A Very Cozy Quilt Gets Finished

A cozy finish - shrunken flannel quilt.

After four years of being stuck as a UFO, this fun cuddler is finally finished. By using unwashed flannels, then shrinking it after it was quilted, I was able to make a really soft and textured quilt.

A Cozy Finish - shrunken flannel quilt details

Three bricks started at four inches wide each, but lost over 1/4 inch on each one during shrinking.

About four years ago, someone gave me a panel of flannel featuring a camping scene by Holly Hunter. I immediately gathered more flannels and cut bricks to make myself a nice little quilt. A simple quilt, nothing fancy, so it should take very little time to make. Of course it got pushed aside, buried, forgotten, and then returned to working status a few times. This winter I decided I simply had to finish it.

I decided to not pre-wash any of the materials for this one, a rare thing for me. I wanted to use a shrinking technique to pucker it up after it was quilted. Having done this on smaller projects in the past, and really liked the effect. But a question lurked in my mind. Using scrappy flannels meant there was a real variety of them, soft, firm, tightly woven, looser, yarn dyed and screen printed. I was concerned that they would shrink rather erratically.

A cozy finish - shrunken flannel quilt, before and after.

The panel lost nearly an inch in width after washing.

To counter that, I figured it needed to be quilted pretty closely, and as evenly as possible. I used cotton batting, and free motion quilting to outline the camping scene highlights. Then meandering stitching went on the panel borders, and a harlequin cross hatch for the bricks. Before laundering, the quilt measured 64 by 75 inches. I liked it a lot, so I was a bit apprehensive as it went in the warm washer, and then the hot dryer. Losing fear, I then repeated the washer and dryer cycle.

After it came out the second time, it measured 60 by 71 inches, so a good four inches of shrinking and puckering took place. I suspect it will shrink up some more when it gets washed again.

A Very Cozy Shrunken Flannel QuiltWhat a lovely final texture! It is ultra-soft, and very supple, despite all the heavy quilting. Now I can pretend to be out camping when I snuggle in with a book tonight, and laugh at the nasty windchill outside.


©2011, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.

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About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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10 Responses to A Very Cozy Quilt Gets Finished

  1. Claudia Ehlers says:

    Love it!

  2. katieQ says:

    Reading about the shrinkage you experienced with your quilt is a good “heads up” for me. I have a large amount of flannels that I have already washed and some new flannels that are not. When I bought the new flannels, the gal at my LQS said, “no one pre-washes flannel anymore,” and said I could mix washed and non-washed. So much for that bright idea. Maybe that’s why her shop closed.
    I guess if I am going to make a flannel quilt I’d better keep them apart because it sounds like they would not play well together.

    • Mary says:

      I rather expected the firmer screen printed flannels to shrink less than the yarn dyes, but they seem to have puckered and shrunk pretty evenly. Homespuns and flannels remain notorious for shrinking in my book!

  3. Donna says:

    Nice quilt! Ok, Mary. Interesting pair of books, too! What’s the book hiding at the bottom?

  4. Sounds quite cuddly! Makes me want to go read a book!

  5. J. Johnson says:

    Oh how lovely and cozy! Up here in northern Minnesota it is already -2 tonight, a good night to snuggle with a book and a cozy quilt.

  6. MUGGSYTEETH says:

    when are you going to give that great cowboy beandip recipe? i lose it after every footbaLL DRAFT!

    • LOL! You nut! Hey, readers, yes I DO love my fantasy football…. and this note is from one of my opponents….

      Easy Breezy!

      Mary’s Cowboy Bean Dip (for corn chips)

      In large saucepan, combine:
      1 can Bush’s Southern Pit BBQ Grilling Beans (or other brand)
      1 – 5.5 ounce can chicken meat, drained
      1/2 medium onion, chopped, or sliced green onions
      1 – 3 ounce can diced jalapeno peppers, drained (Or diced green chilies if you can’t stand the heat)
      1 tsp chili powder

      Stir while it comes to a simmer, then remove from heat and add:
      6 ounce grated pepper jack or cheddar cheese

      Serve warm or cool with corn chips. I garnish with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.

  7. Pingback: Quilted Flannel Pillows | The Curious Quilter

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