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quilt backing - flannel or cotton

quilt backing - flannel or cotton

Old 02-20-2013, 07:03 PM
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Default quilt backing - flannel or cotton

I am making a tshirt quilt for my niece. I have the interfacing on the back of the tshirts and ready to piece it and then the backing. My questions is, is there a preference to use flannel or cotton for the backing. It is going to be lap size quilt.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:27 PM
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Either one, just prewash because the shirts have been washed. Especially the flannel.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:34 PM
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Here's mine...just finished 2 of them...for granddaughters...have cotton black/gray/white floral on back..maeghans-t-shirt-quilt-top-003.jpg
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:08 PM
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It's your choice. If you choose flannel, though, I recommend washing and drying *twice* because flannel can shrink an awful lot. Plus, I would recommend heavily starching the backing before layering, as washed flannel will have a lot more stretch than cotton (and therefore be more subject to tucks and puckers when machine quilting). Starch adds stability so the flannel will not distort during handline and will not fold over itself while you are sewing. My fast method for starching is to mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" this solution on with a large wall painting brush until the flannel is saturated, wait a couple of minutes for the starch to penetrate the fibers, toss in dryer, then iron with steam.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:18 PM
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I use flannel sheets that I buy on sale at the end of the winter shopping season for backing - which means right about now! I do wash/dry the sheets twice before using, but never starch. The added benefit of using sheets is that the set comes with a pillow case, which can be used to store the quilt or gifted as part of the "quilt package".

Then I spray baste the backing, batting and top together.

It comes out fine when quilted on my mid-arm/frame.

I also use 100% cotton sheets for backing. Again, it works fine.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:47 AM
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I second this! I am struggling with a flannel backing right now that I did not starch this time and it is puckering horribly Veru frustrating!). I starched a previous one and it worked very well. Not a step to be skipped!

Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
It's your choice. If you choose flannel, though, I recommend washing and drying *twice* because flannel can shrink an awful lot. Plus, I would recommend heavily starching the backing before layering, as washed flannel will have a lot more stretch than cotton (and therefore be more subject to tucks and puckers when machine quilting). Starch adds stability so the flannel will not distort during handline and will not fold over itself while you are sewing. My fast method for starching is to mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" this solution on with a large wall painting brush until the flannel is saturated, wait a couple of minutes for the starch to penetrate the fibers, toss in dryer, then iron with steam.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:30 PM
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You can starch even after layering. It's not as effective as starching beforehand, but it still can help a *lot*. Just lay down a flat sheet to catch overspray and use spray starch. You want several layers of spray starch. A fan helps dry each layer before you apply the next. Several people have mentioned that this helped with the puckers on the back.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:50 AM
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Exactly what I did--thank you! It is making a huge difference.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:21 AM
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i love flannel backed quilts! but it does depend on if you want it really warm/heavy or a lighter quilt- t-shirt quilts are quite heavy on their own- adding flannel & batting doubles that- i've made both & really like the flannel best-but i live where it's cold & we like them warm & heavy- you don't tell us where you are so we have no idea if that would be a consideration or not.
if you choose flannel-follow Prisma's recommendations & buy good quality flannel so it doesn't pill when you wash it.
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