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Thread: Flannel

  1. #1
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    I'm new to quilting and have just completed my first flannel quilt top. On the advise of my LQS I didn't wash the fabric first. I intend to use flannel for the backing as well but am unsure what will happen to the batting once the quilt is washed and shrinks considerably. Will I end up with a lumpy mess? Please help.

    I know, I know....wash fabrics first, but it's too late for this one.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I always wash flannel unless it is a rag quilt, so I am not sure how much it will shrink compared to the batting.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    trouble is... different flannels shrink at different rates. and if you sewed some vertical pieces and some horizontal pieces??? it doesn't shrink the same vertically and horizontally. before sandwiching that, i'd very gently soak it in hot water a few times. then preshrink the backing. :cry:

  4. #4
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Flannel can shrink several inches a yard......
    what batting are you going to be using and how are you going to quilt it....I personally would use warm and natural an all cotton batting, I would quilt it kinda close with a stippling.....and see what happens. It will shrink, it will get puckery (?) just like a rag quilt does. When I make my rag quilts I do not wash the flannel ahead of time, it does pucker, but that is the character of flannel. I do not think that a 40" square quilt will shrink more than a inch or two at the most, and I feel that the quilting will control this to a large degree.....
    Flannel is flannel it is its our character, which is why we use it. Would strongly suggest washing after quilt is finished and using a color catcher if you have used any runny colors, especially red.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SUZAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan
    trouble is... different flannels shrink at different rates. and if you sewed some vertical pieces and some horizontal pieces??? it doesn't shrink the same vertically and horizontally. before sandwiching that, i'd very gently soak it in hot water a few times. then preshrink the backing. :cry:
    I would soak it in warm water, along with the backing so that they are both getting the same temperature BEFORE you sandwich it. I think it will turn out fine! If not, at least you haven't spent the time of sandwiching and quilting it, which to me is the hardest part! A lesson well learned.

  6. #6
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    Thankyou so much for your replies. As far as what kind of quilting I will do, I think just meandering as this is my first quilt and I haven't mastered the art of FMQ yet!

  7. #7
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    choose a good batting- i've made tons of flannel quilts- seldom pre-wash my flannels- use flannel on the backs of most quilts- they come out beautifully! as long as you follow the recommendations for quilting on the batting package you will not have any (lumpy mess)
    read the package- some batts (like warm & natural) allow up to 10" between quilting lines- this is the batting i use most often for all flannel quilts- but i have used hobbs 80/20 heirloom, dream wool, dream green, and bamboo for flannel quilts and all of them have come out wonderfully- and many have been through years of washing/drying-
    as long as your materials are good quality materials and you follow the recommendations it will be fine (if the batting says quilt every 2" and you only quilt every 6" you will have a lumpy-unhappy quilt)

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    as you can see from my picture=these flannels were sewn together in many directions- are different lines- different flannels- the picture is after it was washed in the washer- normal cycle- tossed into the dryer- normal setting- the fabrics were not pre-washed- the backing is flannel- it is a beautiful quilt!

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i don't know why the pic's are showing up- maybe they will in a few minutes- it looked like they (went)anyhow- you could look at the picture section and see many flannel quilts (including my flannel crazy quilt) and see you do not have to (soak) your flannel quilt- sew it together- quilt it- bind it- wash and dry it- it will be beautiful!
    i have made over 100 flannel quilts- i never prewash my flannels (unless they are hand dyed and i'm worried about running dyes-which isn't too often)
    use a good batting follow the stitch recommendations and it will be the softest, fluffiest, coziest quilt you ever snuggled! it is wonderful to pull a freshly laundered flannel quilt out of the dryer!!!

  10. #10
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    just use a cotton batting and don't worry. It will work. I've done this before without a problem--maybe just tht God protects us fools??? *G*

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