Starch/Size questions…

There were a lot of questions regarding the use of Starch/Size when piecing.  Starching/Sizing fabric helps aide in better piecing.

Starching obviously makes a stiffer fabric…I love to use starch with the flannel…for sure…Some people are afraid of the starch…saying the bugs love starch and they will eat your fabrics…if this is something that you are concerned about…it all can be eliminated with washing your quilt after it is quilted.  Sizing is not as stiff as starch but it still works adding a little more body than nothing at all…

Here is the step by step.. I buy starch by the can…Yes lots of it..its cheap.  I know that it would be cheaper to make my own…but I have not had time to do that yet…the cans work great with the spray paint can handles.  I will try to make my own someday as I hate all those cans in the garbage…

Completely saturate your fabric from the wrong will soak through to the other side.  It will be very wet.  (I used to iron them dry at this point with a hot dry iron…this takes LOTS of time and the fabrics shrink up a lot because of the high heat.)

Hang the fabrics to dry several hours or over-night.

Iron the fabrics they will be very stiff use a little steam if needed.  (There was no shrinkage with the jelly rolls at all they are still 2 1/2″…if I would have ironed them dry they have shrunk. To be honest this was the reason why I didn’t use a lot of precuts before…now with hanging them to dry…I’m using them!!!)

Now cut your fabrics as your pattern states…

If concerned about all the starch in your quilt…wash it after it is quilted and bound.

I hope this answers all your questions…

Love from the Lake..LB

49 responses to “Starch/Size questions…”

  1. Wendy Hembree Avatar
    Wendy Hembree

    love your posts ,designs, helpful hints. It does seem from some of your comments though like you are boasting your success ie. the lakehouse, your acquired hard work

    1. gijane279-Liz Avatar

      Wendy Hembre… Normally I’m of the school if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!!! Just FYI, I have been following Lisa’s blogs for a few years and let me tell you not once did I interpret what she has said in any of them as “boasting” as you put it… Does/did anyone say David Packard or Bill Hewlett (Hewlett/Packard 1939) or Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft ) are “boasting” when they mention where and how they do/did computer stuff or did Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs for that matter with “Apple”???? Without these and many other great pioneers in the computer industry being so dedicated to their hard work by conducting their sometimes off the wall experiments and following their dreams sometimes being told they were nuts we wouldn’t of had the luxury of being able to post any comment we want. I personally (and I’m sure numerous others will agree with me) think your RUDE to put that comment into writing (much less to think it for that matter)! Maybe a tad JEALOUS? If you have read the posts Lisa makes you would read about the hard work, dedication to her craft, and most importantly you would also read how she treats her staff. I have had the pleasure on several occasions to meet Lisa and now some of her family (at shows and now the CA shop). I can personally attest for how hard she works (makes me tired just thinking about how much she does) and how generous she is; so is it boasting to say you were fortunate enough to be able to take a little time off to spend with family (did you read how she’s on the road sometimes for several months working at Quilt shows so we can purchase her goodies) no I don’t think so! Most corporations call this a VACATION and just because she’s the owner doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve to take a vacation but even when she does take a “vacation” she’s working at designing patterns or working on samples for us to look at. So Wendy to you I say you’re entitled to your opinion but maybe you should stop playing Keyboard Commando and apologize for your RUDE comment….

      1. Sharon Tseu Avatar
        Sharon Tseu

        Looking for the LOVE button for your response, gijane!! I am crazy about this blog….

  2. lisabongean Avatar

    Wendy… No one works harder than I do…if my success bothers you don’t read my posts…your comment is one reason people like me quit posting…ps this is the first time I’ve been here since before Houston…I’m pretty relaxed when here… But then I get a comment like this… Unbelievable…

    1. Judy Avatar

      Unbelievable is right! What an outrageous comment for someone to make to you. As hard as you work for your success, you deserve as much time at the lake as you can get. I would think that the fact that you did a blog from the lake proves that you are working even when there. It seems Wendy has a serious case of jealousy.

  3. Peggy Avatar

    Works great and sews to a nice smooth
    Edge. Thanks for taking the time to
    help us!

  4. ikorniquilt Avatar

    Lisa,don’t bother…I love your posts and know you are a hardworking woman…;-)

  5. Linda slauson Avatar
    Linda slauson

    Ouch! I didn’t realize being successful was a crime. Ignore the haters, so the rest of us can read your blog

  6. Kathy Avatar

    Ignore the haters. As they say, haters gonna hate. 😉

    My question is how does the heavy starching impact the quilting? I’m a hand quilter and worry that a top made from such heavily starched fabrics will be too difficult to quilt by hand.

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Kathy…If you are going to hand quilt use the Sizing…ie..Magic Size great questions by the way…LB

  7. ceridwen59 Avatar

    Thank you for taking the time to post. I’m a big fan of yours (I own a quilt shoppe). Blogging is time consuming and I appreciate your time. I’m one of your stealth reader! 😉

    I love starch, and next to freezer paper, it’s my best friend! lol I now work with Stay Flow. It’s a liquid concentrate and can be bought by the case on Amazon. At the rate that I use it, I like the idea that I am keeping aerosol cans out of the land fill. I also do not breath those fumes!

  8. Dora Goodfellow Avatar
    Dora Goodfellow

    What is the purpose of starching, does it make the pieces easier to work with?

    Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:28:03 +0000 To:

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Yes…no fraying and just a so much easier to execute your quilt patterns.

  9. Kim Avatar

    Wendy, get a life. Lisa please never quit blogging. You have helped so many of us with all our questions. It isn’t a crime to have success, gee look what hard work can accomplish. I have seen how hard you and your family work at the shows. We need more hard working people in the world and less whiners. I pray for continued blessings in your life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  10. Lana Avatar

    Lisa I love your posts and seeing the lake house, the new shop ,new projects ect. Don’t let a few small people rain on your parade. I was raised with a few simple truths– when you point a finger –three more are pointing back at you…. If don’t have anything good to say- be quiet…if don’t like the book – don’t read it — end of story. Let your light shine !!!!!!

  11. Jakey Avatar

    Thanks Lisa! I too had been wondering and appreciate the info!! Hugs, Jakey
    Ps. Tell Nick congrats on his fish! It’s a beauty!!

  12. Nancy Avatar

    Looks like Wendy Hairbrain is looking for attention of her own. You deserve every ounce of success Lisa. I’ve followed along on your journey since you were Backyard Quilts. I love your informative posts and especially those from the lakehouse. Looks like Nick got himself a good sized Pickeral!!

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      thanks Nancy…Nick fish is a Northern Pike…it was only 25″ so he had to throw it back…26″ is the requirement where we are…he was just happy to catch one…he catches lots in the unfrozen water!!

      1. Nancy Avatar

        A Northern…that’s even better, but darn he had to throw it back. My uncle fished on Pleasant Lake for Northerns during the winter. (This is near Coloma Wi. where my Mother’s family were born and raised. ) My aunt would clean, cut them in about 5 inch pieces and into the deep freeze they went til spring. Oh boy…then they would have the best outdoor fish fry ever!! I’ll wish for Nick to get some keepers.

  13. Carole Avatar

    What brand of starch or sizing do you recommend?

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Carole…anything will work…do not use the expensive stuff from the quilt store…Faultless Heavy Starch in Lavender scent is my favorite…but I buy the whole shelve and use whatever they have…original..lemon..

  14. Juile K. Avatar
    Juile K.

    WOW, I have a hard time believing that someone would say that on this page about you Lisa! I have enjoyed all of the posts you do about your work and family! For me Facebook is for posting our accomplishments, trials and screw ups showing that none of us are perfect! And isn’t it fun when you learn a new trick and then share it with everyone?!!! You Lisa are doing just that so yes continue on with your bogs and posts and WE will help you put the jealous people who post negative things in their place! I would like to say more, but will stop here! Enjoy your time at the lake !!,

    1. gijane279-Liz Avatar

      Well said Julie K.!!!!

  15. Janice King Avatar
    Janice King

    Lisa, I have been using the Best Press, with the refillable bottle. Using sizing/starch has made a world of difference in my piecing. Thanks for all you do.

  16. gijane279-Liz Avatar

    Lisa, first thank you for the additional information on starching!!! Now please don’t let a hateful/RUDE comment stop you from posting blogs, or give it another thought… I for one (and many others by the comments) look forward to your blogs. I learn from them, I make friends all over the place that enjoy the same craft because I’ve met them on your blog, many times I’ve shared hints and tidbits I have learned from you, because in my mind it’s what it’s all about (kind of a “Pay it Forward of learning the craft). Oh and by the way I apologize for “going off” and being a bit “snarky” to Wendy about her comment but it TICKED me off and I personally believe in standing up for my friends (even though I know you can stand up for yourself)… I love you and all you have done to encourage me in my journey of working with Wool and other Quilting projects. Without your encouragement I would have never even tried to work with wool! HUGS

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Nice to know you got my back Ms Liz…but seriously she does not know me…or this would have never left her lips…just about everyone in WI has some sort of cottage on the lake, its like a rite of passage…and my lakehouse is a little shack with turd brown siding and turd brown trim…hopefully that will change this year though..:)

      1. Nancy Avatar

        You’re absolutely right about lake cottages. Unless you grew up in WI like we did, people don’t know that. If you didn’t own a cottage, you rented one. Many beautiful lakes in WI and my best summers as a kid were spent at the family cottages

  17. Patricia Streeter Avatar
    Patricia Streeter

    You are the BEST! Thanks.

    Sent from my iPad


  18. Carmen Avatar

    Lisa-Please don’t listen to Wendy, she obviously needs to get a life and remember what her mother told her(hopefully), if you can’t say anything nice, keep your mouth shut. I love your blog and hope that you don’t stop.

    Any fabric that I’m going to be working with, I starch 50/50 with Sta-Flo, put the fabrics in a plastic bag and close it up, let it soak in for a minimum of 2 hours, then either air dry or stick in the drier for a few minutes.

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Hmmmm never thought of the dryer!

  19. Quilt Musings Avatar

    I really appreciate the detailed description of starching. I have only tried starch once or twice, and I now realize I probably wasn’t using nearly enough. I will give it another try! And hopefully it will help with piecing accuracy.

  20. Helen LeBrett Avatar
    Helen LeBrett

    I appreciated your extra post on the Starch/sizing. I’ve just started using it recently and love how much better my blocks turn out. I’m glad you told us how you make the starch work for the jelly rolls too: I’ve not even tried anything on them for fear of them shrinking!! And I never got the feeling that you were bragging: I was just thinking I was glad your hubby got his fish after 2 years! I wouldn’t have had the patience!! 🙂 Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  21. Rosemary Redhead Avatar
    Rosemary Redhead

    People like Wendy are not worthy of any attention.
    These people do not know Lisa and how hard she works for all of us, her family and her fabulous staff.
    xo Redhead

  22. Kathy Avatar

    First let me add a bit of sizing humor. My husband needed window washing fluid in his car and picked up my gallon of Best Press instead. Both were in the garage. He had to go to the mechanic have it drained out. Second, I enjoy this blog very much, Lisa. Don’t let any one’s comments discourage you. I’ve learned so much since I first visited your blog.

  23. Mary Andra Avatar

    Perfect explanation. Thank you Lisa.

  24. quiltfru Avatar

    We have a saying in Germany: Compassion you get for free, envy you have to work for! Don’t worry about envious people, just keep going. I like your blog and besides, I love to use starch. It makes sewing much more accurate. Greetings from Bavaria, Germany, Birgitt

  25. Rachel Childress Avatar
    Rachel Childress

    Lisa! Thank you so much for validating what I have liked to do for a long time! Now, I haven’t hung them out to dry like you are now doing, but I LOVE starch in my piecing! Do you do this for large pieces of fabric as well? That seems a bit hard to me, but maybe it isn’t. Thank you so much for ALWAYS being available to help us. Please ignore that mean comment….I appreciate all that you have accomplished. I am excited for you about your new shop, just jealous it is not on this side of the country! Enjoy your time at the lake and don’t be afraid to tell us about all that is going on in your life. We are happy for you! We love you and your fabulous staff, who are very helpful because they have a leader who leads by example. Thank you!

  26. Ann Lundy Avatar
    Ann Lundy

    Thank you for answering the issue of starching. I enjoy your blog, look forward to each new post.

  27. LISA STACK Avatar

    Thank you for the info-so helpful! Please keep the posts coming-they brighten my day and right now I really need that! Love hearing about life up north and other places. It is so different from my world.

  28. Vikki Weisensel Avatar
    Vikki Weisensel

    Hey Lisa, Thanks for the tips on starching precuts. I starched charm squares and ironed them dry and there was some shrinkage when I used your cool techniques described in your “Nine Patch Gatherings” book. (By the way, what a fun and accurate way to make cute 9-patches!!) But I’m hesitant to make a flannel quilt because of shrinkage concerns. Your Moda flannels are to die for, but still I’m a big chicken when it comes to working with them. Could you address this? I took a class from you last summer, you gave us a tour of your operation and I was extremely impressed with everything!!!! Dyeing wool, designing fabric and quilts, writing books, designing the coolest show booths, sewing your own samples, teaching classes and more than willing to share all your information/tips to students, sharing fantastic free quilt-a-longs on your blog, and the way your employees are treated!! Holy Cow!! Benefits and profit sharing?!! These things don’t happen because you sit around and wish them to be. These things happen because you are so willing to work your butt off! Good for you Lisa!!! Please continue, I love everything you do and I’ve got the kits, patterns, and wool to prove it:)

  29. Carol Gregg Avatar

    Well, I may just try it your way – I’ve always put each block together then spray starch/size it. But the entire concept is a good one, especially concerning bias edges! P.S. I’d love to send you a picture of my country Dresden quilt I’m still putting together – I’m using all “Little Gatherings” fabrics that I’ve been hoarding since it came out!!! LOVE IT!!

    Carol Gregg

  30. Meredith Avatar

    Absolutely LOVE your blog, and am pleased to read about your success, so we’ll deserved! All the best from a happy reader from “down-under” here in Australia!

  31. amyjgm Avatar

    What a shame. It’s nice to see you share your private life with us Lisa. You don’t have to but you are human and it’s nice to see there’s more to you than just the designer. If the blog was just technical blurb all the time it would be pretty dull. I hope the ill thought comments don’t change your writing style. And thank you go the starch lesson, completely new to me and my entire quilt class!!!! We’re all going to have a go now.

  32. Mary C. Avatar
    Mary C.

    Wow, I guess if I felt that way about someone I wouldn’t spend much time reading their blog. That person has obviously never met you – a more down-to-earth and generous teacher I have never met, not to mention a kind human being. I have muscular dystrophy, and when I attended a class at Lisa’s retreat house she and my friend physically helped me up the stairs so I could participate. How many teachers would go out of their way like that???? Please pay no attention to people like her, the rest of us enjoy your posts and are happy for your success. You work your a** off and deserve every good thing that comes your way! Thanks for the starch tips, I’ve avoided using it on precuts too because of the shrinkage issue. Let us know if you decide to throw it in the dryer like one of the other posters.

  33. Lynn in Madison Avatar
    Lynn in Madison

    There always has to be one. I love your blog and very much appreciate all that you share. The pictures and freebies are fantastic. You are full of ideas and share them. Not so on many other blogs. Yes you appear to be very successful but you worked your arse off to get to this point. I’m amazed by people like you who are so dedicated and make it work – you obviously have many skills beyond your incredible artistic talents. All I can say is thank you!

  34. darlene Avatar

    Thank You for this information 🙂

  35. Kim Avatar

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. The information you have shared with us has helped me to confidently cut out my quilt top it is a wool flannel kit out of your flannel gathering book. I am doing the one with the pennies. i chose to use the sizing, and yes people it takes time but when you invest so much money and time into a quilt I recommend taking these extra steps. Cutting is nicer just working with the fabrics it does make a difference. I finished two quilt tops last week and I have to say my squares were right on. So I am hooked. Thanks again Lisa for explaining starch/sizing in more detail. I now have different options for different projects. I am of the belief that you share knowledge and success. The people who truly want success in all areas of their life share their knowledge. I commend you Lisa for giving to all of us. I am getting such joy out my quilting right now because the frustration of why some blocks turned out when my 1/4″ was right on, I now have a better understanding.

    So sad for Wendy, because wisdom takes us a long way in life, ignorance, jealousy, selfishness holds us back in life. Maybe Wendy will gain some wisdom through all of this, one can hope.

    Thanks again Lisa for all you give us. Kim…..

  36. Juel Avatar

    Ok, dumb question. Where do you buy starch in larger quantities? I don’t remember seeing it in the grocery store, but maybe I just didn’t notice. Thank you! LOVE the tips!!

  37. Karen Waraksa Avatar
    Karen Waraksa

    How she starches her fabric with spray can handles. I had a nice time yesterday. Karen

    Sent from my iPad


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