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    Help with fraying seams

    Hello All:

    I am a new member but have been reading the forums for about 3 years when I discovered MSQC as I was exploring the net for quilting tutorials. All of you, along with Jenny and the entire MSQC staff have made it possible for me to learn and become pretty darn good this amazing craft. THANK YOU!

    I have hit my first snag in my quilting journey and I am hoping for some advice. Before learning to quilt, I had a fair amount of sewing experience and so really, it was the piecing with a "scant" 1/4" seam, the FMQ and reading quilting patterns that I had to learn and I have done well. However, several seams on two lovely flannels quilts I made recently frayed the first time through the washer. I just finished a georgous flannel quilt for my son yesterday, washed it this morning, took it out of the dryer and oh, no, what is going on here, the second one this summer!? This issue as not yet happened to any of the regular cotton quilts or other projects I have made to date--and there are many of them.

    Construction details: Both frayed quilts were made with Moda flannels. Used Superior Threads So Fine (50w poly) for both piecing and FMQ--my machine LOVES this thread. Used Quilters Request batting, spay basted AND pin basted. Used my pre-set stich length/tension etc that Babylock has factory set on my machine for quilt piecing. Backs are also flannels. I use Schmitz Microtex needles 80/12. I have a front loader, washed the quilts on gentle, cold (just enough to get the starch/baste spray out, and of course, the stray dog hairs...) and dryed on very low. I do not pre-wash any of my fabrics prior to cutting and use either startch or Best Press to prep fabrics before cutting.

    As I was FMQ a simple meandering stipple, none of these frayed areas were present and none of them were present as I was inspecting/trimming threads when it was completed. They appeared only after washing and drying.

    It looks to me like I am so precise when I cut (everything being perfect straight of grain etc.) that the stress of pulling things smooth for FMQ, may be stressing the seams. Am I right here or could this be something else like stitch length too small, poly vs cotton thread etc?

    Any diagnostic advice whould be most appreciated.
    Thanks so much!
    Camogirlquilts.

    #2
    Re: Help with fraying seams

    Flannel is a law unto itself when used for quilting. You will need to allow for a good half-inch seam instead of the usual 1/4, to stop that fraying. Its a looser weave than most cottons.

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      #3
      Re: Help with fraying seams

      So sorry that happened to you. How disappointing to do all that work & then get fraying. I haven't worked much with flannel, so have not had that experience. The one flannel quilt I did make was from left overs from other projects. All those fabrics had been pre-washed. I used fleece for the backing. I had no fraying. Maybe pre-wash the flannel next time?

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        #4
        Re: Help with fraying seams

        I think one of the characteristics of flannel, all the lint we get the first few times it is washed, is actually fluff in between the weft and warp. Once that is removed from the weave, it is even looser, so can fray more easily. This is a non-scientific explanation, but works for me. You have my sympathy, after all that hard work! Is there any way you can repair what has frayed?
        Both the suggestions, wider seams and prewashing, will keep that from happening next time, but doesn't help with what you have now. Maybe someone will be able to help you figure out how to repair your frays.

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          #5
          Re: Help with fraying seams

          I'm so sorry that happened! But I'm glad you are with us in the forum and look forward to getting to know you and seeing your quilts.


          Jeannette

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            #6
            Re: Help with fraying seams

            How many seams are you talking about? Is the FMQing over all the frayed seams? If they are in one or two spots on the quilt, would you be able to applique something over those spots?

            For future quilts, I would do both of the above (pre-wash and larger seam allowance) if the flannel was yardage. I never pre-wash precuts.
            Cindy

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Help with fraying seams

              Thanks so much for all of the great advice!
              Camogirlquilts.

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