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Quilting With Flannel Question - Please Help

Quilting With Flannel Question - Please Help

Old 09-27-2011, 05:35 PM
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When I fold the flannel in half to square it, I smooth it out to match the edges. I place the selvages together and to the top. I smooth it down to the fold and out to the side edges. Once I get it smoothed out, I check the opposite side and it is messy so I flip it over to smooth that side the same as I did the first side. When done with that side, I check the first side and it is messy and no longer matches.

What can I do to avoid this problem. Because of it, I can't get squared edges. Please Help. :) I am making strip quilts according to a Missouri Quilt Company QAYG technique and it starts at the top edge and one side edge of the fabric. So I need it to be square. Thank you so much. :)
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:47 PM
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I would suggest fold in half - selvage to selvage. Smooth from the folded edge to the selvage. While smoothing to the top edge, smooth to the outside edges as well. You should be able to get both sides (top & bottom that is) simultaneously. Your side edges WILL NOT match up. This is where you are going to take your ruler and line up the narrowest point to chop off to make that side square. Then you will get a straight edge from which to start cutting. You will probably need to flip to start cutting. I try, if I have enough room, to move my body to the opposite side of the cutting table instead of moving the fabric. It stays more stable that way. You may need to make small 'adjustment' cuts to straighten along the way but they will be minimal. Hope this makes sense and works for you.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:51 PM
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Have you washed your flannel? It always shrinks a lot, sometimes it takes multiple wash/dry cycles before it is done shrinking. Then follow NJ Quilter's instructions.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:31 AM
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I think if you trim off the selvage first you will get it much smoother. The selvage will not stretch like the inside of the yardage, therefor, the wrinkles.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:13 AM
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fold in half and smooth from the fold- which is your straight edge- the salvages or sides may not match up- which is why you need to square it in the first place. so smooth from the fold with the salvages close to even- sometimes it helps to lay it out unfolded- smooth it flat- then bring the bottom up to the top (creating your fold)then straighten/cut one side edge.
flannels tend to be a looser weave than you are used to working with and stretch out of shape- so smoothing before folding- then smoothing from the fold can help alot. the edges are not going to match up until you cut them to do so.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Quilter
I would suggest fold in half - selvage to selvage. Smooth from the folded edge to the selvage. While smoothing to the top edge, smooth to the outside edges as well. You should be able to get both sides (top & bottom that is) simultaneously. Your side edges WILL NOT match up. This is where you are going to take your ruler and line up the narrowest point to chop off to make that side square. Then you will get a straight edge from which to start cutting. You will probably need to flip to start cutting. I try, if I have enough room, to move my body to the opposite side of the cutting table instead of moving the fabric. It stays more stable that way. You may need to make small 'adjustment' cuts to straighten along the way but they will be minimal. Hope this makes sense and works for you.
I hold mine up in the air to even it out. I just walk my selvages along (or cut off edges) until the fold lies even and straight. I than lay it down carefully and trim up the end. Works for me. :) Also, this works well for anything under 2 yards, anything over needs another technique.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Barb_MO
I think if you trim off the selvage first you will get it much smoother. The selvage will not stretch like the inside of the yardage, therefor, the wrinkles.
Thanks Barb, I'll give that a try. :)
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:42 AM
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I always prewash and dry flannel before messing with it. I also rip it to find the straight of grain before cutting because you can't rely on the selvage edges to find straight of grain as the fabric shrinks but the selvages don't. I also starch it fairly stiff as it likes to do the creepy crawly thing when cutting & sewing if it's not starched. Some of the good, heavy "quilter's flannel" is much better behaved but it isn't as soft & cuddly as I like flannel to be.
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