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I have been assembling units for a pieced border this week and forgot how much I like using homemade starch.

Pieced border units

I usually reach for the can of starch or sizing from the store, because it is just there.  When I use it, I never know whether it will spray or dribble in globs out of the can.  If it sprays, the starch also goes all over the ironing board, the floor, or other nearby furniture.  This week I took 10 minutes and got a box of starch out of the kitchen cabinet and cooked up my own starch, using Diane Gaudynski’s recipe (which you can find on her website at the bottom of the monthly ‘Tips’ page).

I put it in a plastic spray bottle (no more metal aerosol can).  Now I can control the spray and exactly where it goes!  No more sticky globs… and the starch adds body and stiffness to my fabric without leaving white flakes all over everything.  It really helps to tame those bias seams – almost eliminating distortion when piecing triangles or other bias-cut shapes.  Of course, it’s also perfect for starching the back of your quilt just before you layer it for machine quilting.  The additional stiffness of the backing makes it easier to avoid tucks or puckers while you are basting and quilting your quilt.   And it helps your quilt slide more easily on the bed of your sewing machine when you are machine quilting.

I highly recommend using your own homemade starch!

P.S. Can you guess how many border units are in the picture above?

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