My quilting life has improved dramatically thanks to the purchase of these two beautiful cans:
Why had I never used spray starch before?! When I was ironing out the quilt-top for Baby Henry’s quilt I noticed that some of the older fabrics I had used were stretching a little bit as I pressed. I had pre-washed everything, but sometimes cheapo and old fabrics stretch – thems the breaks. I had heard that spraying starch after ironing would help stabilize the quilt-top and make my life easier. Boy, did it! Another benefit is that I had this quilt-top draped over the back of a door for over 10 days, waiting to have a backing made and become a quilt-sandwich. It stayed crisp and pressed for that entire time!
By the time I was ready to baste Henry’s quilt I had read THIS WONDERFUL HOW-TO by Film in the Fridge extolling the benefits of 505 basting spray. For a long time I had heard spray-basters wonder: what the heck are pin-basters doing?! Now I am one of those spray-basters! NO MORE PINS FOR ME.
Pin-basting sucks, and I suck at it. I have never NOT stretched my fabric too far while attempting to create a perfect flat sandwich and I ALWAYS have to readjust my basting at least 10 times before finishing quilting a blanket. I’ve had great success in my short machine-quilting life, but not for lack of elbow grease and curse words during the basting and re-basting processes.
You guys – what would have taken me seriously close to 90 minutes (not including the time to clean the kitchen floor properly and move the furniture around in there so I have enough room) and a LOT of swearing, not to mention sore knees and lower back took me MAYBE only 20 MINUTES from absolute “hey-maybe-I-should-baste” start to finish.
Read the tutorial for a guide on how to do it. The only other note I have to offer is in regards to spray-off. Elizabeth does not put anything under her batting because she has a room with a carpet she doesn’t care about (and she’s never noticed the carpet being sticky or affected by the spray). I am not lucky enough to have such a room, so I laid a large fleece blanket I have down on my carpet, and then put the batting on top of it. I then ironed my batting so it was super flat. Then I placed my quilt-top on top of the batting and ironed the top. I let the quilt cool-down (the can of 505 says the fumes are flammable enough times to make me a little paranoid), and then I started the spraying process as Elizabeth describes. After I was done basting my quilt, I throw my fleece blanket in the wash! No worries about sticky carpets – just in case.
I’ve only used the spray baste on baby quilts. I’ve read people who regularly make queen-size quilts that the spray basting still holds up perfectly for larger blankets. I know I will definitely be trying it as a first-resort on all future quilting projects I have planned!
One last note: although I haven’t read of any problems about starch or spray baste gumming needles, I have heard some people be concerned about giving sprayed blankets to babies. Simple: just wash your blankets before gifting them! The sprays are both water-soluble.