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Working with Flannel

Working with Flannel

Old 09-01-2010, 01:17 PM
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Hi all, I figured you all can answer this, except for me. I am going to make a baby quilt. I found some really cute flannel. But I have never worked with flannel before. Is it hard to work with. Is it fabric that should only be larger pieces. Does it quilt nicely. Does it slide around when you are sewing. Do you have any tips. I do have plenty of time to make this. Haven't ordered the material yet either. I just want to make a really cute quilt that is either for a boy or girl. But if it's to hard to work with, I'd just wait until I know if it's a boy or girl and just use cotton. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:20 PM
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Try looking through this thread. I just made a flannel baby quilt for someone, and got a lot of suggestions from others here on the board. It was different, trying to piece the flannel, as it 'crept.' I ended up using my walking foot to piece, as well as following the hints about starching, etc.

I think the quilt turned out alright. It was the first time I had pieced flannel for the top as well as use it for the backing. I did not have a problem quilting it. It was the piecing that got me.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:21 PM
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From what I've read, wash and dry the flannel a couple of times in HOT water to maximize shrinkage before you cut; use at least 3/8 inch seams and heavily starch the flannel to help stabilize it. I haven't make a flannel quilt yet but plan to someday :thumbup:
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:21 PM
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Flannels are great. I highly recomend washing the flannels first before working with them. They tend to shrink more than regular cottons and they don't all shrink evenly.
I try not to use really small pieces because your seams will be thicker. Not too many half square triangles uless you keep them over 4" or more.
Flannels are great for making rag quilts with!
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:22 PM
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My very first quilt was out of flannel, the Around the World pattern with about 3" squares. First, wash and dry the flannel at least three time. Many folks recommend starching. I didn't know enough to do that. I found that it stretched and to make the ends come out even I stitched halfway down a block and then turned it around an stitched back the other way. Very tedious and doesn't allow for chain piecing. But, remember, it was my first quilt and I didn't know any better. I used 1/4" seams, and stitched in the ditch and the quilt is 7 years old, well worn and washed and dried many times and all the seams and quilting have held up great. I used warm and natural as the batting and flannel backing. Good luck with it and post a picture when it is done!
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:33 PM
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Also, clean out lint in the bobbin area everytime you refill the bobbin!

flannel is very linty!
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:54 PM
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One thing .. I do not use pins much when sewing flannel ( a plus) . It just clings to itself . This can be a bit problematic as the fabric will not "move" on itself sometimes when you would like it to. There is not much sliding one layer on another layer, you have to pick it up and re-position.
Do preshrink! Let the fabric really soak in the water to fully saturate the fibers ( soak over night). Then spin and put in the dryer until it is completely dry.
Clean your rotary mat and cutter frequently.... and the bobbin area of your machine. FYI - I find it really a big pain to take out stiches in flannel since they sink into the fabric more than a regular quilting cotton.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:11 PM
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This thread perked up my interest as I too am about to start my first flannel quilt project today. I was wondering why people say to starch their fabric?

Thank you
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:23 PM
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I just returned from the fabric store and they had displayed a rag quilt for a baby from flannel, it was so cute. They used 2 different flannels and 2 layers and seemed plenty warm enough to me....
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Maybe1day
This thread perked up my interest as I too am about to start my first flannel quilt project today. I was wondering why people say to starch their fabric?

Thank you
I do not starch flannel, I find it compresses the loft of the flannel. It does make it a bit easier to work with.
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