ZJ Humbach

Quilting with Flannel

ZJ Humbach
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Duration:   7  mins

Flannel is a popular fabric choice when it comes to making garments, like flannel pajamas, but it is also a great choice when wanting to make nice, warm, snuggly quilts. ZJ Humbach shares tips for quilting with flannel that can make preparing and working with the fabric much easier.


ZJ first shows several examples of flannel fabric available on the market today and explains how you can find many more colors, prints and even panels as you could in the past. ZJ then explains some of the main differences between flannel, which is cotton, and your typical quilting cotton fabric. One of the biggest differences is that flannel has a nap, which means that it needs to be treated similar to a directional fabric in some instances. ZJ explains why this is overly important when making a garment but how it should still be taken into consideration with quilting with flannel.

Washing Flannel Fabric

The topic of whether or not to pre wash fabric for quilting is constantly debated, however ZJ recommends pre washing and pre shrinking flannel prior to quilting with flannel. When quilting with different fabrics, such as flannel, how you prepare the fabric may differ from how you prepare quilting cotton. This is because flannel can both shrink as well as ravel. Pre shrinking the flannel helps ensure that your quilt will stay the size you want it to if it is washed after it is completed. Removing some of the lint when washing it can also help eliminate some of the lint that may otherwise end up in your machine. ZJ gives tips on how to help reduce the amount of raveling that can occur when washing the fabric by stay stitching the edges. For more quilting tips and techniques, check out more quilting tutorials.

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6 Responses to “Quilting with Flannel”


    I put together an entire quilt flannel quilt top before reading that I should use 1/2 inch as opposed to 1/4 inch seams. I REALLY do not want to start over. I 'fray stopped' every one of my seams. Will this work if the long arming is a small stitch or am I going to have to worry every time it is washed that it will fall apart? I used maywood woolies.

  2. Liz Papagianis

    I purchased 10-inch flannel squares for a baby quilt. Do I need to wash them first? If so, will they lose their shape?

  3. Amy

    Thank you for the video. I have entertained the idea of quilting with flannel, and a lot of people seem to enjoy making baby quilts out of flannel. So, we prewash cotton and flannel when we mix these different textiles before we cut and make our quilt top. Do you recommend we starch precut cottons such as fat quarters? Some recommend no need for preshrinking if we do this step for precut fabrics.

  4. Kat

    Do you stay stitch all fat quarters, binding borders ect. prior to washing.

  5. Dale Denison

    What if you are using precut fabric, like jelly rolls, charm packs etc. How do you preshrink these without them unraveling. And couldn't you wash in cold water to help that it doesn't shrink too much?

  6. Lisa

    I’ve completed a quilt top of 100% cotton. I did not prewash the fabric. Can I was the top before quilting if I want to pair it with a flannel back or just stick with the same type fabric for the backing?

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