October 18, 2010

Embracing Flannel- hints for success

Posted in Techniques and Materials tagged , , at 3:16 am by satinmoon

Quilting flannel , or flannelette

is napped cotton, that  imitates the texture of  original 17th century Welsh wool flannel.

In North America, flannel is often associated with lumberjacks, farmers, and woodsmen.

It is also commonly used for making winter pajamas .

Napping raises the ends of fibers making a surface that is  downy, with fibers that will move when brushed or rubbed.

The nap helps create the warmth and softness flannel is known for.

Many quilters are afraid of using flannel,
Inexpensive, loosely woven flannels can stretch and shrink uncomfortably.
But quilting experts know that
modern quality quilting flannels are quite stable .
Because flannel shrinks about 5 % , those who want an old time look should not prewash.
For a smoother, contemporary look wash the uncut flannel twice in hot water, and dry on  high heat.
Use a good quality spray starch to prepare and stabilize fabric for crisp cuts
EVERY time you press – with a hot , non steam iron- before and after sewing,  to increase the ease of  cutting and sewing.
Remember to lift the iron up and down, not drag across the fabric,
especially when working with of  large and  small triangles.
Use a fresh , sharp blade to avoid drag and stretching while cutting.
Recommendations include  using lots of pins (especially on bias edges)
and if possible use a  3/8″  to   1/2″ seam allowance . When this is not practical, be watchful for raveling.
You can  use Fray Check or Fray Stop if necessary to control raveling.
Flannel dulls needles quickly. Use new size  14 needles.
Use a shorter stitch setting to keep seams as tight as possible.
A walking foot is also recommended .
You may then want to mark a  quarter in guide with   tape.
Press your seams OPEN when possible to avoid bulk.
If you have to undo a stitch, do so gingerly.
You may  need  to press your piece  back into squared position with a hot steam iron before continuing.

Clean your machine often to keep the lint from clogging up the mechanism of your machine.

Penny Copps  of  Deer Country Quilts   suggests using Dye Magnet during the first washing.

Get inspired   on line,
and at Satin Moon with great Amy Butler and Anna Marie Horner flannels.
and patterns like Take 5 the Teacher’s Pet
Quilter’s  Quarter Dress,

yummy yoyos

locker hooking ( at our free club) ,

and of course the new Border Creek Mystery Quilt adventure,
starting this week!




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