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TOPIC: Straightening fabric?

Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 14:12 #60488

Teric wrote:
My DH made me a rack out of 1 1/2 x 3/4 poles and I use it to starch my fabric. I stapled 4" strips of fabric to the lumber.
It is really easy to set up, I have C clamps and use them at each corner to hold the poles together. You can make it any size you need up to 72".
I pin the fabric to the strips and then I can starch my fabric. You can square up the rack just by loosening the clamps and moving the poles
at the corners. The fabric dries really fast because air can get around the front and back of the fabric.
I wonder if I could block my quilt in the same way?
That has got to be one of the coolest things! Oh hooooonnnnn (DH), come take a look at this setup!
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 10:48 #60467

Teri--That's a new use for the olden days quilting frame. I'm not a starter, nor do I have my frame anymore. I re-purposed the lumber after I had to give up hand quilting. The clamps are still handy for other things from time to time.
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 09:53 #60463

  • Teric
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I spray it after I pin the fabric to the strips. I do it in the garage, and turn on a floor fan.
I don't direct the fan on the fabric, but the turning air dries the fabric really fast.
I live in California, so in the summer time you don't need the fan.
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 09:45 #60459

  • Margo
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Teric wrote:
My DH made me a rack out of 1 1/2 x 3/4 poles and I use it to starch my fabric. I stapled 4" strips of fabric to the lumber.
It is really easy to set up, I have C clamps and use them at each corner to hold the poles together. You can make it any size you need up to 72".
I pin the fabric to the strips and then I can starch my fabric. You can square up the rack just by loosening the clamps and moving the poles
at the corners. The fabric dries really fast because air can get around the front and back of the fabric.
I wonder if I could block my quilt in the same way?

Teri, that is brilliant! Do you soak your fabric before pinning it to dry, or do you spray the starch on after you've mounted it???


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 09:03 #60456

  • Teric
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My DH made me a rack out of 1 1/2 x 3/4 poles and I use it to starch my fabric. I stapled 4" strips of fabric to the lumber.
It is really easy to set up, I have C clamps and use them at each corner to hold the poles together. You can make it any size you need up to 72".
I pin the fabric to the strips and then I can starch my fabric. You can square up the rack just by loosening the clamps and moving the poles
at the corners. The fabric dries really fast because air can get around the front and back of the fabric.
I wonder if I could block my quilt in the same way?
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 07:45 #60455

Teric wrote:
This posting has been so helpful, thank you everyone. I never thought of washing
and blocking the quilt before putting on the binding. I am so going to try it on
my quilt in progress.
Have a great weekend everyone.
You too! Glad to help, but (oops) I forgot to tell you stay stitch (or :) pink it) around the edges, before washing, so it doesn't fray.
Margo wrote:
Great info Beth! BTW...I love the light box your DH made for you!! :D
Thank you, Margo. He's wonderful!
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 07:37 #60454

  • Teric
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This posting has been so helpful, thank you everyone. I never thought of washing
and blocking the quilt before putting on the binding. I am so going to try it on
my quilt in progress.
Have a great weekend everyone.
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Re: Straightening fabric? 19 Mar 2011 06:36 #60451

  • Margo
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Great info Beth! BTW...I love the light box your DH made for you!! :D


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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Re: Straightening fabric? 18 Mar 2011 22:54 #60448

Does Harriet recommend straightening the grain lines, or just starching it so much that it doesn't matter?
Margo,
I also do as kathyst2 said, "...tearing the fabric, and lining up the selvages, then persuading the fabric to go back on grain through pressing and spray starch by matching the torn edges." When I made my Shakespeare in the Park quilt, I tore varying widths of each of the fabrics and went through this process on each strip. I wanted to cut every patch in every color (along with plenty of extra patches), so I could mix and match, while sewing each unit. I've just put some pics in the personal-picture section of my profile (I tried to type that that too fast; my fingers got tongue-tied :wink: ).

Kathy (kathyst2),
Thank you so much for your kind words! I have rules, when it comes to accuracy: 1) Quilters are not permitted to wear reading glasses, when viewing my quilts. 2) Non-quilters may use whichever glasses they choose, as they probably don't know to look for that type of thing. :)
SuperJudy wrote:
If you starch the heck out of it before cutting and sewing, then wash the quilt, what happens? It seems to me that any large pieces (such as sashing) could go off-grain again. :? I don't suppose it would matter on
small pieces, but I'd think larger pieces of fabric should be straight to begin with.

Judy,
In addition to what others have responded, I want to add that my method of not pre-washing comes with the major risk of the colors bleeding. Since I love batiks (and they're washed multiple times) and try to use a variety of fabrics, I don't think I (or anyone else) would notice the bleeding. Now, when I want a very light background and I'm using dark colors, I probably would pre-wash. Either way, I always wash my quilts in hot water with Synthrapol and at least 2 Dye Catchers sheets. Between all that starch and marking for quilting, it doesn't feel anything like a quilt, and we know we can't have that. Once it's been washed and dried in a hot dryer (yes, you're reading that correctly), it's all nice and crinkly-puckery-quilty goodness. Now I can block it on the design wall (with Alex's method: wetting it all down with the spray bottle, smoothing/gentle pulling, and pinning) and let it dry overnight. Now I can cut the edges, while it's all square, before putting on the binding. As everyone says, this is what works for me, some of the time. It all depends on the quilt, it's purpose, if I know who it will go to live with, if it has a deadline, my moods, the weather, and just about anything else. You'll have to find what works for you. That's how it is with quilting; we can all snuggle happily, under the crinkly-puckery-quilty goodness of the "Quilting" world! :D (Lorchen, this is for you too. Don't let the quilt police know, and we'll all have a real good time!)

Ok, I was a bit long-winded there, but I tried to respond to everyone in one post. Now it's time to look at some quilts! Happy weekend everyone!
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Re: Straightening fabric? 18 Mar 2011 06:44 #60382

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SuperJudy wrote:
If you starch the heck out of it before cutting and sewing, then wash the quilt, what happens? It seems to
me that any large pieces (such as sashing) could go off-grain again. :? I don't suppose it would matter on
small pieces, but I'd think larger pieces of fabric should be straight to begin with.

I may be wrong about this theory , but I trust that the quilting will hold it in place! It will be supported by the batting and backing and surrounded by other pieces. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!! :wink:


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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Re: Straightening fabric? 18 Mar 2011 06:39 #60381

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Lorchen wrote:
Please, don't shoot me, but I'm not a great fan of starching (there are exceptions though, like knowing from the start that a piece will be exhibited). For me, one of the big attractions of working with fabrics is that they are soft and tactile (feeling and stroking....awww....). So I accept that my piecing is not as accurate as if I would stiffen the fabric until it can stand up by itself. But that's just me. :)

Aren't we glad that we can all do what makes our hearts sing!! :D
When I'm doing hand work, I also like the tactile feeling and stroking factor, and prewash my fabrics so they are soft!! Luv it!!

For machine work, I like the precision that I get with the stiffness, but I also know that my quilts immediately go into the washer to remove all that starch as soon as the binding is done, since my quilts are meant to be used and loved to death!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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Re: Straightening fabric? 17 Mar 2011 22:40 #60376

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SuperJudy wrote:
If you starch the heck out of it before cutting and sewing, then wash the quilt, what happens? It seems to
me that any large pieces (such as sashing) could go off-grain again. :? I don't suppose it would matter on
small pieces, but I'd think larger pieces of fabric should be straight to begin with.

Hi Judy, I think that's what the Harriet Hargrave Method addresses, that you actually line up the grain of the fabric, press it, and then starch it. So if it is sewn on grain theoretically it won't distort when washed? I've only tried this for one fabric in a small quilt, and haven't yet washed it.

Maybe doing this would solve some of my piecing problems.
Kathy
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Re: Straightening fabric? 17 Mar 2011 22:14 #60373

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Please, don't shoot me, but I'm not a great fan of starching (there are exceptions though, like knowing from the start that a piece will be exhibited). For me, one of the big attractions of working with fabrics is that they are soft and tactile (feeling and stroking....awww....). So I accept that my piecing is not as accurate as if I would stiffen the fabric until it can stand up by itself. But that's just me. :)
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
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Re: Straightening fabric? 17 Mar 2011 20:56 #60369

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If you starch the heck out of it before cutting and sewing, then wash the quilt, what happens? It seems to
me that any large pieces (such as sashing) could go off-grain again. :? I don't suppose it would matter on
small pieces, but I'd think larger pieces of fabric should be straight to begin with.
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