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Thread: Flannel for backing ???

  1. #1
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Smile Flannel for backing ???

    I have read on several blogs that some ladies use flannel for the backing on their quilts. Do you have to do anything special to be able to use flannel. I haven't had the courage to use it as I am afraid it will shrink & distort my quilts. Any advice please.
    Dance like no one is watching

  2. #2
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I've used it a few times... pre-washing is a MUST!! I find that flannel shrinks more than "regular" cotton fabrics do, I wash mine in HOT water and dry.... I also quilt it fairly close...about every 2 inches...not enough to make the quilt stiff, but enough to keep things from shifting if there's any additional shrinkage anywhere.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    Flannel is GREAT for backing! But like Charlee said, be sure to prewash. It is SO cozy and cuddly.

  4. #4
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    Do the prewash so you don't have a surprise after washing the quilt. If you long arm quilt the flannel will stretch so keep that in mind.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SherryW's Avatar
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    I've never used flannel in any quilts yet, but I want to. I guess flannel has issues that I'm not sure I want to face yet. I'm a little intimidated with flannel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I love flannel for backing just make sure its not a thin cheap flannel
    Warm Regards,
    Sandra

  7. #7
    Super Member KimS's Avatar
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    I'd like to make a quilt with flannel backing too but was afraid of the shrinking issue. That's a good idea to wash in HOT water and dry in a HOT dryer so most of the shrinking occurs before putting it on your quilt.
    Kim

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  8. #8
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    Whenever I make my raggy quilts, I use flannel for the back. Love the way it feels! If I used flannel on back of a traditional quilt, I would prewash and definetely not use cheap flannel.

  9. #9
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    I just quilted some charity quilts for my guild (on my domestic machine) OMG the flannel was a pain- it won't slide on the bed the way cotton will..

    That said, I got less puckering with the flannel, and it is super soft now that it is done.

    I don't know if they prewash or not. I like the shrinky look you get when you don't prewash cotton batting.

  10. #10
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Yes, prewashing and drying in a hot dryer is a must. I am making lap quilts for a nursing home and they asked if we could put flannel on the backs so that it doesn't slide off of their patients laps while in the wheel chair.
    Nikki in MO

  11. #11
    Senior Member Extreme Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I just quilted some charity quilts for my guild (on my domestic machine) OMG the flannel was a pain- it won't slide on the bed the way cotton will..

    That said, I got less puckering with the flannel, and it is super soft now that it is done.

    I don't know if they prewash or not. I like the shrinky look you get when you don't prewash cotton batting.

    Is it difficult to free-motion quilt?

  12. #12
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I have used flannel as backing on several quilts. Washing in hot water is a must, perhaps even a double washing is in order. Also, wash dark colors, with a color catcher. My DD had a piece of red flannel she wanted to use on the back of a baby quilt. She decided not to use it because after washing at least 4 times with a color catcher it was still bleeding. I also look for good quality, portugese, little used flannel sheets at my local thrift stores. They make great one piece backings.
    Sweet Caroline

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    As others have said, wash in hot water until it quits bleeding and shrinking. Use better quality flannel if possible. I've used it on the back of several smaller quilts and I love how it feels. You can starch it too to help control it while quilting.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    I have only used flannel on childrens quilts, because they get washed a lot. I have to asked, does flannel look O.K.
    after a few washings or does it start to look faded? ( on new quilts made for adults)

  15. #15
    Senior Member ywoodruff5's Avatar
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    Flannel is a cozy backing - be sure to prewash and buy a good quality flannel. Having said that, I have found that the flannel does not hold up as well/long as a good cotton.

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    in the 100+ quilts i've made over the years i would venture to guess 3/4 of them have had flannel backs-i love working with flannel- and everyone around here loves the soft-warmth
    it is certainly nothing to be afraid of- it's just another cotton fabric=
    it does have a looser weave- so pre-wash it-
    when i buy my flannels i bring them home - toss them into the washer- with a small amount of detergent to remove any sizing/chemicals in the fabric- warm water- then i toss them into the dryer-
    when they come out they are (tightened up) soft and wonderful-
    it is a good idea (especially if the flannel is single sided-or thin) to starch your flannels before cutting-this just makes it easier to get accurate cuts.
    some people wash their flannels 3 or more times---i never have- i wash & dry them once and use them- if i'm using them for a raggy quilt i don't bother pre-washing
    i've never had a flannel backed quilt come out with any type of problem---from shrinkage-or anything else- they are beautiful, soft and cozy warm.
    i use flannels for appliques- with no adverse effects either-
    and it quilts beautifully too- i've just never had any problems with flannels- it is one of my favorite quilting mediums-almost all of my quilts contain some flannel- on the front, for backing- even as batting
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  17. #17
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    My son likes a flannel back as it is warmer, so when I make him a quilt, I make sure there is a flannel back. Higher end flannel has better results

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme Quilter View Post
    Is it difficult to free-motion quilt?
    I found it more difficult than regular cotton, but it was not extremely difficult.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Sewhappytoquilt's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Skittl1321;4724939]I just quilted some charity quilts for my guild (on my domestic machine) OMG the flannel was a pain- it won't slide on the bed the way cotton will..

    That is why I LOVE flannel backing so it WON'T slide off the bed - hahaha - each to her own, I guess!
    Loretta Sewhappytoquilt

  20. #20
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I am making my 19 month old grandson a small quilt and was considering using flannel on the back so it would be cuddly and soft to him. I'm usuing a panel and will just add borders. I won't be quilting it per se but will be tying it. Is there anything I need to know other than wash, wash, wash prior to use? Is there a certain distance it should be tied? TIA

  21. #21
    Super Member Pat P's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip on flannel on back of lap quilts for nursing homes. Hadn't thought of the sliding off.

  22. #22
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    I never us anything but flannel, but I do wash and dry it twice before using it. I frequently buy flannel sheets for this purpose. JCPenney has nice ones on sale for half price at this time of year. Thousands of Bolts also has wide flannel backing in nice heavy material. I'm careful to pin a lot and have never had any puckering.

  23. #23
    Senior Member katz_n_kwiltz's Avatar
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    First, I dont wash any fabrics at all, until the quilt is done, and flannel is so nice on the back of a quilt, makes it so much more cozy n warm, I also love minkee (which is expensive) but soooooo worth it.
    katz

  24. #24
    Super Member Wunder-Mar's Avatar
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    One of my guilds had this very question during a long arm quilter's program last evening. All three long arm quilters recommend washing the backing fabric in one piece in hot water and drying it on medium high heat - and then doing it again.

    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

  25. #25
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callen View Post
    I have read on several blogs that some ladies use flannel for the backing on their quilts. Do you have to do anything special to be able to use flannel. I haven't had the courage to use it as I am afraid it will shrink & distort my quilts. Any advice please.
    put the flannel thru a couple very hot washes and then a couple very warm dryings and it will be SHRUNK!
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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