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Thread: Another Flannel Question

  1. #1
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    Okay, when I was at JoAnns on NYD, I found some really great printed flannel - a brown and cream provinical print and the exact matching cream - all by the same manufacturer and line.

    My question is - I am thinking about putting it together and then washing. I know that flannel shrinks alot but am wondering if I can make the pieces larger and have it all shrink together so that it is tighter, closer, thicker weave. I thought this would make a warmer blanket. (I am thinking along the lines of felting wool.)

    I think I am going to make a sample block and finish it, and then wash and see what happens. My logical mind says that it should all shrink the same - direction, amount, etc. and accomplish the wanted outcome.

    Ideas - thoughts - opinions?

    EDITED TO ADD - Please ignore any errors in spelling and grammer and thought. On heavy duty pain killers after rotator cuff surgery.

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Wash your flannel BEFORE cutting it.

  3. #3
    Super Member cherylynne's Avatar
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    I have made flannel quilts and if it's good quality flannel it doesn't seem to shrink too much, but I don't mind puckering. That's been my experience and now I mostly prewash. I would wash it before construction, though, if you're going to wash it. The nature of flannel is that it's loosly woven and soft, but you can tighten it up by washing and drying in your machine.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have made many many flannel quilts...i love working with flannel....and i know some people here SCREAM daily...WASH FLANNEL FIRST...TWICE!!!! in the past 45 years of sewing I HAVE NEVER PRE-WASHED MY FLANNEL and i have never had anything i made with it not come out fine...when a flannel quilt is all done, pieced, quilted and bound then and only then does the flannel go into the wash...i wash it like i wash anything else, normal setting, warm water. then i toss them into a nice hot dryer...they come out FLUFFY- SOFT- OH SO COZY!!! one word of caution...empty the lint trap a couple times while drying...it fills up fast. and just go for it...there seem to be some people who search and search for things to be (indignant about) pre-washing is one of those 'hot-topics' but it all boils down to personal choice and experience...you can not learn if you do not try.

    3/4 flannel - 1/4 regular cottons...no-pre-washing done...washed before picture
    Name:  Attachment-153038.jpe
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  5. #5
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    when a flannel quilt is all done, pieced, quilted and bound then and only then does the flannel go into the wash...i wash it like i wash anything else, normal setting, warm water. then i toss them into a nice hot dryer...they come out FLUFFY- SOFT- OH SO COZY!!!
    That is what I was thinking - the reason for making the blocks larger that usual and allowing for the shrinkage.

  6. #6
    Super Member quilt queen 2's Avatar
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    The reason I wash all my fabrics is not for shrinkage or runs it's the sizing that iritates my hands and they get raw if I don't wash it first!

  7. #7
    Super Member Pat P's Avatar
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    ckcowl, what a beautiful PATRIOTIC QUILT. And especially in flannel. I will finish up thee last 3 of 7 patriotic quilts. On a twin-- machine wrote faith, hope and charity along the borders!

  8. #8
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    My trouble if I don't pre-wash flannel is the seam allowances. If you don't have at least that 1/4" seam allowance on every seam--and I mean every seam--some of the thinner flannels will pull loose from the seams.

    Not all flannels shrink the same. The good heavy quilter's flannels don't shrink much but the Joann's snuggle and sew-comfy or whatever they call it shrinks a lot so if you combine them in a quilt without pre-washing first--you're asking for trouble.

    Starching or sizing flannel & pressing with a good hot iron before you cut will help tremendously and the good hot iron is shrinking it for you. I have had flannel quilts come apart at the seams because I didn't prewash or starch it well. Better safe than sorry!

  9. #9
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKrenning
    I have had flannel quilts come apart at the seams because I didn't prewash or starch it well. Better safe than sorry!
    I am already planning on doing 1/2" seams instead of 1/4" seams. I always do that on my personal quilts and ones that I know are goingto get a lot of wear and tear. We have dogs, so I always make mine with 1/2" seams.

  10. #10
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    What to do?! Laziness calls me to not prewash, but I'm thinking of doing larger and more involved quilts with flannel than I've sone before and don't want anything coming apart.

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