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Thread: Piecing with Flannel

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    Piecing with Flannel

    When you piece with flannel do you iron just as you would with cotton?

  2. #2
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    It's how I do it. I press the seam to set it then "press" the piece open w/o stretching (i.e.) pulling on one end.

  3. #3
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    I would press; it's easy to stretch out of shape. But it also depends on the quality of the flannel; a good one will be a little more "firm" and thick.

  4. #4
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    i don't do much piecing with flannel outside of backs, but those are loooooooong seams.

    i use starch on both sides of the fabric, and make sure it's good and dry before handling it.

    then when i sew it i am extra careful to press, not iron with sweeping motions.

    i love flannel and i think it's great to work with, but it is highly mobile. not sure i would take it on in a pattern that required cuts on the bias. it just wriggles too much!

    good luck!

    aileen

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    When I pieced a flannel quilt, I first washed and machine dried it twice to shrink it.

    Next, I *heavily* starched the flannel. My method was to use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. I painted this onto the yardage with a large wall painting brush, let the fabric absorb the solution for a couple of minutes, then tossed in the dryer and finished by ironing with steam. Only then did I cut the pieces. Heavy starching ensures greater accuracy with both the cutting and piecing of flannel because it stabilizes the fabric; doesn't wiggle around anymore.

    It's also a good idea to piece with larger seams than the usual scant 1/4". If the pattern permits, moving up to 3/8" or even 1/2" is a good idea. This is because flannel tends to ravel more easily than regular quilting fabric.

    If your pieces are already cut, you can still spray starch to add a little stability.

    Oh, and be sure to clean your machine regularly while sewing flannel. It produces a lot of lint!

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I use a lot of flannel- pieces of flannel are in almost every quilt I make- I treat it the same as I do every other cotton fabric. (if it is thin, loosely woven, low-er quality I prewash it- if it is nice, good quality, double sided flannel I do not always prewash it- I've never had a problem with this) I am careful with steam; make sure I do not stretch it out of shape by ironing- if making blocks only 'press' them, don't iron across them- flannel does stretch out of shape easily. I do *when I think it's necessary* starch and iron my flannel before cutting. it helps with nice cuts.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies. I am finding that there is certainly a lot of wiggle in working with flannel. I just hope the rows fit together okay. The sashing is so narrow in this quilt that I cannot take larger seams than the 1/4 in. I will have to get out the starch and give it a good spritz. Now on to find a "tute" about making the sashing match up as the rows are put together. I have seen one somewhere, hmmmmm

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    My method for lining up rows with sashing is as follows. I sew a long strip of sashing to the bottom of the first row. I iron that, then turn it to the wrong side. Using a ruler and pencil, I draw lines that extend the seams through that long row of bottom sashing. This creates "virtual" seam lines in the long sashing piece. I pin the second row to this long sashing strip, making sure to match seams in the second row with the virtual seam lines marked in the sashing. When sewing this seam, I ease as necessary to keep the pinned lines matching. I repeat this process as each row is added. It's a simple way to keep blocks lined up when you are using sashing without cornerstones. The pencil marks actually take the place of cornerstone seams.

  9. #9
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I might not be currant in my thinking, but when I piece with flannel I use 1/2" seam allowances.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  10. #10
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    I had never thought of starching my flannel. That's a great idea! It's sure to cut down on my cussing.

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