Using starch with fusible web
I am beginning a Baltimore Album Quilt. I am going to do the quilt with fusible web and machine applique the pieces. My question is on the use of starch with fusible. Should I starch the background fabric and then apply the fusible?
I would think that the fusible web, itself, would lend enough stability to the fabric for you to do a nice machine applique along the edge of the shape. Most of the machine stitching will be on the shape and not the background so the majority of the stitch is stabilized.
To be sure, do a small test sample with the same threads and stitches you will use in the final blocks. It'll be a good place to make all your tension adjustments, too.
If you need further stabilization, I suggest using a tearaway stabilizer behind the block instead of starching--You can use more than one layer if you need to. This tearaway will look and feel like paper and be easy to remove without distorting your stitches.
So why not just starch it?
If you starch the background fabric and then apply the fusible, there's a good chance the starch will interfere with the ability of the fused shape to 'stick' to the background fabric.
In fact, any
finish on your fabric may interfere with the 'stick' of the fusible web...I recommend prewashing all the fabrics that will be fused to remove any finish that may be on the fabric.
And if you use starch, remember you must wash the blocks after they are stitched to remove the starch from the fabric (so you don't attract any critters...)
Readers, do you use stabilizers with your machine applique or do you starch your fabric? Your experiences are most welcome. Please use the 'comments' link to share yours. Thank you!