Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tip Tuesday! - A Spray Starch Alternative

Tip Tuesday! - Quilters' Moonshine!

Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!"

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give credit where credit is due whenever possible.
These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

Quilters' Moonshine 

No, It's Tip Tuesday!, Not Tipsy Tuesday!

Have you ever tried to press out that annoying center fold line that most fabrics have when it comes right off the bolt? It's a real pain, isn't it?

Ok, maybe we should have had the pre-washing discussion first, but since we didn't, just follow along and pretend that we did. :-)

As I was saying, that fold is a real pain and no matter how hard I tried, it just didn't press out. I tried using various heat settings on my iron, various spray starches, etc., but I just wasn't satisfied with the results. 

Well, for the past year and a half or so, I've been making and using my own homemade spray starch alternative.  I call it Quilters' Moonshine. (After reading the ingredients list, you'll understand the name.) I've been very happy with the results, and I use it on my clothing as well as my fabric.

Since I've had some recent requests for the recipe, I decided that this would make a great Tip Tuesday! post. So, here we go. 

Quilters' Moonshine

 This recipe makes a little over a gallon so be prepared to make it in a bucket or large bowl and then transfer to other containers.

Mix well: 
1 gallon of distilled water
1/2 - 3/4 cup liquid starch (I used Sta-Flo)**see note below
1 cup vodka (cheap is fine - and now you know why we call it Moonshine!)

You can add up to 4 teaspoons of your favorite essential oil for a scent, if you'd like. I did not do that. I don't particularly care for scented items because I never know if it will set off my allergies. 

**I like to use 3/4 cup of liquid starch because I think it works much better, but many people have told me that they only use 1/2 cup and are happy with the results. The choice is yours. Try it with 1/2 cup first and if you don't feel it's working at the optimal level for you, add the other 1/4 cup. 

That's it! 

Mix it well and pour into other containers. Since this makes a bunch, you can give it as gifts to your quilting buddies, or keep it all for yourself. Of course you could also cut the recipe in half and just make less, but what fun is that? 


sew.darn.quilt said...

This sounds interesting since I've struggled with that same pesky crease BUT I have got to ask... how on earth did you come up with using vodka?
Inquiring minds want to know :D

Angelia said...

Vodka is made from potatoes a natural starch.

Nancy said...

Hi. Love your tip tuesdays. I cannot find liquid starch without going online and then the shipping costs are high due to the weight. I have used diluted vodka and it works. My children think it is funny since I rarely drink alcohol. However, due to the cost of even cheap alcohol, I might as well buy Best Press.

What works for me is diluted Elmer's school glue. The dilution I play with depending how stiff I want something. Washes out like a charm. However, found out one time that I hadn't sprayed it on evenly and some areas shrunk a bit (from the starch) and others hadn't. Usually not a problem but I was cutting for a One Block Wonder, and it made it really difficult to match up the design lines. I was at a guild workshop and didn't have my starch there to rectify problem. Did carry on and managed with difficultly.

Anonymous said...

Not all vodka is made with potatoes. Check before you buy.

juliea said...

You can ask an employee st a liquor store if they carry the potatoe vodka. My local one carries 2 different brands of it. Most today are made from something other than potatoes