Starching & Preparing Your Fabrics with Lisa Bongean - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Starching & Preparing Your Fabrics with Lisa Bongean

Hi everyone! Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is here today to show you how she prepares her fabrics before she starts stitching. Her most favorite thing to do is is…. starching – with lots and lots of starch! Starching helps keep your fabrics from stretching and helps the accuracy of cutting your fabrics as well. Watch Lisa’s video to learn how she starches her fabric (warning: this might be shocking to some of you!) 

How about you? Do you starch your fabrics? Let us know in our fun poll below!

Do you starch your fabrics?


Poll Maker


  1. I always take the time to starch, but I rarely will starch precuts smaller than a fat quarter. I find that the fabric gets distorted when it's wet, making accurate cutting more difficult. Although, maybe this technique, where you let the fabric self dry would help reduce that distortion.

  2. WOOHOO!! Thank you Lisa for sharing your starching method, and thank you to Kimberly for sharing her method with us last year. I too am a BIG fan of starching my fabric before cutting it.

    The benefits of starching fabric before cutting (for me):
    1) starched fabric frays less
    2) starched fabric easily holds seams pressed to the side or seams pressed open (I use a wooden ironing tool)
    3) small starched fabric pieces hold their cut shape, really important for small blocks or blocks with a lot of pieces – – – i.e. a 8.5" square block with 60+ pieces in it (mini Swoon block)

    I teach quilting classes, and one of my most informative and well received classes centers around using my own starching method, along with using a wooden iron tool, to teach quilters how to "accurately" cut and piece together a miniature Swoon block.

    Washing starched quilts isn't a problem for me because I wash all of my quilts after I have finished quilting them. After I wash and block my quilts, I trim them down and attend to the binding process using a 2" binding. Here are some links for further research on this washing and blocking process. I will admit that I sometimes use a box or half a box of Color Catchers per quilt to avoid accidental bleeding because I do not prewash fabrics.

    I hope this information is helpful to others. 🙂 Margo