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Thread: Backing a quilt witih flannel

  1. #1
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    Backing a quilt witih flannel

    I am making a baby quilt for my newest great-grandson - have the top pieced and am pleased with it - my question is - can I use a piece of flannel for the back - sew the four sides leaving a spot open to turn - and then stitch in the ditch to attach it together and not put batting in the center? Would the quilt be too flimsy without batting and not wear well - my baby lives in the South so batting for warmth is not necessary. You gals are always so gracious in offering help and my thanks for your input.

    Best regards, Joan

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    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I like to have something in the middle...even if its another piece of flannel. If not to me its like a table cloth...and no I am not the quilt police, but I think for it to be called a quilt it needs three pieces of fabric. - I make blankets for my granddaughter with flannel on one side and cotton on the other, turn them inside out and sew a decorative stitch around the outside...works great.
    Last edited by carolaug; 01-25-2013 at 03:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I am wrong...I looked it up and it says some modern quilts only have two layers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilt

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    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I live in southern Georgia and have done small quilts just like that...we don't have lots of cold and they are nice for when it's just cool.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    don't forget that some flannel shrinks at a higher percentage than other fabrics. perhaps, you might want to launder it in hot water several times to allow for this shrinkage.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rush88888 View Post
    don't forget that some flannel shrinks at a higher percentage than other fabrics. perhaps, you might want to launder it in hot water several times to allow for this shrinkage.
    I second this. Measure fabric, wash, dry. Measure. When it stops shrinking, you can stop washing & drying! I've had some that just shrunk on the first wash, and some that took 3. The up side is that each time it shrinks, it gets softer & thicker.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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    I just made a baby quilt for my sister using flannel and it turned out great! I didn't use batting and I have to tell you... I'll never do that again. It was way too flat and it didn't flatter the quilting at all. Baby quilts should have some fluff!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    I do this a lot. I am also in the deep south and we rarely need heavy blankets. Flannel backing with no batting makes a nice lightweight quilt that is soft and drapes well. I made one for DH this way and he uses it as a throw on the sofa all the time. Use a good quality flannel, and like the others said, definitely prewash. I am not a dedicated prewasher, but I ALWAYS prewash flannel, often two or three times.
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  9. #9
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    I always use w&n batting even when I back it with flannel. It has a nicer feel to it.
    But defiantly always wash flannel for shrinkage.
    Do what you want...Love what you do!!

  10. #10
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    I use flannel a lot. Wash/dry, wash/dry. Also use a wider seam on back, like half inch. Even better, use a serger. Flannel likes to fray a lot.

    You can use however many layers you want. Your quilt, your rules. I made my DH a t-shirt quilt and used warm and natural in the center and backed it with flannel. It's very warm - too warm for the south. I have done quilts with flannel instead of batting and backed it with flannel - that works better for me. I like to anchor down all the seams with quilting.

    One of my grandmothers used to make tops and only use a sheet for backing and nothing inbetween - everybody loved them.

    Let us know what you decide.

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    I just reread your post. A bit of advice. When you quilt it, quilt over all the seams. Since it's a baby quilt it's probably will need to be washed often. My stepmother made a darling flannel quilt for my oldest. He loved it and because of that, it needed to be washed several times a year. Every time I washed it, I had to sit down with needle and thread to repair it - so anchor those seams with quilting or use a serger.

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    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienQuilter View Post
    One of my grandmothers used to make tops and only use a sheet for backing and nothing inbetween - everybody loved them.
    The quilts with no batting.Did she quilt them? Tie them? Reason I'm asking is I live near Houston and we hardly get any cold. My Boston Terriers like to sleep under cover. I would like something cooler for almost all months

  13. #13
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I backed a Christmas quilt with flannel and no batting because I live in Texas. I have regretted it ever since. I love the quilt top. It is a triple Irish chain in Christmas colors which I cross-hatched for quilting. Because there was no batting, the quilting doesn't look that great. No dimension. Therefore, I would recommend at least a thin batting.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rush88888 View Post
    don't forget that some flannel shrinks at a higher percentage than other fabrics. perhaps, you might want to launder it in hot water several times to allow for this shrinkage.
    this was my first thought, too
    Nancy in western NY
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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienQuilter View Post
    One of my grandmothers used to make tops and only use a sheet for backing and nothing inbetween - everybody loved them.
    When I was young, we used to call these Summer Quilts
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


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    Thanks very much for all your suggestions - I have decided to use the flannel in place of batting and put a backing on the quilt - and thanks to your help I'll wash the flannel two or three times before using it to get rid of any lingering shrinkage!

    Best regards, Joan

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    Toni C - She tied them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    When I was young, we used to call these Summer Quilts
    We were in S. California - a heavy quilt would be too much.

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    Jenny at Missouri Star has a two layer flannel tutorial. It's a very cute, quick little quilt.

  20. #20
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    I have seen this done before and it works great. The flannel makes is nice and soft. And here in Phoenix, we don't need the extra warmth either. So really it is up to you.

  21. #21
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I have just finished making a string quilt using strips of flannel in girly colors and am going to back it with minky and quilt on the LA. This is a experiment to see how it works out.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

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    Yep, did this before, but the only thing I would do would be to wash the flannel before hand. Mine twisted after it was together....

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