Decided to put down the CQ needle for a few days and work on a "sane" quilt. I have had 6 different pieces of 1.5 yards of gorgeous flannel fabric that I have been wanting to make into a quilt....I'm thinking log cabin to give it that down home comfty feel. Have a few questions:
1. Should I wash the flannel BEFORE I cut/sew?
2. Is one kind of thread better to use on flannel than the next?
3. Any other tips?
Thanks for your help
I have not worked that much with flannel but I would say to wash it before you cut as it will shrink, and because it is cotton, I'd think cotton thread would be best.
I don't mind coming to work. But that 8 hr. wait to go home is a drag.
Definitely wash the flannel. If its a good quality flannel there will be no issues. I use 100% cotton thread for all my piecing.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Missmommy,
Assuming it is a cotton flannel, yes it will probably shrink more than "regular" cotton fabric when it is washed. Also, different cotton flannels shrink different amounts so if your quilt is one that will be washed I think it would be a good idea to wash and machine dry the fabric before cutting. (Some actually recommend washing in hot water and drying at high temperature once or twice.) It can also be almost too soft so it wiggles and stretches like a knit. If it is that kind of flannel it helps to use a walking foot.
If it is a really thick flannel you might want to press the seams open to spread out the thickness.
IME it doesn't matter what kind of thread you use.
Helping to fight Alzheimer's one little quilt at a time. AAQI
Wash it twice ...it shrinks big time..Just use whatever thread you have cotton.poly wrapped,polyester or cotton works fine. When I was h fabrics I do not always use soap...works well and protects the color...
Thanks ladies! I knew ya'll would come through. Putting a load in now and replaced my rotaries with new blades (Thanks to Timecard24). It is 100% cotton and very nice flannel - very little stretch to it - paid about $9.50 a yard for it -The colors are all gorgeous fall colors - eggplant, cranberry, forest green, deep yellow and even have enough for a backing. Would love to have it done in time to give it to hubby for Valentines so we can snuggle under it.
I hope to start cutting it out on Thursday so I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Gorgeous sounding colors Nicki, I agree about washing it. Although I seldom wash my regular fabric. I do with flannel because of shrinkage. Have fun making your quilt. Pat
Just got done working with some flannel yesterday. I did pre-wash it (& dryer dried it) to shrink it. I wanted to starch it a little when I was ironing it (before cutting), but it's going to a person who has cancer, so I didn't want any lingering smells in it. But if you're cutting little pieces, you might want to think about a spritz of starch as you press it.
Depending on what I'm making, sometimes I allow 1/2" seam allowances on the flannel. I used a walking foot yesterday, too.
One last thought - when buying flannel, buy extra yardage to allow for shrinking & trimming up. If you need 1/2 yard, then buy 2/3 of a yard.
I'm all for washing in hot water and drying, twice!!!! I think, it's my opinion, that the fabric is better bonded when you get all the shrinkage out of the way. It feels sturdier to me.
Clean the bobbin area more often when working with flannel. I also opted to use regular fabric for the binding as I wasn't sure how bulky it would be. Sounds like it will be pretty.
I only pre wash flannel of that quality for clothing. The good stuff shrinks almost not at all. Here is a pic of a horizontal frayed edge flannel quilt,I plan to make one,varying the widths a little
here is another one..
this shows a baby quilt,but you can easily change the size to suit your needs , add borders if not wide enough,same technique.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BonnieN,
Oh oh....I rarely wash flannel! If you are planning on making a rag quilt, prewashing is not recommended. I have used good quality in the past and not had a problem with it. If it all comes from the same line of fabrics, then the shrinkage would be the same throughout and therefore not much of a problem UNLESS you needed it to be a certain size (it may shrink more than you think after quilting and washing!). The other situation would be if you plan on mixing types of fabrics (including the backing or different qualities of flannel)--then different shrink rates would be more of a problem. Certainly, it would be safer to wash than not wash --but I have taken the risk of not washing and done o.k. in the past!
Some people use a slightly bigger seam allowance (less quality flannel frays easy). I have not done this either--but it is something that others typically do. Patterns with bigger pieces usually are better suited to flannel quilts (seams get bulky). Binding: if you use a flannel binding, I would not cut the strips any smaller than 2.5 inches (some people even use a little wider--again a little more than quarter inch seam AND flannel usually is thicker and takes up a little more in the edge when folding it over to the back.
This year I bought a flannel kit. When making this kit (very cute in christmas type colors), I could tell the quality of this flannel has slipped. I think this relates to the poor cotton year! The quilt is really cute, but I know this one will not be as durable as others I have done in the past. Oh well--I will enjoy it anyway as long as it does last.
Good luck with your project!
Be sure to check the lint catcher on your dryer after doing a cycle.
Have sewed different things with flannel for probably 50 years and have used whatever thread I had. Sure it has been Coats & Clark regular thread as that was all that was available from the dime store back then and that is where most of my fabric, thread, etc came from then... Chris
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