Using Startie-Stoppies Saves Time to Make More Quilts

One Saturday, my mom called to give me an update on some recent family news. My godson, Geoff, is a new dad, with a son, born 9 weeks early on Monday, May 2nd.  Considering the challenges, Mom and baby are doing well. Then my mom said that his brother, Andrew, also became a new dad on Friday, May 6th with a son born that evening. Both Mom and baby are well. And, that wasn’t the last of the news from my mom. My niece, Theresa, had her first baby, a boy, on Friday, May 6th, too!  The baby was a couple of weeks early, but they are doing well too. So, with all of these new babies and new moms, there were a lot of congratulations going around on Mother’s Day.

Now this flurry of activity reminded me of the many times I have been trying to fit one more project into the already busy schedule. One of the tips that I use that makes it possible to get my projects completed is to use “Startie-Stoppies!”

UsingStartieStoppieStartie-Stoppies are pairs of layered fabric that are used at the beginning and end of my sewing, basically:

A Startie-Stoppie is scrap fabric attached at the end of sewing which then becomes the beginning for the next section allowing continuous chain piecing.


Over the years since I made this a habit, I have realized that there are at least 15 time-saving benefits from using these.  Here are the first six!

1. It’s a great pre-test that my machine is sewing correctly before I start on my project fabric.

2. There is rarely a need to lift the presser foot. I just keep sewing…onto the Startie-Stoppie. I clip the work off of the back of the Startie-Stoppie.

3. On featherweight & similar machines, there is no need to hand-turn the wheel to put the needle in the correct position.

4. The needle won’t come unthreaded, even if I didn’t pull the threads long enough… because I was trying to save thread.

5. Trimming threads becomes unnecessary because they are simply not there!

6. Because the long threads are not there, I don’t have them coming through to the front of the quilt, which would create more work at the end.

If you haven’t discovered the benefits of Startie-Stoppies, I hope this list helps you find a reason to try it! They make my sewing even more fun and more enjoyable. I know that you will too.

Just so you know, it is a habit that will replace something that you currently do. It took me a couple of tries to remember. At the time, I was using an older machine where my first instinct, when finished sewing, was to hand turn the wheel and then lift the presser foot to remove the work. So you can imagine how breaking that to replace it with sewing onto a scrap was a challenge of sorts. However, it has made all of the difference in the world for my sewing even now when I sew on more sophisticated machines.


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