11.25.2009

Starch Applique Tutorial

This is my version of  Raw Edge Starch Applique.

Materials needed:
Iron (yes, that's my awesome $5 Wal-mart iron)
Fautless Heavy Starch (less than $1 @ Wal-mart)
Bathroom towel
Material to be used in the applique, I will be using white for my background and red for my applique pieces.
Lay your bathroom towel over your ironing board. I do this because when you are using lots of starch the towel soaks up the starch very well and then I can just wash it out!
Take your background material and press it. After you press it the starching will begin. Spray the starch very heavily all over your background material. Make sure that the starch has soaked in, meaning you don't want to see any white starch on your material, it should just look wet. Then iron. Now, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat. Nope, that was not a typo, I will starch and iron each piece of material five or six times. When you're done starching you want your material to feel like paper. STIFF!
Now set your background material aside.
Now take the material to be used in your applique pieces and you will repeat the same process. Make sure that you have not cut anything out yet.
Remember that the more starch you use the better your result will be!
This shows that the starch will sometimes, after many layers of starch appear white. When it does simply use your fingers and rub the starch in before pressing. This will prevent the starch from flaking. Also, apply the starch to the back side of the material. I'm just happier with the end result when starching the back side of the material.
Now (after starching) trace your shape to be appliqued onto the red (applique piece) material.

Cut out around the applique piece.
Pin your applique piece onto the background material. They should feel like you are pinning two pieces of paper together. VERY STIFF.
I like to use three basic stitches on my machine for the applique.
First:
A blanket stitch.
With a coordinating thread (my favorite is So Fine by John Flynn for Superior Threads).
 I use a simple blanket stitch and stitch all the way around the applique piece.
Sometimes I wan my applique to stand out so I use a contrasting thread for the applique.
Second:
Tight Zig Zag
Using a coordinating thread I set my zig zag very tight and stitch around my applique piece. This stitch can be very forgiving.
Third:
Strait stitch.
The straight stitch will frey up when washed and is great if you're just learning or if you don't have a blanket stitch on your machine.
When I do the straight stitch I will stitch about 1/4" from the edge of my applique piece using a coordinating thread.
Walla, there's your applique!
Okay, now I know that everybody is wondering why I don't use fusible. Well, I have a few reasons:
1- I love that starch will wash out of everything. I hate how fusible stays stiff in my quilt after being washed.
2- I am a long arm quilter and I have found that quilting over fusible doesn't always give me the look I want.
3-If you are dong the applique by hand I have found that the starch is easier to stitch through.
Now, you're wondering if all your applique has to be raw. Well nope. I also do a turned under method of Starch Applique and turn it under. We will tackle that another day!

Leave a comment, we'd love to hear from you.
~Natalia

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50 comments:

  1. Here I was all set for this very complicated process but you made it so easy! This way looks much better than using the fusible. I don't like the stiffness either. Plus, if you are layering many pieces it can get very hard to stitch through. Also, I do not always have fusible available. Spray starch is easy to keep on hand.

    Thanks!

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  2. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I'm a beginning quilter and this was very helpful!!!

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  3. So simple and the results are so beautiful! Great tute Natalia :)

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  4. Okay so I realize its not the applique I fear, but how does one get such a great blanket stitch or zig zag on it - I tend to use straight stitch especially if the piece is very curvy I can never get my zig zag just right.

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    Replies
    1. First, you need something to measure with; to keep your stitches close to the same distance from the edge. So, look at the foot on your sewing machine; does it have an edge you can use to look at to keep things even? With Natalia's foot, pictured above, she puts the outside edge of the foot right on the edge of her applique.

      Second, she has moved the position of her sewing machine needle to the far right so it sews close to the inside edge of her sewing machine foot. As she moves, slowly, around the shape she keeps the edge of the foot the same distance from the edge of her applique shape. And the needle is closer to the edge than when it is in it's center position.

      Third, she moves slowly when it is tricky and leaves the needle in the fabric when she makes an adjustment or turn. She makes an adjustment by lifting the foot up and rotating the fabric a little bit using the needle as a pivot point. On really curvy pieces you might need to adjust every few stitches to keep things even.

      Hope this helps you.

      Lorri

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  5. Very Cool! Does the starch just help the fabric pieces stay on straight and not move around so much when you are stitching?

    I need to figure out the blanket stitch on my machine.

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  6. Great explanation. I use starch but haven't tried using as much as you do. I'll give it a try. BTW I have a lovely granddaughter named Natalia. It's a beautiful name.

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  7. Thanks for the tutorial...I've never had much success with applique but you've made me want to try it the way you do it.

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  8. Wow! Cool tutorial! I've never heard of this technique but it looks like something that would save me lots of heartache! I always learn something new here! Thank you!!

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  9. Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial, Natalia. As a newbie this is so easy to do lol.
    *hugs* Heather x

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  10. Thanks so much for the tutorial. What a great way to applique. It gives you great control without having to go buy any fusible (it doesn't keep the best even with the best of intentions). You can start a project when the inspiration strikes.

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  11. What a neat technique! Thanks ofr sharing!

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  12. Thanks Natalia. The way I have done it was with a turned under edge, so I will wait and see how it differs from what I do. It's great to get other ideas.

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  13. Great Tutorial! I will have to try this on my next applique quilt!

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  14. Ooooh this is great! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

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  15. Do you know how long I've been using fusible? I'd rather not say - a LONG time. I will definitely be trying this very soon. What a great idea! TFS

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  16. Here is a tip to starch quickly and less expensive: using liquid starch either full strength or diluted to any consistency, dip your fabric into the mixture (wear rubber gloves) when it comes out of the washer still wet. Then throw it in the dryer or hang it out to dry. It saves a lot. When you got to press spritz the dry starched fabric with plain water and press. I don't use steam but I guess you could. HIH

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  17. Very cool, I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. This seems like such an easier and more affordable way of doing this. I am new and was kinda afraid of fusible.

    Thank you very much.

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  19. I've never tried this way and can't wait to!
    I do have a question. Have you ever tried this method with a cotton applique on a knit like a tee shirt? I need to do some holiday tees for my girls and the fusible webbing is so much harder to stitch thru.

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  20. Thank you very much !!, I´m going to use this tip tomorrow morning...
    I´m live in Mexico in it´s very difficult to find Things to do Patch or Quilt works,4 example fusible, so this is a helpfully tip. I can find "almidón" (starch) in the supermarket....Yupi!!!

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  21. Now this tutorial came at a good time. Once I finish the quilt I'm working on now, I will be tackling a quilt that the pieces are diamond shape, and I will not hand sew it and was going to use fusible tape, but I will use the starch method. Thank you.

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  22. Thanks so much for the tutorial!! Must try using the many coats of spray starch! Can't wait for your needle turn tutorial!! Thanks again! LOVED it!! I learned a lot!
    Paulette

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  23. Hello Natalia,
    Thanks for share, I have to try your starch method.

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  24. Olá querida! adorei a sua tecnica de usar o amido , aqui no Brasil usamos o papel termocolante (ritbond), pois caseamos todo o trabalho à mão com o ponto caseado.Gostaria que você me explicasse mais essa tecnica , e se você além do amido usa papel termocolante junto. grata Neuza
    Neuzavp2010@hotmail.com

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  25. What a great easy way to applique. I learned something like this in a class, but she taught a turned under type. Thanks so much, I may try this eventually when I get over my apprehension of applique!

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  26. I have been hesitant to tackle applique because it seemed like it would be a lot of work and easy to mess up when using fusible web. This looks so much easier, less expensive, and I already have everything! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  27. Thanks for the great tutorial. Followed this for my first attempt at applique. This method makes it so easy.

    Blogged about it here (with links and credit to your site): http://craftyjules.weebly.com/1/post/2010/07/diaper-burp-cloths.html

    Thank you!

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  28. I've got to say....I LOVE this tutorial!!! It's really helped me out a lot. I'm a beginner and need all the help I can get. All of your tutorials are GREAT! Thanks so much!!! :)

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  29. Thanks for sharing! Great tutorial!

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  30. I wish I would have read this last week! I just finished Marmalade by Thimble Blossoms... I'm really hateing the stiffness and the money and time spent using the fusible method!

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  31. Great tute! I would love to see the finished edge tute too!

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  32. hi, greeting from los angeles, i have to say that your blog is very informative. I love it. thanks for sharing those tutorials.

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  33. Ok this is way easier (and looks WAY cheaper) than buying all that interfacing and fiddling with trying to get it right!!! Love it. Now I'm going to have to try it!

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  34. This reminds me of when I was a little girl and so in love with ironing. My mom let me iron the napkins and I did it over and over until they were like boards! :D Thanks so much for sharing this! This will make it so much easier to cut out details! Yay!

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  35. Okay, I guess I'm just an idjit. You said "I like to use three basic stitches on my machine for the applique. First: A blanket stitch. With a coordinating thread (my favorite is So Fine by John Flynn for Superior Threads). I use a simple blanket stitch and stitch all the way around the applique piece. Sometimes I want my applique to stand out so I use a contrasting thread for the applique." So my question is...when you want your "applique to stand out...use a contrasting thread for the applique", are you still using the sewing machine, or is that contrasting thread sewing done by hand? It looks too perfect to be done by machine. I can't figure out how you would do it by machine. dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. That is still a sewing machine blanket stitch, she is just using tan thread instead of red so it shows up really well.

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  36. just skipped over while reading about your runner & mats on Moda.

    omg, just as soon as my nail polish dries i am going to
    starch
    starch
    starch

    thnx
    gerry

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  37. Great Tutorial.....quick question - do you wash the starch out before machine quilting?

    Love your work, thanks for the inspiration!

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  38. I tried this with your "Hugs and Kisses" quilt and did really like it, I'll be using it again. My question is the same as Carolyn J.'s question - do you wash the starch out before machine quilting? and where it is not fused down or turned under will it fray when washed?

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  39. I started a wall hanging that is all appliqued, and found it fun but hated the fusable webbing so I haven't finished it. Now with this starch method I will give it another try. Thanks for the tute, I love your new baby quilt tute over at Moda. I will give this a try. Thanks!!

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  40. Thanks so much for this tutorial on the starch method. I cannot wait to see if you have the info on turn needle starch applique.

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  41. Great tutorial. I have not had great success with fusibles, so I can't wait to try this out!

    Mrs.Hearts
    www.busyhandsquilts.blogspot.com

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  42. Hi Natalie,

    WOW that is amazing to use the starch instead of Fusible. Financially that is alot easier on the pocket. I also agree that when using fusible it is to stiff and I don't like the feel off it or a baby feeling that on thier quilt. Thank you for the tip!!
    I just learned of an easier way when machine quilting instead of using safetly pins, or fusible batting. Use basting spray(making a sandwich out of your backing, batting and quilt top) that was so much cheaper too, in canada it's called adheasive spray. Those to small tips save a person alot of money. Thank you!

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  43. Great tutorial, I have used starch but not to that degree. As I often do machine embroidery on my appliqué , which also means stabiliser as well as fusible. I am definitely going to try your method .
    Thank you for sharing.

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  44. Hi Kath,

    I wonder , if the starch is stiff enough , would that elminiate not only the fusible but the stabilizer too? what are your thoughs

    Thank you and take care

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  45. Can't wait to see your next tut on starch and hand turned applique. Thanks for sharing.

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  46. Hi! I'm not sure if u are still getting these comments, but after much research I finally found your tutorial on I'm blushing, and now I am jumping up and down. u used this starch applique technique on it and my question is, do I spray the starch all over the area on that Perry quilt I am about to applique. And if so, do I wash the quilt first before presenting it to the client so it is not stiff? Thanks!

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  47. I buy Sta Flo liquid starch and mix my starch as heavy or as light as I need it to be. No need to use an aerosol can. Just use a spray bottle. You can also put it in a bowl to saturate the piece then let it air dry to damp before ironing it.

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