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Pressing and Spray Sizing

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nitchals Posted: Sun, Jan 16 2011 5:31 PM

A quilting friend of mine proudly mentioned that she uses sizing on all her quilts after she prewashes her fabrics.  Having never used sizing or starch on any of my fabrics (clothing or quilting) I was curious why someone would add an extra step to the process.  She told me that if I spray - wait - press I would see the benefits of less frayed edges and better pressing when I pieced... "just try it" she said.

I was just starting a new quilting project so I took her advice to try it out.  And I am more impressed than I could have imagined. 

  1. First of all the smell was fantastic. 
  2. Then the tediousness of ironing all my fabrics was shortened (so much for added step - this saved time).  The wrinkles came right out and I just kept humming along. 
  3. When cutting my pieces I noticed that my cut edges stayed crisp. 
  4. When piecing the lack of frays helped me line things up better.
  5. When sewing the fabric had more weight to it which helped me guide it through the machine and it didn't stretch at all. 
  6. Finger pressing - actually held!  I have always marveled at the TV when folks say to finger press - I try and try but all finger pressing has done is frustrate me in the past.  It's like my fingers learned a new trick!
  7. When using the iron it was like the sizing was reawakened - there to help me get those seams open without any stretching.

Probably old hat for many of you long time quilters out there.  But wow - I feel like it's a whole new world now.  I had to share my excitement.  Makes me wonder what other little handy bits I need to "just try".

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I was much like you when I first discovered Sizing. Let me add to this. Use spray start if you are working with bias edges. There is a touch more weight than sizing and will add a little more assurance to those bias edges.


Cumberland Gap, TN

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Stephanie replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 6:03 PM

Nitchals,

Beautifully written. This will be a great read for new quilters.

I am an avid user of sizing and starch. The only downside is that if you are going to store starched items for a period of time , it supposedly attracts bugs. That's the only downside. There are products such as Mary Ellens Best Press that do a great job but are starch free and are scented. As for myself, I always launder my quilts after finishing them so they're not stored with any chemical residues.

Thanks for sharing.

   

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Barbara replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 6:08 PM

Ms. N ,this was a wonderfully wrtten , You should tag it for all new members so it may help the new quilters . Just a thought. Just marvelous descriptions..Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

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Sharon replied on Sun, Jan 16 2011 6:41 PM

Nitchals,

I found out about startching by accident about a year after I started quilting. Now, everything piece of fabric i buy is automatically washed and dried without fabric softener, sprayed with startch and pressed. It made a huge difference in the feel of the fabric by making it easier to hold onto as well as everything you wrote. Very well written.  

Toledo, OH

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nitchals replied on Mon, Jan 17 2011 8:10 AM

I am still a few weeks out from binding my project but I am happy to hear that the sizing benefits will keep on coming!  Anything to help make the bias binding process a little easier gets thumbs up from me.  :)

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