Friday, April 15, 2011

How I Prepare A Quilt Sandwich Without Spray Glue or Hairspray!

Being allergic to many things, I've figured out a way that I can prepare my quilts for my DSM (domestic home machine) without using any Basting Spray--highly toxic, or Aqua Net--who can stand that smell???

Anyhow, through the last year, with so many quilts I've quilted on my sewing machine, I've just fine tuned this process and I thought I'd share it.

Spray Starch Recipe I use:  (Changed from an online recipe)
1 qt distilled water
1/4 cup Vodka
1 tsp Lavender oil or Lemon Oil or whatever is your favorite
5-10 drops of another oil that would blend.  I usually use lemon and lavender oil together.
1/2 cup liquid starch
Mix together in a quart bottle and transfer to a plastic spray bottle.  Hair product bottles are perfect as they spray in a very fine mist.

At this point, the quilt is pinned and ready to be taken to the sewing machine to quilt as desired.  I usally shake it out and get it ready to lay out on the machine.  I take the folds out so that it will feed smoothly as I free motion quilt.

After a question, I'm adding this as a review. 

After I sew the backing together to get the size needed, (if it needs it), I press the joining seam open, then starch that seam. I then turn the fabric over so that it is the right side of the fabric that I will now starch (the fabric that will slide through on the bed of the machine) and spray starch it as much as possible. The stiffer it is the better it glides.

Then I take it to the countertop and lay wrong side up and then add the precut batting. Smooth and press with hands.

Then add the top. This is where I use the iron again and starch the top as I press. If there is any batting that is "short" of the top--this is where I press the iron on tape to the extra batting to add length or width. (I really
like to use full pieces, but I'm also a nut about not letting my scraps get away from me--especially when I'm doing donation quilts.)

Press (now with the iron) all wrinkles out from the top-- with the batting inthe middle and the backing on the bottom). The sandwich and the batting will start to cling to the backing.

Start the pinning process. Fold as you go, smoothing again with your hands and checking the back for puckers along the way.

I just did another kid sized quilt and this whole process took about 20 minutes or less. I've got it on the machine now.

So, I guess you could say I spray them separately and then together too. I wash after quilting, and binding,so all the starch washes out.

Hopefully this is clear.  Maybe I need to redo this tutorial.  Let me know!


Pattilou said...

After an email--I'm adding this addendum.
One thing you might try if you haven't already is really spray starching the back before sandwiching. Sometimes just the starching makes it slide more easily on the machine bed. When I do that, particularly on flannel, it doesn't stick so much or make those funny folds. The other thing I've done, when I started, I used busy fabric and then slip stitched the "oops" and hopefully no one was the wiser!

Mary said...

Just wondering why you use VODKA in your starch recipe?

Pattilou said...

It's my understanding that it helps keep things fresh and mold free. But, then I use mine pretty fast. But, the recipe works well and I've even started adding more starch and less water.

2ajsmama said...

I wonder if rubbing alcohol would work instead of vodka? And do you need the oil, or is it just to make it smell good?

Pattilou said...

You could try the rubbing alcohol, but I'd just use the recipe as I got it. The oil gives a great refreshing smell to the spray. I wouldn't think that you would NEED it.

Ladyreneer said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I also have many allergies/sensitivities so this sounds interesting. Plus I use so much basting spray this will help me save more money for fabric, right?

carla said...

Hi!!! Thanks so much for this!!! I have allergies also to so many things!!!! I will love trying this out!!!!

Ginny B. said...

I love this, My husband complains constantly about the cost of spray starch, I use a lot as I make at least 2 quilts (queen size) a month. so this should shut him up.

Ginny B. said...

I love this, My husband complains constantly about the cost of spray starch, I use a lot as I make at least 2 quilts (queen size) a month. so this should shut him up.

Grandma Sue said...

OOOOO, those husbands. I wonder if they golf (expensive) Bet on March Madness or other sporting events.
Have night out with the guys, stop for a drink occassionaly with the guys or work pals. Buy stuff for their cars....A Martini costs what a can of starch does (approx)
These good women are home sewing, not out flirting with strangers at bars.

Anonymous said...

Rubbing alcohol won't do the same thing. The vodka should be made from potatoes. It is the starch in the potatoes that makes the difference.

Donna McDermott said...

This is a superb tip and one I will definitely being trying. I prefer to baste with spray and do secure with pins but the spray starching of the backing is a great piece of advice - not tried that before but will do so in future. Thank you for sharing this.