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Thread: flannel quilt - very, very newbie

  1. #1
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I have finished a quilt top for my 2-year-old grandson. It's made of flannel - solid 6 inch squares alternating with 4 piece rails. All flannel. THat I did not prewash because I had not read enough on here before I made it.

    So here's where I need help. I'm not going to put batting - just a flannel backing. Then I had planned to machine quilt it diagonally through the blocks - does that make any sense? Should I prewash the backing material and the quilt top before I put them together? Would that help?

    It will have a small border. It's toddler bed size - exactly the size of the top of a twin bed. When he's a bit older they plan to get him a bunk bed and I thought I could add a wide border then to make the same quilt large enough.

    HELP!!!

  2. #2
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanTx
    I have finished a quilt top for my 2-year-old grandson. It's made of flannel - solid 6 inch squares alternating with 4 piece rails. All flannel. THat I did not prewash because I had not read enough on here before I made it.

    So here's where I need help. I'm not going to put batting - just a flannel backing. Then I had planned to machine quilt it diagonally through the blocks - does that make any sense? Should I prewash the backing material and the quilt top before I put them together? Would that help?

    It will have a small border. It's toddler bed size - exactly the size of the top of a twin bed. When he's a bit older they plan to get him a bunk bed and I thought I could add a wide border then to make the same quilt large enough.

    HELP!!!
    Flannel shrinks a lot. I am worried that if you wash the top now that it will shrink weird. But if you dont I know it will shrink weird.

    Someone else that has been through that may be able to chime in on the best way to handle that.

    About the batting.
    I would put something in it. I made a flannel quilt for my dog and didn't use any batting just 2 prices of flannel together and it is really thin like a flannel sheet.
    If I was to do it over I would at least put a 3rd layer of flannel in the middle..


    Also Welcome to the boards you will find lots of help here!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I wondered about the batting - our quilt shop lady didn't recommend it - we live in South Texas and I think that was her only reason. Just another piece of flannel in there was what I thought about - but then you have another shrinkage issue!

    Thanks - I'm glad someone else is still up.

    Perhaps make a sample block - measure it - then wash it and see how bad it is?

  4. #4
    Super Member Kitsapquilter's Avatar
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    Flannel does shrink alot. If you want to wash it you need to at least zig-zag the seams before washing it to keep them from fraying. Then maybe just baste a piece of muslin or old sheet on the back of it before you wash it. I would wash the backing and the top separate. Just because they might not shrink alike. But definitely zig-zag all the seams first as much as you can. Serging would be even better if you can.

  5. #5
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I've only used flannel for a rag quilt - baby sized at that. Didn't prewash that so never thought about this. I started sewing again this summer after about 25 years away from it - and then only sewed clothes. So ... this forum has sure helped me. But in this case I jumped in before I read enough!

    I don't have a serger, but I know someone who does. I'll see what I can do.

    all flannel - non-prewashed monkey quilt. Sigh.
    Name:  Attachment-106008.jpe
Views: 98
Size:  58.9 KB

    For sewing practice I made a pillowcase of the monkeys and that's how the whole thing started.
    Name:  Attachment-106009.jpe
Views: 97
Size:  58.8 KB

  6. #6
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    Ok, you've got this far...why don't you take a risk, get some thin batting or fleece, back it with flannel (or leave out batting and back it with fleece) tie the quilt then toss it in the wash and see how it goes.

    I think your colours/design are really good and the fabric is gorgeous. This is a little guy's flannel quilt, which is going to be loved to bits and dragged everywhere. Every quilt is a learning process for everyone...so don't be so hard on yourself..be bold...and then start planning your next quilting adventure!

  7. #7
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    This is what I would do.
    I would dampen the patchwork before putting the borders on. Get it rather wet but not in the washing machine. Soak it in water and squish it dry. Lay it out and stretch it to dry and when still damp then iron it with hot iron.
    Then square it up.
    Prewash the fabric for borders and backing and Iron and then put together.
    I would definitely put a very thin batting inside. Perhaps something like Hobbs Thermore. I believe it needs some stability in the center. Thermore or other very thin batting wont add much weight but will fill it out somewhat.
    Another layer of flannel would be too heavy for me.
    I believe this will prevent some problems in the future in shrinkage since it most likely will be used, lovenly abused and washed often.

  8. #8
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanTx
    I have finished a quilt top for my 2-year-old grandson. It's made of flannel - solid 6 inch squares alternating with 4 piece rails. All flannel. THat I did not prewash because I had not read enough on here before I made it.

    So here's where I need help. I'm not going to put batting - just a flannel backing. Then I had planned to machine quilt it diagonally through the blocks - does that make any sense? Should I prewash the backing material and the quilt top before I put them together? Would that help?

    It will have a small border. It's toddler bed size - exactly the size of the top of a twin bed. When he's a bit older they plan to get him a bunk bed and I thought I could add a wide border then to make the same quilt large enough.

    HELP!!!
    The easiest thing for you to do is to use a fleece backing instead of flannel. The fleece will be warmer and thicker and much better than flannel....just put the top on the fleece, pin to hold together and quilt as you had planned. Then finish off the edges----the easiest way is to fold the fleece edges to the front, covering the edges of the quilt top, and stitch down. The fleece backing can be heavily used and washed and never even shows wear! (I have one going on 12 years and no problems!) I would NOT wash your top now. Flannel frays horribly most of the time and washing it with unfinished edges will create a nightmare. Wash it after you finish. Because of shrinkage there will some puckers or whatever, but it will be fine. Private message me with any more questions. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    One more thought. I would carefully iron it to keep as much shape of the center as possible and then steam it. I would want to get as much shrinkage as possible in the center

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teacherbailey
    Quote Originally Posted by JanTx
    I have finished a quilt top for my 2-year-old grandson. It's made of flannel - solid 6 inch squares alternating with 4 piece rails. All flannel. THat I did not prewash because I had not read enough on here before I made it.

    So here's where I need help. I'm not going to put batting - just a flannel backing. Then I had planned to machine quilt it diagonally through the blocks - does that make any sense? Should I prewash the backing material and the quilt top before I put them together? Would that help?

    It will have a small border. It's toddler bed size - exactly the size of the top of a twin bed. When he's a bit older they plan to get him a bunk bed and I thought I could add a wide border then to make the same quilt large enough.

    HELP!!!
    The easiest thing for you to do is to use a fleece backing instead of flannel. The fleece will be warmer and thicker and much better than flannel....just put the top on the fleece, pin to hold together and quilt as you had planned. Then finish off the edges----the easiest way is to fold the fleece edges to the front, covering the edges of the quilt top, and stitch down. The fleece backing can be heavily used and washed and never even shows wear! (I have one going on 12 years and no problems!) I would NOT wash your top now. Flannel frays horribly most of the time and washing it with unfinished edges will create a nightmare. Wash it after you finish. Because of shrinkage there will some puckers or whatever, but it will be fine. Private message me with any more questions. Good luck!
    I agree completely with what you're saying except that the flannel is still going to shrink like crazy and the fleece won't, causing puckering. If she uses fleece she should wash the flannel top first, if she uses flannel for everything then assemble it and wash it.

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