My Secret Tip for Piecing Quilts

Hey y’all! Today I’m delighted to be part of the Fabulously Fast Quilts book tour. Amy Smart’s new book is full of beautiful colorful quilts that come together quickly.


What a great concept! We could all use more time and anything that helps me create more efficiently is a good thing.

Amy is super sweet and really talented. In fact, I learned how to quilt from one of her tutorials almost 4 years ago!

As part of the tour, Amy asked each of us to share a sewing or quilting tip with you so today I’m sharing my secret weapon with you: STARCH!

Piecing Quilts with Starch!

my secret weapon ellison lane

Yes, starch! I’ve recently started using it but the key is to spray your fabric BEFORE you cut it. Sometimes if you starch after you piece, your blocks can get wavy and puckered.

patchwork ellison lane

I know a lot of folks love Best Press (which is very nice) but I use Faultess Premium Starch that I buy at Walmart. It’s inexpensive and smells good. :) A win-win!

Starch makes your fabric stiffer which is easier to work with when piecing. Don’t worry, when you wash your finished quilt, it will get soft and crinkly. If you add some Downy or other fabric softener to the wash when you toss in the quilt, it will be extra soft!

So there you have it! My secret weapon.

Want to see more of Amy Smart’s beautiful quilts in the book? Check out these beauties:

fast-strip-pieced-quilts-001 quilt-quick-amy-smart


Now be sure to check out all the stops on the Fabulously Fast Quilts book tour (below.) Everyone has a great tip to share with you that is sure to make your sewing life easier!

Monday April 28
Sachiko Aldous of Tea Rose Home
April Rosenthal of April Rosenthal
Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane
Tuesday April 29
Jen Wilding Cardon of Stitch This! Martingale Blog
Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet
Wednesday April 30
Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts
Melissa Mortenson of PolkaDot Chair
Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock
Thursday May 1
Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s Quilts
Jeni Baker of In Color Order
Friday May 2
Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt
Lindsay Conner of Craft Buds
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
I can’t wait to see what everyone shares.
Be sure to pick up your own copy of this great book! Thanks Amy for including me!
Happy starching y’all!


  1. 2


    I mixed my own starch once, apparently I used too much starch and not enough water and had flakes all over the room! I think I’ll stick to spray starch from the store! Thank you for the tip!


  2. 4

    Cyndi Nelson says

    I keep hearing about people who use starch while piecing… I need to give it a try. I don’t do that, so hard to remember to use the starch : )

  3. 5

    Kathleen O'Grady says

    I have recently started using starch more consistently and it really does help. Thanks for the great tip!

  4. 6

    Kathleen O'Grady says

    I have recently started using starch more consistently and it really does help. Thanks for the great tip! What gorgeous quilts! I love the one on the cover.

  5. 7


    I love starch!!! I always pre-wash my fabrics and hang them on the clothesline to dry…when they are still wet out there on that line, I’ll spray them with the starch and let it dry into the fabric. So easy to press and cut after that! And I always make my own starch and I don’t get flakes – flakes happen when the starch is on heavy and doesn’t get a chance to dry before you nail it with your iron. I also spray the starch on the back of the fabric and press from the front.

  6. 8

    Leigh Ann says

    Thank you! I took a craftsy class and the teacher recommended using sizing instead of starch because starch draws moths and other insects and sizing, being made of synthetic materials, doesn’t. I’ve been using sizing ever since.

  7. 10

    Lisa C says

    I agree with what Leigh Ann said. I’ve been told that starch attracts bugs also. I wish I knew if it was true!

  8. 11


    Great tip. I have been using ‘sizing’ and wasn’t thrilled with the results. I will buy some ‘starch’! Looks like a great book. Thanks!

    • 12


      what sizing did you use? I use Faultless Magic Sizing (in the blue can) (very liberally 😉 ) and I adore it! Makes me giddy to open a fresh can 😀

  9. 14


    I know a couple of quilters who love to use starch, I think I will have to give it a try soon, thanks for sharing your tip and Amy’s book looks like a winner.

  10. 15

    Judi says

    I use starch but I like the idea of using it before I cut. I buy mine at Costco. I get 3 or 4 cans at a very reduced price.

  11. 16

    Lori Morton says

    Keeping this Tip for sure!! Thanks for sharing…am fairly new to quilting…and haven’t tried using starch.

  12. 18


    I am a huge fan of starch :-) (well, technically, I use sizing, since I am afraid of starch attracting bugs and critters to my precious fabric, but – same principle/results) I don’t know that it helps me sew faster, but I definitely sew better when I am liberal with the spray. And also – I find that my quilts are easier to baste. Using starch / sizing just makes me happy :-)


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