I actually use this tip and it does make a difference. But was not aware of using the handle for the spray can and I actually have one in my basement that I have never used. Thanks.

  87. Janice M Avatar
    Janice M

    I have some sizing and hadn’t had a chance to use it yet. Now, I”ll get a spray nozzle to use with it. I can’t wait to start something new.

  88. Jane Knoll-Tenney Avatar
    Jane Knoll-Tenney

    Now that is so clever! I have the can of Magic Sizing I found at the grocery store so now need to run to Lowe’s or Home Depot….thanks!

  89. Pam Binns Avatar

    Oh my goodness, that’s why my blocks shrink! I love learning new things about quilting. Along with my Christmas shopping today I will be buying sizing and a handle for spraying. Thank you for expanding my quilting knowledge.

  90. Deborah from Valparaiso Avatar
    Deborah from Valparaiso

    and we learn another great idea!

  91. Mary Beth Avatar
    Mary Beth

    The strings on the back! I really hate that. Great tip!

  92. Jill Avatar

    I have never seen the handle before, great idea. Thanks!

  93. Mary Avatar

    Wow! Another great idea. I use sizing, but not like you explained it! I’m thinking this is one of the reasons my blocks usually end up small! I think you should give hints more often! I can’t wait until the holidays are over so I can put some of these ideas to the test!

  94. Cheryl Keown Avatar
    Cheryl Keown

    I have read about Magic Sizing on your website a few months ago and that is all I use now.
    Thank you so much for the very useful information for making our quilting lifes easier.

  95. sueb Avatar

    well that is the best tip ever. I will have to look for that spray handle when I go to the paint section. thanks for the wonderful tip.

  96. Renee Rettler Avatar
    Renee Rettler

    I am going to have to try this! I have used Magic Sizing but never before cutting – that sure makes sense though. Thanks for another great tip!

  97. Lisa Avatar

    You had mentioned the sizing before and I purchased several cans. I LOVE IT! Mine does not have the cool spray handle. Where did you get that???? I really appreciate it when someone gives great tips that do not require a second mortgage on my house or a special item that you only use once. I prefer spending my extra dollars on new projects or new fabric. You ROCK!

  98. Chris Brown Avatar
    Chris Brown

    I am going to try this. I have tried spray starch after I have cut the pieces, but not before. I am going to try Magic Sizing too. Does it put a residue on the iron?

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      no residue, that is why we use the sizing instead of starch…

  99. Dee Johson Avatar
    Dee Johson

    I have never seen this tool before – thinking hardware store after work.

  100. Judy Galligan Avatar
    Judy Galligan

    Wow I will be trying this for sure.

  101. Vicki Avatar

    Magic Sizing is awesome….the price is right too!!!!

  102. Marlene Avatar

    Never used sizing. I must try it now. Best tip so far!!

  103. Barbara L Avatar
    Barbara L

    Best tip yet! I’ve just had a huge AHA moment! I always have trouble with my blocks coming out a bit too small, and try as I might to sew a scant 1/4″ seam, I still have problems. I always use steam when I iron. Thanks SO MUCH for this tip!

  104. Lorrie McD. Avatar
    Lorrie McD.

    Great tip! Now I know why my blocks are ALWAYS smaller!
    Thanks for sharing another great piece of information.

  105. Sharon nejedlo Avatar
    Sharon nejedlo

    I am getting one if those sprayers!

  106. Janet Houge Avatar
    Janet Houge

    Hi, I read this tip on your web sight a couple of years ago and have used the sizing. Did not know about the handle; sounds great.
    told my husband about the remodeling and he actually said we’ll have to road trip!!

  107. timberlandsjs Avatar

    I’ve never used spray sizing! I’ll have to get some! Thank you so much for this tip!

  108. Amy McC Avatar
    Amy McC

    I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  109. Michelle S. Avatar
    Michelle S.

    Love the idea of using the spray handle idea! Thanks — Michelle S.

  110. cindy h Avatar

    Great idea with the handle. I’ll have to try it. Thanks

  111. Lytle Markham Avatar
    Lytle Markham

    I’ve used the Magic sizing for applique, but not for the “pre-cutting”, Will have to give it a try. No strings would be nice also. Who knew about the spray handle? Thanks for the great tips!!

  112. Sue Tokash Avatar
    Sue Tokash

    I never thought to use spray can handles for anything other than spray paint. Clever, I will definitely do it now.

  113. Deborah Avatar

    THANK YOU!!!!! I was delighted to have an explanation for what happens to my pieces, plus the added info about less threads hanging! YIPEE, I’m in the know now!

  114. Skye Avatar

    Eureka. This is IT. Thank you Lisa. *chorus of angels singing*

  115. Ann Avatar

    I use this and love it. Now I need to find the spray handle and I will be set. Thanks for all the tips!

  116. Linda Cates Avatar
    Linda Cates

    Love the spray paint handle!

  117. Debi Avatar

    Another great idea–you have referenced spray sizing before, but I never knew what this was. Thanks again.

  118. Jill Bodwin Avatar
    Jill Bodwin

    I’ve learned so much in these last few days!

  119. Cheryl C Avatar
    Cheryl C

    I’ve not tried this, but I’m thinking I should. Love the spray handle tip.

  120. Darcy Avatar

    I have never used sizing, but I am IN! I need the handle, too. 🙂

  121. Kathy K Avatar
    Kathy K

    I have used spray sizing….but will have to get that spray gun. Sizing in my experience has made a big difference in my quilting. Love all the tips. Thanks. KK

  122. Loretta Pederson Avatar
    Loretta Pederson

    I have problems with my small projects, and your post makes me sense. I’m anxious to try it out. Thank you!

  123. Cheryl Barkdoll Avatar
    Cheryl Barkdoll

    I love Magic Sizing which I discovered when I was sewing my children’s clothes. These children are now in their 40’s. I just went from using Magic Sizing on clothes to quilting and you are right that it does wonders! Great idea about adding the spray nozzle.I will ask Santa for one.

  124. Karen Shackleford Avatar
    Karen Shackleford

    So that explains my block frustration! Thank you, Lisa, for this tip and the information about steam and shrinkage.

  125. Pamela Schmitt Avatar

    Love the Magic Sizing. Have that.

  126. Mary Avatar

    Wow. This is my favorite so far. I love sizing but haven”t used it too much and I love love the handle!

  127. Debbie Avatar

    Love these hints!!

  128. Joan richards Avatar
    Joan richards

    This is really going to help me get my blocks the right size!

  129. Sandy Avatar

    What a great idea – just one of the many you have. I have get this right away. Thanks!

  130. scrapperdeb Avatar

    Oh my! This is something I’ve never tried or heard of. My blocks really shrink so maybe this would work!

  131. Rosemary Redhead Avatar
    Rosemary Redhead

    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear…look at all we are all learning from you. Thank you!
    While retreating with you, you taught us about Magic Sizing and now all we need to do is get the neat tool.

  132. Sally from CA Avatar
    Sally from CA

    Thanks for the reminder on using sizing, Lisa. Sometimes I get so anxious to being a project, I forget the basics.

  133. Sandy D Avatar
    Sandy D

    Great new idea for me.I too like steam so this would be a new good “tool” for me to get. Thanks

  134. Sharon M Avatar

    Thanks, Lisa for another great idea. I have used the sizing for years but the handle idea is wow!

  135. Terri W. Avatar
    Terri W.

    I’ve used sizing to finish my blocks, but never at the pre-cut stage……gotta give this a try. Thanks Lisa!

  136. Judy Balek Avatar
    Judy Balek

    I love sizing and have used it for years but I never thought of the spray attachment. Great idea. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful products, what a great gift to us.

  137. Diana Tatro Avatar
    Diana Tatro

    Now, that is a wonderful hint !!!! I will try it…..hope to win anything !!!!

  138. Kathleen LeMere Avatar

    I am learning so much from these days. I will need to try this too.

  139. Jean Nolting Avatar
    Jean Nolting

    I use Ellen’s pressing liquid. Will have to ck out the SIZE.

  140. Cathy Avatar

    Anything for more accurate piecing. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  141. Pam Miller Avatar
    Pam Miller

    Lisa, I can’t wait to try this tip-I feel a road trip coming on to the hardware store in the am-thanks

  142. Christine S. Avatar
    Christine S.

    This sounds like magic! Thanks for sharing!

  143. kathie Avatar

    I love magic sizing but never thought of putting a “handle” on it!!!! too funny
    a trip to the hard ware store is in order this week
    thanks for the tip!
    ps LOVE that sign in the background.

  144. Rose Avatar

    I too use the sizing, the handle is now a must, thanks.

  145. janet Avatar

    Wish I had an investment in the spray handle…..never heard of one…but will be looking now. Thankss!

  146. […] December 17, 2012 at 10:05 am […]

  147. Sue Winn Avatar
    Sue Winn

    Well Duh! I do not wash my fabrics either, but it never dawned on me that they would shrink while pressing a completed block. Thanks for the great tip!

  148. Sandy (aka Stitches) Avatar

    I have used Magic Sizing for years but never had a handle..I need to get one now!!!

  149. Siobhan Avatar

    I still wash fabrics…too many past disasters! But I do use sizing when I press the fabric and that handle is a great idea!

  150. Julie K. Green Avatar
    Julie K. Green

    I’m giving this a try for sure ! But if I spray myself with it do you think I could pick the size I would like to be ??? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

    1. Lisa Avatar

      I like the way you think! LOL

  151. Linda Avatar

    I used to use Magic all the time when I ironed my blouses, etc….back in the old old days! Would never have thought of the handle thing…great idea! My blocks always turn out small; I hope Magic will prove to be true!!

  152. Clairellen Avatar

    Thanks for thisGREAT tip…I think you’ve solved my problems!

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