📹 How to starch fabric before quilting: Lisa Bongean’s trick for tiny piecing (video!)

Your jaw might drop when you see what we’re sharing with you today. But don’t worry: it’s in a good way!

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is a beloved quilt designer, and a Moda fabric designer too. If you’ve seen her work, you know she’s also an impeccable piecer:

Memory of a Masterpiece quilt
Memory of a Masterpiece from
Red & White Quilts

(Yes, our jaws dropped when this incredible quilt was first revealed in our office!)

Our inquiring minds wanted to know: how does Lisa piece so precisely?

We asked, and Lisa gave us her #1 tip. It all comes down to . . . starch. Plain-old, nothing fancy, grocery-store starch.

What’s so special about starch? For Lisa, it’s the when, where, and why. Especially the when. In the video below she’ll reveal her secret: how to starch fabric before quilting steps start—before cutting, before sewing, before anything else! You’ll get her wheres and whys in the video too:


Viewing this post in email? Click here to watch the video online.

Now you have a better idea of why Lisa’s astonishing quilts look like this:

Forever Friends quilts
Forever Friends from
Moda All-Stars: Lucky Charm Quilts

And this:

Flight Path quilt
Flight Path from
Moda All-Stars: Scraps Made Simple

And this!

Moda Blockheads Sampler Quilt by Lisa Bongean
Moda Blockheads Sampler quilt from
Moda Blockheads

In Lisa’s A Quilter’s Journal, you’ll find many more photos of her gorgeous quilts, along with peeks into her antique-quilt collections and her sewing studio. This might just be one of the most charming photos from the journal (which includes hundreds of pics!):

From A Quilter's Journal

She saves her trimmed-off dog ears in Mason jars. Now every dog (ear) has its day!

A Quilter's JournalHow do you use starch when piecing your patchwork?

  • I soak my fabrics in starch, just like Lisa.
  • I usually use it while pressing my quilt blocks.
  • I don’t usually use starch at all—but Lisa’s got a point. (Pun intended!)

Tell us your starch story in the comments!


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