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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Unwashed flannel backing... uh oh ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Unwashed flannel backing... uh oh
Regular cotton quilt top, flannel backing
Charbucks
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Date: 11/29/13 6:04 PM

As my title implies, I'm 90% finished a baby quilt with a regular cotton quilt top, cotton batting, and a flannel backing. This is only the third quilt I've made, and the first that I'm planning on giving as a gift.

So far I've got it all quilted and trimmed, but I haven't put the binding on yet. I think it looks great right now, but I'm afraid what will happen when I wash it! I didn't even think about flannel being more shrinkage prone until it was too late.

Any thoughts on what my options are? I really want it to be machine washable so my new mother friend can just toss it in the wash when it inevitably gets peed on or worse. It's only 43"x34", so perhaps the shrinkage won't affect it too badly. Or maybe I'd be better off ripping out the quilting and finding new backing fabric (can't reuse this one because it's cut down to size already).

marjoryt
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Subject: You are going to bless it, bind it, and wash it. Date: 11/29/13 6:15 PM

Honestly, you won't be able to destitch all the quilting.

So, finish it up, then wash it yourself. If it looks ok, wrap and send. If it's a disaster, treat it as a learning experience and set back to work.

Charbucks
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Date: 11/29/13 6:28 PM

Thanks for the super quick reply!

I was dreading the idea of de-stitching, particularly because my FMQ stitches vary wildly in size and many are way too close together. Your recommendation makes the decision easier :)

Here's hoping it works out... all that work and material cost lost! On the plus side, baby isn't due until April so I've definitely got time to try again.

QuiltsShoots&Leaves

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Date: 11/29/13 7:06 PM

I would expect that your top will get that antique-quilt, slightly puckery look if the flannel shrinks more than the top. It will be beautiful!

jannw
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In reply to Charbucks <<


Date: 11/29/13 7:40 PM

I like using unwashed flannel! After it's washed, you get that really puckered look. I've used it instead of batting and for quilted vests also for lots of texture.

Finish your quilt and wash it..I'll bet you really like the effect.

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Karla Kizer
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Date: 11/29/13 7:57 PM

That unwashed flannel technique was very popular...maybe 20 years ago? I personally love the look. One word of caution: the overall size of the blanket will be much smaller, so you might want to shrink it, then add a wide border (with a poly fleece batting) once the size has been stabilized. IOW, make the border a frame for the shrunken section.

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“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

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wendyrb
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Date: 11/29/13 8:34 PM

I can understand your upset, but betcha it will be perfect for all the things babies "do" to their blankies. Well my baby anyway! My friend's daughter had a blankie woven of chunky yarn with a nice fringe. Little Sophie loved to pull the fringe and gradually the thing shrank until it was about 1 1/2 foot square. She adored it all the more and I'll be she still has it 2 decades later. Let us know how it goes after you've washed it. Good wishes for a result you can live with, or even like.

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In reply to Karla Kizer <<


Date: 11/29/13 8:49 PM

Quote:
That unwashed flannel technique was very popular...maybe 20 years ago?


Now I feel old!!!
It probably has been 20+ years..I think I saw it on a TV show..maybe Shirley Adams???

Is the newer technique to buy the all cotton batting? It seems to do much the same thing at double the cost!!

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Pamela R
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Date: 11/30/13 7:43 PM

Make sure that the quilting lines are close enough together so that the shrinkage makes it look puffy as opposed to shrunken!

emmasgranny
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In reply to Karla Kizer <<


Date: 11/30/13 8:58 PM

Quote: Karla Kizer
That unwashed flannel technique was very popular...maybe 20 years ago? I personally love the look. One word of caution: the overall size of the blanket will be much smaller, so you might want to shrink it, then add a wide border (with a poly fleece batting) once the size has been stabilized. IOW, make the border a frame for the shrunken section.

Have agree w/Karla, I would wash in cold and dry on gentle. The add another piece depending non final size you need. It could even be a solid color picked out of the central piece
Flannel shrinks a lot so I usually wash before sewing ( most fabrics)
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