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Thread: machine quilting with flannel backing

  1. #26
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    I had the same problem. I prewashed my flannel, then spray basted back, batting and top and also pinned it down. I took my walking foot off and guided with my hands and kept material between hands flat. That worked like a charm and I was quilting on the diagonal. Happy pinning
    Kate

  2. #27
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    Wish I'd known about all this 3 days ago!!! :D good thing it was a small lap quilt for Christmas :D

  3. #28
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I just finished a baby quilt backed in flannel. I washed and dried the flannel twice. I didn't starch, pin basted and FMQ it. Came out fine. The only problems are with me and my abilities, not with the flannel!

  4. #29

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    I have made two lap quilts and one baby quilt with flannel backing and have never washed any flannel beforehand. I quilted in the ditch, however, I did use a LOT of basting spray on the flannel and batting as well as the top, pinned it very well, used the walking foot and bigger stitches, and very carefully worked it seam by seam while checking the back often for any puckering. It took a while and washed beautifully. It think if you machine quilt without too large areas of no quilting, the flannel should work out well without washing first. It has worked for me.

  5. #30
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I think I might try not washing next time just to see the result i get.

  6. #31
    starlight's Avatar
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    I back most of my quilts with flannel. Wash the flannel so that it shrinks pin like crazy. I also sew up the edges to help hold it stable. Might try the starch though

  7. #32
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    I recently made a smaller quilt and put tons of pins in and only sewed diagonally with the flannel backing and it seemed to work okay. How are you keeping your sandwich together?

  8. #33
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    I just finished an 80 x 80 inch quilt for my son with flannel backing. Prewashed and pressed with a little Maryann's, pinned about every 4 inches. Did stitch in the ditch, free-motion, per Leah Day.com. Then more free-motion inside the blocks. I have a Pfaff with IDT but didn't use for this, of course. Anyhow, had no problems with bumps or gathers. I think Leah's site has very helpful information. Check it out. I hope any of this is helpful for you! Keep on doing your own quilting, it is great!

  9. #34

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    I have a friend that taught me to lay mine on a quilt table and lay it out and smoothe it and tape the corners and down the side with pieces of tape ( masking tape) Then start pining with safety pins thru both sides and thru linningabout 4'' or 5' apart. It worked great. I did mine with diagnal lines one way then the opposite with an eraisable crayone pen. It washes out. It is taunt on the table which is great. this is a simple lap quilt. Then I attach my binding. It made for a nive smoothe top & bottom
    I hope this makes sense. I know not everyone has this tyoe of table to work on. Her double car garage is her sewing room.
    the car stays outside.

  10. #35
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftyone27
    Oddly - I normally use a basting spray for smaller projects - but decided to pin baste this one. Don't ask me why-LOL! Maybe when I 'm done pulling stitches, I'll pull out the can of basting spray. I usually don't use flannel as a quilt back, but it's a baby quilt and the printed flannel went so well with my other fabrics I just couldn't resist. I thought it would be nice and snuggly for a little one. If this went well, I was considering doing a larger flannel backed lap quilt for my father-in-law who is always cold. I guess his quilt will not be backed in flannel!!!
    Have you considered using fleece for the backing? It's been my experience with elderly people they love the warmth of fleece. I've read others comments about working with fleece and they didn't relay any problems with it. Whatever route you choose I'm sure your DFL will love it.

    Andie

  11. #36

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    I have used flannel on several quilts. I have had difficulty quilting without puckers on any quilt with the feed dogs up. I find that FMQ works best for me.

  12. #37
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftyone27
    Oddly - I normally use a basting spray for smaller projects - but decided to pin baste this one. Don't ask me why-LOL! Maybe when I 'm done pulling stitches, I'll pull out the can of basting spray. I usually don't use flannel as a quilt back, but it's a baby quilt and the printed flannel went so well with my other fabrics I just couldn't resist. I thought it would be nice and snuggly for a little one. If this went well, I was considering doing a larger flannel backed lap quilt for my father-in-law who is always cold. I guess his quilt will not be backed in flannel!!!
    I use flannel backing on most baby quilts and tie the quilt instead of machine quilting it.

  13. #38
    Senior Member barbrdunn's Avatar
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    When using flannel, I do wash and dry to shrink it, but do not iron, as I think ironing stretches the flannel out again. I take out of the dryer and smooth any wrinkles out flat, then spray baste well so it stays in place. I do pin the corners to keep them in place. I use my IDT (walking foot and I also use a large stitch lengtht (3.0-3.5) to keep from puckering. I try to stay away from diagonal quiliting as the bias stretches quite a bit. Seems to work well for me.

  14. #39
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper
    I think I might try not washing next time just to see the result i get.
    The only problem with that is that the shrinkage does not seem to be consistent with flannels, one may shrink more than another. Also, I like to see how nice and fluffy they will turn out after washing. I just bought some for a Christmas gift, one of the pieces I will not use because it isn't as "flannelly" as I would like, not like the others. I like to resolve all this before starting to sew.

  15. #40
    Senior Member craftyone27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbrdunn
    When using flannel, I do wash and dry to shrink it, but do not iron, as I think ironing stretches the flannel out again. I take out of the dryer and smooth any wrinkles out flat, then spray baste well so it stays in place. I do pin the corners to keep them in place. I use my IDT (walking foot and I also use a large stitch lengtht (3.0-3.5) to keep from puckering. I try to stay away from diagonal quiliting as the bias stretches quite a bit. Seems to work well for me.
    Thanks for the heads up on this - I hadn't thought of my quilting design as being the issue. I had been trying to quilt a diagonal design w/out anchoring front to back w/SID or channel quilting first. Think this may be the source of most of my trouble. Looks like I may have to opt for a more traditional quilting style - save my lovely cable for a non-flannel quilt!

  16. #41
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    I just did a large lap quilt with flannel backing. I ironed ti with starch, then I used Sharon Schambers method of basting and making the quilt sandwich (from You Tube) and I had no problems. Her method is amazing and easy. I am sure you could use basting spray with her method also.

  17. #42
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    My sister has a long-arm quilting machine she's been doing lots of quilts with fannell backing no problem with her.

  18. #43
    Senior Member barbrdunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftyone27
    Quote Originally Posted by barbrdunn
    When using flannel, I do wash and dry to shrink it, but do not iron, as I think ironing stretches the flannel out again. I take out of the dryer and smooth any wrinkles out flat, then spray baste well so it stays in place. I do pin the corners to keep them in place. I use my IDT (walking foot and I also use a large stitch lengtht (3.0-3.5) to keep from puckering. I try to stay away from diagonal quiliting as the bias stretches quite a bit. Seems to work well for me.
    Thanks for the heads up on this - I hadn't thought of my quilting design as being the issue. I had been trying to quilt a diagonal design w/out anchoring front to back w/SID or channel quilting first. Think this may be the source of most of my trouble. Looks like I may have to opt for a more traditional quilting style - save my lovely cable for a non-flannel quilt!
    You could try basting with a disolving thread before doing your arcs. That way it would stabilize the quilt, but wash out afterward.

  19. #44
    Super Member Lucy90's Avatar
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    I have a Bernia with a walking foot and use flannel for backing on most of my quilts. I have never had a problem with it puckering. I do use basting spray and sometimes pin if it is a big quilt. I use warm and natural batting. I did have a little trouble when I used a more puffy batting. I also smooth out as I sew. I have done stitch in the ditch and meandering.

  20. #45
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    My mother and grandmother always tied flannel quilts.

  21. #46

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    I also tie my flannel quilts. There are different types of tying methods you can find most likely on Goggle.

  22. #47
    pamsmpk's Avatar
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    I agree! I had the same problem with a quilt and for some reason I pin basted instead of spray basting. The flannel back is not cooperating at all. I finally put it away with about 1/4 of a twin/full size quilted. The thought of tearing all of that quilting out makes me want to cry but it is probably the best thing to do. Then I guess I need to go back and spray baste and try again. :-(

  23. #48
    Senior Member craftyone27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftyone27
    Hi all,
    Looking for suggestions for working with flannel as a backing fabric. i'm making a lap sized 45 x45 baby quilt using flannel as backing. I have a Bernina with a walking foot that I have used to machine quilt small quilts fairly successfully - nothing fancy. This quilt is giving me fits with puckers all over the back. I spent the afternoon quilting and then the evening pulling stitches. I saw one post about flannelquilts which suggested lowering pressure on the presser foot so the flannel doesn't stretch. Does anyone know if this will work when only the back of the quilt is flannel? I'm hoping for some input that will help me avoid another seam ripping session, and let me get this quilt finished and not be embarrassed by puckers in the backing. Thanks in advance!!
    Anyone who has been following this thread and offered advice - here is a link to the completed project. The pattern is a modified Rail Fence by Nancy Zeiman - the quilting design is mine.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-73761-1.htm#1816175

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