Thursday, September 15, 2016

How To Starch Fabric

Hey y'all! I'm back and this week I'm going to be showing you all how I starch my fabrics. I'm sure there are plenty of different ways you can starch your fabrics, but I'm going to show you how I starch mine. The way I think about it is that it works for me and if it aint broken don't' fix it! lol!
   Make sure you check out my video where I'm showing you exactly what I do. I'm going to try to walk you through it in pictures as well, but the video shows you exactly what I do.

First I'm going to go over the different types of starch that I have came across, my video goes a little more in depth about them so I'm just going to give you a quick run through of them.

The first type of starch is Niagra, it can be found at almost any store for really cheap. I have used Niagra and it's not that bad, but now I just use the spray bottle it came in.

The 2nd type of starch is Mary Ellen's Best Press, this is the type that I use every day. I normally buy the refill bottles (the large bottle in the picture above) and pour it in the Niagra bottle and use it that way. If you just want to try it out you can get the smaller bottle (it's the orange in the picture) to see if you like it. I love the scents it comes in and I love the way it makes my fabrics feel.

The last type of starch (or starch alternative) that I'm going to talk about it Flatter by Soak. I really really love this product, the smells are absolutely amazing! My only problem with this type of starch is the price point. It is a lot more expensive then the other 2 I've talked about. And me being the penny pincher I am I can't afford to use it. I use a lot of starch and the size this type comes in would probably only last me for maybe 2 projects. It is an amazing product though.

Now, I'll go over how and why I starch my fabrics.

The reason I like to starch my fabrics before I even cut them is I feel that starched fabrics are easier to work with, the starch makes them feel almost paper like. I feel like I can cut the fabric more accurately and also piece more accurately when my fabrics are starched.

the first step is to lay out your fabric on your pressing surface. Pictured is a fat quarter but you can use this process with any cut you have.

Now spray your fabric lightly but thoroughly with starch.

Flip your fabric over to the opposite side from which you just sprayed.

Using a hot iron (I prefer to not use steam but if you prefer steam that is fine too!) press until the fabric is dry to touch. Be careful not to distort your fabric.

Once you have completed pressing your fabrics go ahead and spray again with starch. You will be spraying the side that you just pressed.

Flip over the fabric again and press until dry. The reason I spray one side and press from the opposite side is that the starch adheres to the fibers better this way. You will press this side until it is completely dry, again being careful not to distort your fabric.

Now you can repeat until you get the desired stiffness. I normally only do the process once, meaning the starch is sprayed on the front and back of the fabric. You will notice a big difference in the drape of your fabric once you have starched it. You don't need to worry, the starch will wash out.

When I'm working on a quilt block once I complete the block I will starch it as well as any completed quilt top too.

I hope you found this helpful and that you checked out my video! I would love if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel as well as follow me on my social media!!!

I will talk to y'all soon!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Basic Quilting and Sewing Supplies

      Hey everyone! I know I've been MIA for a long time now, but right now it's time to change that! Over the past few weeks I've been working on filming and editing a few different videos for my YouTube channel. Which also means I've been taking a lot of pictures for my blog too! With my videos I'm mainly focusing on beginner quilters. The reason for that is when I was learning how to sew I would try to find the answer to my questions on blogs, youtube, google everywhere! There was a lot of things I couldn't find online so I just had to guess the answer and learn through trial and error. I remember a lot of the things I would try to find online and I know if I had the question someone else will too. Not all of my videos are going to be focused on the beginner I've got some tutorials coming as well, the tutorials are for everyone, I'm going to break them down and make them as easy as I can that way a beginner can make the project too. My goal is to upload a new video at least once a week with a corresponding blog post, I may throw some random blog posts in during the week too, so make sure you subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel so you don't miss any of my videos or blog posts! I would greatly appreciate it!

    Now, my first video in over a year is what you need to get started sewing or quilting. Just your basic supplies and some optional things that I use. In the video I left out a few things, it's hard to remember everything sometimes! But I made sure to get pictures of everything for this blog post.
So, this is what anyone that wants to start sewing will need to have in order to do so.

To watch my new video just click here!

First thing you will need is a sewing machine! This is a picture of my Juki TL 2010Q. If you are just starting to sew I would not recommend getting this machine, you will just need a basic sewing machine, it doesn't have to be fancy or expensive either. My first machine was a Brother that I got at walmart on Black Friday for around $25.

You will need some thread, I use Gutermann mainly, I love Aurifil as well it's just harder for me to get in my area. I use white for most everything I sew, you can use whatever color you prefer, I just find white to be the easiest because it goes with everything!

You will need needles, using a fresh needle with every project is a good idea. (I will admit I'm terrible when it comes to changing out my needles though!) You will also need a pair of thread scissors, they are a lot easier to use to snip a thread than a large pair of fabric scissors. And you will need a seam ripper! As much as any quilter hates using them we all have to have them, everyone makes mistakes, my seam ripper was my very best friend when I was learning how to sew.

Every sewing machine comes with a bag of different items for your sewing machine. The picture below is what I received with my Juki. It includes different presser feet, oil, screwdriver (for changing presser feet and needles), and a seam ripper. Depending on the machine you have the items in your bag will probably be a bit different. Every machine I own has came with at least a few presser feet, screwdriver, and seam ripper.

You will need pins and some sort of pincushion. In the picture below I have 3 different examples of pincushions. The purple square is a magnetic pin holder, the larger pincushion is one that I made, and the smaller one is an amazing cushion that my friend Kari made for me. You can never have too many pincushions (I PROMISE!)

You will need a lint brush, this is used to help clean your machine and get all the lint out (you will probably get one of these with your sewing machine.) You will need extra bobbins that fit your machine so you don't have to stop and wind a bobbin every time one runs out, it saves a lot of time.
You will need some extra needles and pins as well.

This item is optional but I absolutely LOVE using them. They are called Wonder Clips by Clover. They are used as a replacement for pins. When you are first getting started I recommend using regular pins though.

Next you will need a basic iron. It doesn't have to be fancy it just needs to get hot! Some people prefer using steam while pressing, some don't...I'll leave that up to you.

You will need an ironing board or pressing board (I know mine is filthy, I need to recover it.) If you want to learn how to make your own pressing board I have a video on how to make one right here. It's really easy to do.

I use a lot of starch when I'm sewing, of course it is optional but I strongly recommend using it. I'll have a video coming soon on how I starch my fabrics. I use Mary Ellen's Best Press but there is a lot of different types of starch out there.

This is my mini trash can or thread catcher. You don't have to have one of these I just find it very useful to have it in my sewing area to throw my threads and trimming in, instead of having to go to the trash can every time I cut something.

You will need a rotary cutter,  a self healing rotary cutting mat, and some fresh blades for your rotary cutter. These are very very sharp so make sure you keep it out of reach of little hands and keep yours locked when not in use. In the picture are examples of different sizes of rotary cutters, I recommend starting with a 45mm, I use that size the majority of the time.

You will also need a pair of fabric scissors. Make sure not to use your fabric scissors on anything except fabric so they will stay really sharp!

Along with your rotary cutter and mat you will need an Acrylic Ruler. There are many different rulers to choose from and they come in all different shapes and sizes. I mainly use my 3" by 18" ruler.

This picture is another example of acrylic rulers.

Depending on what kind of project you are working on you will need a fabric safe marking tool. Pictured below is a Frixxon pen which is what I use but there are a lot of different types of marking tools you can get. Chalk is a common marking tool as well. I like the Frixxon pens because they are easy to see on most every fabric and the ink disappears with heat.

The last item I am mentioning is a washable glue stick. This is something most people already have in their house and if not it's super cheap to buy. This is an optional item, some people don't like using glue on their fabric, I find it very helpful when sewing zippers and with paper piecing.

So that's it! Your list of things you need to get started sewing along with a few optional items that I like. I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment, I will get back to you ASAP.

I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog as well as my YouTube channel, share my video with your friends and on social media!

You can also follow me on social media, I included a link to all my social media below to make it easy for you to find me!
Just click on any of the social media names and it will take you straight to my feed(s), I would love for you to "follow" me or subscribe to me on any or all of my social media!

Again, I hope you found this video and blog post helpful. If you have any ideas for future posts or videos I would love to hear them!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'll talk to you again very soon!!!!!