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Thread: Quilting with Flannel

  1. #1
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    Quilting with Flannel

    I have never quilted with flannel. I am in search of some pretty flannel fabric and I was wondering which company has the highest quality for the price? I don't think I have every even bought flannel...so please help me!!!

    I don't prewash my quilting cotton as I find it quilts on the longarm much better without prewashing and I am happy with the results of that.

    With that in mind, do you prewash your flannel or not???? If I don't prewash will it weird up when it is washed if washed properly the 1st time out???

    Please help me!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    I have no idea who makes the best flannel and will watch this post to see. I made an adorable IMO bear quilt out of flannel. It is in the rag style. After repeated washings to get it to "rag", it is all nubby. I am not sure that I will give it as it already looks used. How disappointing. I bought "quilting flannel" hoping that would work. Wrong.

  3. #3
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    flannel shrinks quite a bit, so I always wash and dry flannel before using it.
    A bed without a quilt is like the sky without stars!

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    as usual, I tend to differ from what "most" do. I rarely prewash anything as I love the feel of the new fabric. Even with flannel, I usually don't prewash. I use flannel to back most of my quilts too and haven't ever had a problem. But, I've bought cheap flannel ($1/yard) that I have prewashed. After washing it, it thickens up and is no longer cheap and flimsy. It works well too.

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    I just quilted a couple of flannel baby quilts, one I washed the flannel first, the other I didn't. I like the look and feel of new fabric, so I prefer the one I didn't wash for giving as a gift. The washed one just looked......washed, with more puckering and shrinkage. I also needed to get rid of the markings I put on it for quilting, so I washed it after it was completed too. One way or the other they are going to be washed so I think it is just a personal preference.
    groovey

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    It really makes it easier to starch and press the flannel before cutting. I make mine stiff like cardboard.
    Got fabric?

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    Please don't buy flannel from Joann's. I made a rag quilt from flannel from there and it shrank so bad that it popped the stiches on the X's I made on the blocks. I was not happy. You don't want to pre-wash flannel for a rag quilt--that's part of the fluffing process after the quilt is sewn.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Connecting Threads has very good flannel in pretty prints.
    Got fabric?

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    Joann's flannel is absolute junk. You can count the threads, see through it, it shrinks and pills like mad. If you have some that you purchased a few years ago you can really tell the dfference. That being said, I need some flannel for quilt backs for my children's charity quilts. Can you tell me about the quality of flannel at Hobby Lobby? I hate to drive 30 miles to find that it's also poor quality.

  10. #10
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    I just finished my first quilt which was flannel - I used Moda and was very happy with it. I did prewash and the shrinkage was not as bad as the flannel I got from Joannes for pj pants - that shrank so much it had to add a cuff to the pants!

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash flannel because of the shrinkage. So far I've only used it as a quilt back or in a rag quilt. It will still rag, because it is the fraying of the edges that causes the ragging, not the shrinkage. I got some marvelous dark purple flannel once at a quilt show. It was very thick and the color didn't even fade or bleed in the wash. I wish I knew the source, because I would love to get more of it. I think I will try BellaBoo's idea of buying my next flannel from CT.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    Joann's flannel is absolute junk. You can count the threads, see through it, it shrinks and pills like mad. If you have some that you purchased a few years ago you can really tell the dfference. That being said, I need some flannel for quilt backs for my children's charity quilts. Can you tell me about the quality of flannel at Hobby Lobby? I hate to drive 30 miles to find that it's also poor quality.
    I got a bunch of flannel from Hobby Lobby and because I had had problems with JoAnn's flannel pilling so badly, I washed some of it and it came out fine--no pilling. I'm not normally a pre-washer but because I had heard so many people on this board stress that flannel needed to be prewashed, I did. However, I'll probably go back to my "bad" habit of not prewashing--I feel that as long as all of the fabric is not prewashed then it will all shrink at the same rate and I'll end up with a slightly smaller quilt... I'm not a big fan of ironing
    Bernie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shankquilt View Post
    Please don't buy flannel from Joann's. I made a rag quilt from flannel from there and it shrank so bad that it popped the stiches on the X's I made on the blocks. I was not happy. You don't want to pre-wash flannel for a rag quilt--that's part of the fluffing process after the quilt is sewn.
    I used flannel from Joann's for my rag quilt. However, I did purchase the pricier stuff (not the $2.99/yard flannel) I pre washed the flannel before I cut it becaue it DOES shrink! I used my Accuquilt Rag Die to cut my pieces. After sewing them together, I washed it twice in the washer and boy did it ever fluff up! I think it is risky not to wash flannel before sewing it, IMHO.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  14. #14
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Connecting Threads has very good flannel in pretty prints.
    I bought a large yardage of flannel from Connecting Threads to use as the back of a quilt. This was when I first started quilting, wasn't used to online ordering (had always been able to stroke the fabric before buying it), and was at a point in my financial life which meant this purchase would make that month pretty tight. I was nervous - but I had to have the flannel - the pattern and colors were just right...

    Best quality flannel I have ever felt or seen. Still looks like new ten years later (has outlasted some of the flannel squares on the top of the quilt), and I usually keep that side of the quilt up because I still like it so much. It has not faded, even though it is a very dark green and the bed has sunlight in a strip across it most days.

    I can't speak for all of CT's flannel, but that one was superior (and relatively inexpensive, although it didn't seem like it at the time!!)

    Alison

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    Hopefully this is not a double post. I bought/used some Moda Marble flannel last year. Was absolutely wonderful and would highly recommend it. And I'm not a fan of Moda Marble cotton at all. I did pre-wash - because I pre-wash everything - but I believe you could easily get away with not pre-washing.

  16. #16
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    I prewash all the flannel (and I rarely prewash anything) -- I have had some really bizarre shrinkage with flannels regardless of where I have bought it. I quit buying the batik flannel because some of it never softened up when I washed it. I washed some flannels that shrank not a all and some shrank several inches. If I am going to piece with the flannel I want to make sure that if they shrink they do so at the same rate.
    QuiltnLady1

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  17. #17
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    connecting threads has great looking flannel, never used it though but have thought about purchasing some for a rag quilt

  18. #18
    Junior Member bisbetica's Avatar
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    I do not prewash regular cotton, but ALWAYS prewash flannel. It shrinks so much more than cotton! I wash it on hot and dry it on hot, trying to shrink the heck out of it before I sew with it. Even so, I have still have some seams come apart in my flannel quilts due to shrinkage. Prewash!
    Denise
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  19. #19
    Senior Member PghPat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycquilter View Post
    as usual, I tend to differ from what "most" do. I rarely prewash anything as I love the feel of the new fabric. Even with flannel, I usually don't prewash. I use flannel to back most of my quilts too and haven't ever had a problem. But, I've bought cheap flannel ($1/yard) that I have prewashed. After washing it, it thickens up and is no longer cheap and flimsy. It works well too.


    When you use flannel for backing do you still use batting and if you do, what kind do you use? Thanks, Pat

  20. #20
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    my first quilt that I used flannel backing, I did not wash the flannel. Then I read on this board you should wash the flannel because it shrinks so much. Oh durn, and I had hand quilted this quilt also!! So when I washed it, I washed it in cold water, and put it in the dryer for about 30 minutes and then hung it over the line to dry. I think the quilt still looks good in spite of the fact I did not prewash the flannel! And this was WalMart flannel too.

  21. #21
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I've used flannel from walmart, joanns, hancock, the lqs, can't see or feel a bit of difference in any of it! Even after washing. I don't prewash anything and have never had a problem. I've used flannel for rag quilts, backing a quilt, and have even used it in place of batting, making more like a nice blanket.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  22. #22
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PghPat View Post
    When you use flannel for backing do you still use batting and if you do, what kind do you use? Thanks, Pat


    When I back with flannel, I do prewash and it is usually for a baby. So I don't use batting, as the flannel provides the warmth, and the moms like being able to throw it in the washer/dryer and not worrying about it being too heavy to go through the spin cycle. Some new washing machines can't handle the extra weight of batting. I know as I have one that won't handle anything heavy. Didn't know that when I bought it. I think you can add batting or not, depending on your preference.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mythreesuns's Avatar
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    I have used flannel from Joanns (not the real pricey stuff) and WalMart also.. no issues here at all. I do not prewash my fabrics ever. I have used them in between as batting and as backing. Most of my quilts are 100 X 100 or 110 x 110.
    Faye

  24. #24
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    I have bought quilter's flannel from Joann's in the past and it was OK. I also bought flannel from Hancock fabric on line. It worked out great. I used the flannel from Joann's for a full size quilt where you keep the seams on the outside to fray. BUT it isn't fraying very well so I guess that is good fabric. The Hancock fabric I used for baby quilts so I only bought the kind that is flame retardant...they turned out nicely. Didn't wash any of the flannel beforehand.

  25. #25
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    If you like batik fabrics, try looking at what is offered at SewBatik.com. I have purchased a lot of fabric from them, as I love batiks, and they carry batik flannels that are very soft and heavy. Their flannel runs at 106" so it is also good for backings.

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