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Flat felled vs conventional seam

Flat felled vs conventional seam

Old 12-11-2021, 05:01 PM
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Question Flat felled vs conventional seam

Usually I make a backing with 108" fabric, but this time I couldn't find anything even close to matching my quilt top. When this happens, do you usually join the widths with a conventional seam or do you flat fell it? Or is there some other way that I've missed?


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Old 12-11-2021, 05:04 PM
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I use a regular seam but use 1/2" seam allowance for the back. You don't want to make anything so thick that you can't quilt over it.
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Old 12-11-2021, 05:41 PM
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Ditto the regular seam, 1/2" seam allowances.

Be sure if you are sending to a longarmer or are quilting on your own longarm that you orient the seam so it falls the width of the loading. If it falls vertically (so it rolls up on itself as you go), it will make it more difficult to roll evenly since the seam area will keep getting thicker and thicker as you roll.
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Old 12-11-2021, 06:35 PM
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I do the same as above, use a 1/2" or a bit wider seam allowance. If I need a longer vertical seam, I will divide things up so that they don't end up over about 2' long. Anything longer will give grief when loading on the LA. Horizontal seams don't cause any problems.
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Old 12-11-2021, 07:24 PM
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I do the same, 1/2" seam, pressed to one side. Why would you want a flat felled seam, when it's entirely enclosed in the quilt? If you are concerned about the seam coming apart, you could stitch two parallel lines.
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Old 12-11-2021, 08:00 PM
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I just use a conventional seam with a wider seam allowance pressed open for less bulk

Last edited by cashs_mom; 12-11-2021 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 12-11-2021, 09:08 PM
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1/2" seam, trimmed with pinking shears and pressed open.
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Old 12-12-2021, 05:30 AM
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Thanks, everybody. I don't machine quilt, so I never considered that aspect of it. Nor did I think about the flat fell winding up INSIDE the quilt--I'd have put it on the outside from force of habit (think jeans here). But, now that you mention it, a wider seam like 1/2" or 5/8" does make perfect sense and is a whole lot simpler to do! Especially if it is pinked!


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Old 12-12-2021, 07:44 AM
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As I get older, I find it gets harder to manage large chunks of fabric. So if I am using 42-44 inch yardage to make a quilt back, I cut the fabric the length I need, leaving the selvages on. Then I line up the selvages and stitch my seam about 1.5 inches in. Then I take my scissors and trim the selvages off. I find this easier then trying to the trim the selvages straight with a long pice of fabric as my cutting table is only six feet long and is the basement with the unfinished concrete floor. I leave the edge selvages on and find when I load the quilt, it is easy to make sure it goes on straight, these selvages get cut off when I trim the backing after done quilting.
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Old 12-12-2021, 07:54 AM
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I prefer to use the extra wide backs, but they have not always been available or out of my price range so have been piecing backs for many years. At least one of the ladies in my Tuesday group doesn't like the extra large backs at all -- they are "too big" even for her large projects and so she always pieces the back.

From the old days I was always taught to avoid seams right down the middle of the quilt due to folding and considerations like that. If your fabric was wide enough that you only needed two widths, you had one width that was full down the middle, and then the other you split into two pieces, with one half width on either side of the full widths. Back in the days of 36" wide yardage, it was three full widths of the fabric going horizontally for the typical length.

As the others have said, yes, 1/2" seams. I press open as I always do. I always use a rather small stitch as someone who presses open.

As time has gone on, I've begun incorporating more fabric/seams in the back, often including orphan blocks or fabrics that are related to the top but maybe too large a scale or other issues. They work/hold up just fine. I do prefer less quilting and a fluffier batting than is currently in favor -- perhaps that works in my favor
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