Starching the Jelly Roll

Since studying Sharon Schamber’s tutorials, I starch all my fabrics at least twice before cutting. Fabric is more manageable and less likely to stretch. Prior to using starch, my blocks were never square and often needed a lot of prodding and fudging to square up.

I’m currently working on a new quilt using two jelly rolls of Oh Deer! by MoMo and Kona Snow yardage. I’m starching each and every jelly roll strip twice, does anyone else do this? The finished size will be 80″ x 80″ without borders.

Other techniques I’m using to ensure straight blocks include:

  1. Glueing long and bias seams with Elmer’s School Glue and heat setting prior to sewing;
  2. Wetting seams with water using a paint brush and pressing to make them ultra flat;
  3. Truing up each and every 4-block, all 320 of them. It takes a little longer but I’m trusting that my quilt will be square;
  4. Pressing with a dry iron.

I started using commercial starch but at $4.00 per can and using 1 can every 3 to 4 days, it’s just too expensive! Yesterday I made my own mixing 2 heaping table spoons of starch in one pint of water. It sometimes leaves white splotches on the fabric but will wash out in the laundry so it really isn’t a big deal.

Do you use any special techniques to make your blocks come out perfect??

My husband and I are still wrestling with the Gracie Queen quilting frame, hopefully we’ll have the bugs worked out soon!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

9 thoughts on “Starching the Jelly Roll

    • Thanks for your comments Cindy, the key to starching your fabric is to spray one side, turn it over then iron (on the other side). It doesn’t save your ironing board cover but it does save your iron!

  1. Your new project looks great! I’m new to starch but have just started using Best Press and I like it quite well. I’m working on mostly UFOs so haven’t really used it before cutting much but I really like using on my quilt backs to help decrease tucks. I think on my next new project I’ll use it from the start and see if it makes a difference for me. I true up only when I need to, kind of lazy about that I guess. On my older UFOs I can really appreciate how much better I’ve gotten at accurate piecing!

  2. I use “Best Press” to starch my fabric prior to cutting. I use a 1/4 inch foot to make sure all my seams are consistent and I true my blocks as I go.

    • I’ve only been able to find one kind of starch here in Canada, it’s good but expensive and I’ve read they use formaldehyde in commercial starch so I’ve been using homemade.

    • Hi Dana, I’m just using regular baking corn starch, is there any other kind? Two tablespoons is a little too much, you could get away with 1 & 1/2 tablespoons per quart of water. Today I tried Elmer’s school glue diluted with water, not as starch but as a lighter glue to keep thick seams flat. It worked beautifully.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!!

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