If I were to talk about one of the biggest obstacles that I’ve face since I started piecing quilts, top of my list is piecing and binding a flannel quilt. It’s almost like sewing a Lycra skirt together I would imagine. I am a “fair-weather” pinner and will always try to get away without pinning where I’m able, so long as the fabric I’m working with cooperates.
Flannel is one of my favorite fabrics to piece and wrap up in after a well-done job. This is also one of the fabrics that needs the most pinning due to the stretchiness of the material. To go a little into the woods with this topic, when I initially started quilting I wanted nothing more than to make a flannel quilt. Off to the store I went to pick out some of the warmest, softest, and flannely flannel I could find. I purchased much more fabric than was needed using the… “if it calls for a yard and a half why not buy four yards” guy mentality.
This of course saved me. I knew something was off, and at first it was that I had indeed cut the wrong size on a couple of pieces. Standing there trying to line the fabric up after I re-measured however I started to sew only to have the squares go all wonky on me once I tried to join them together. This was my initialization into the world of flannel.
Lesson #1, pin… every… little… piece… to sew it together. Then, pin each and every piece as they come together. Use the steam and weight of the iron to flatten the material and set the seams, do not stretch the material while pressing. Now I know there is someone out there that may be able to sew this without pinning using the proper tension and fabric selection on their sewing machine. When I first started with my singer, I have a difficult time getting this correct. Now that I have a husqvarna viking, it is a little easier, however I still have to ensure I have the machine set correctly.
I’ve posted before about how much I love to put satin blanket bindings on baby quilts, but I wanted these to have more of a homemade look to them. People are finally getting vocal about what works for them on a flannel blanket and I’ve decided to go with the double-fold binding. I’ll cut the fabric 2 1/2″ before folding rather than my normal 2 1/4″ wof.
Lesson #2, Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. I’ll post the pics of these next week to show you how they turned out.
Until next time,