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Thread: Prewash flannel for rag quilt?

  1. #1
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    Prewash flannel for rag quilt?

    Good morning all,

    I am new to using flannel and I want to know if I should wash it before assembling a rag quilt? I have heard flannel shrinks quite a lot. Looking for advice from people with more experience than me.

    Thanks! JC
    Quilting is definitely not for the faint of heart.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I always do. and different flannels shrink at different rates. also, the same flannel, if laid out wof or length, may shrink at different rates.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    When doing rag quilts I have never prewashed the flannel. I put my sandwich squares together, stitch an X across them to hold everything together, or quilt them , assemble, clip then I take it outside & give it a really good shake ( the birds collect the threads/ fluff. If it’s a big quilt I take it to the laundromat & use their largest machine, if it’s not so big I launder it at home. After the first spin cycle I stop the machine, take it out & go outside to shake the dickens out of it again- I clean out any stuff left in the washer put it back in and finish the cycle. I do it all again ( outside to shake etc) before it goes into the dryer, after about 20 minutes I take it out, empty the full lint trap, take it out for a good shake then finish drying. I’ve never had any come out bad due to uneven shrinking or anything else. The batting and stitching helps. My family loves raggy quilts.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash flannel because it shrinks unevenly and seems to bleed more often than other cotton fabrics. When constructing the quilt, I use three layers of flannel with no batting, sometimes mixing in some corduroy, so I don't have to quilt an X through the squares and all 3 layers of flannel produce more fraying. Be sure to make your seams 1/2" or larger instead of the traditional 1/4" when making a rag quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I wash the flannel first also..
    Suzanne
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  6. #6
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    i wash everything washable before i cut it to size.

  7. #7
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    In one word, yes. Pre wash, dry in dryer at high setting, then do it again. It removes a ton of lint and the flannel will be as shrunk as it will ever be.

    Have fun with the quilt!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  8. #8
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Flannel is notorious for both shrinking and bleeding. I get that over with at the beginning of a project.

  9. #9
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    I have just finished 2 rag quilts and did them just like ckcowl does hers. My thought on flannel is --it depends. In my experience the lighter-weight flannels do not shrink as much as the thicker quilter flannels and they tend to not bleed either. So far, so good with the rag quilts I have made. They are a lot of fun!

  10. #10
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    Flannel shrinks a lot, a lot. And the fabrics do not shrink the same rate. My LQS advised me to wash the fabrics in warm water and let them completely dry in a dryer. Be very careful with mixing colors in the washer. Reds tend to bleed. Since my quilt is queen size and quite bulky, I have to use a large commercial washing machine to launder it and the results are perfect. There's no bleeding or shrinkage.

  11. #11
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    Thanks all! This is why I ask questions on here.
    Quilting is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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