Welcome to the Quilting Board!
Regarding starch, I just want to mention that it washes out. Flannel does not seem to soak up any more starch than other cotton fabrics, at least when I have used it. The purpose of starch is to provide temporarily stabilization of the flannel so it does not stretch while being handled and sewn. That's all.
I love to use flannel on the back of baby quilts! I have even made myself a flannel quilt that my husband knows I have first dibs on in the family room. I wash and dry the fabric before using. I clip the corners before washing but it still frays a lot. (I remember reading on here that one member sews the ends to each other and it doesn't fray as much) It doesn't need ironing or starch. I also wash the quilt after it is finished, quilting & binding. I buy a half yard extra and with what's left, I make a burp cloth.
I would not hesitate to use flannel for a quilt. I have used it for backing with no issues. I would certainly pre-wash in the hottest water you have and dry it to death in the dryer. Particularly if it's not a high-quality or thick flannel. And I agree with starching it to heavily if you're going to be cutting smaller pieces. As someone else said, it washes out after. It's only for stabilization. I would probably buy at least 1/2 to 1 yard more than required. I do this with just about any fabric anyhow. Gives me room for shrinkage; booboos and stash!
Hi Juztme. Last fall I made a flannel quilt for DH, and like many others, I washed the flannel several times and starched it to death before I started. I really does help to stabilize it and makes it easier to cut, piece and quilt. The cats love it as much as he does, so it has seen the inside of the washing machine many times without problems.
You've gotten good advice here, so just start sewing! And don't forget to show us your finished quilt!
Dorothy in PA
Flannels great for Quilts And Yes Wash! too shrink. Also if you want to make a Lite weight Quilt You can use Just Fannels No battings.
May Your Life Be Full of Charity and Love.
One reason to wash flannel is to check for pilling. Good quality flannel doesn't pill, but it's sometimes hard to tell whether what you purchase is good quality or not. The last flannel I used pilled on the first washing, so I used it as batting rather than for backing. Another flannel that I purchased at the same time, same price but different color, has behaved beautifully in the washing.
Have any of you used Joann's Snuggle Flannel? - Regular price is 6.99 but currently on sale for 2.99. I'm trying to decide between the flannel or fleece for the backing on a couple of kids quilts. I'm curious about the pilling and shrinkage. The tops are 58x58, so would you recommend going with 4 yards (2 lengths of 2 yards)? Thanks!