Have you ever wondered what the difference is between flannelette and flannel? To many of us, the terms are used interchangeably. However, within the quilt shop, we distinguish the two into three basic types of cotton fabrics. Here’s the definition for each:
1. Flannel – This is a cotton woven fabric that is brushed (to make is soft and fuzzy) on one or both sides. It comes off a bolt at about $17.98 (Cdn.) per metre and is often called quilter’s flannel. Since it’s printed on finer cotton wovens before napping, prints can be more detailed. It can be used to make shirts, sleepwear and quilts. The right side of flannel feels sueded and the back side may or may not be napped. Examples of flannel: Woolies Flannel by Maywood Studio and Moda’s Wool and Needle Collections. The recent Farmhouse Flannels are of exceptional good quality “flannel”.
2. Yarn Dyed Flannel – Made with flannelled (fuzzy) multicoloured yarns in plaids, ginghams or stripes. Yarn Dyed Flannel usually has a lower fuzz-factor than flanelette making it more suitable for shirts, lounge pants, sheets and jacket linings. Sometimes, they are called “homespuns”. Many country and/or primitive styled quilts use yarn-dyed flannel for piecing and appliqué. Yarn Dyed fabric can be used to make lovely rag quilts because it frays nicely.
3. Flannelette (or Flette in the trade) – Woven with flannelled yarns. This is the “low-end” soft and fuzzy flannel and sells for about $10 per metre. It is very practical and affordable for pyjamas, pillowcases, rag quilts, diapers and sheets. Flannelette is very basic fabric and serves a purpose for utilitarian projects. However, a quilt with flannelette will not hold up to everyday use and washing like a true flannel. Flannelette in a quilt will never last to become an heirloom; it is not designed to.
Hope this helps clarify the terminology for you as you select those soft fabrics for your fall and winter quilting.
Tuscany Silk batting is supple, soft and drapes like no other batting. The luxurious feel is ideal for both quilts and garments. Silk has the natural ability to breath, making it an excellent choice for airy, lightweight quilts and coverlets. It provides excellent warmth with very little weight. Perhaps you are making a really special quilt that needs a luxurious batting as you sandwich your top and backing. This could be the batting you are looking for!
This Tuscany batting is a blend of 90% very fine imported silk filaments and 10% fine polyester. It is carded and resin bonded to help retard bearding and fiber migration. Unlike other silk battings, it need not be handled with gloves or encased in cheesecloth. It quilts magnificently by hand or machine.
For best results, we suggest that you hand wash your quilts/garments in cool water and dry them flat. If you prefer to wash by machine, do so with caution. You may experience shrinkage of 3-5% and it may be quilted up to 4” apart.
We recommend that the quilt maker spend some time learning about this product before using it on a major project. Make samples using this batting to see how it launders and how it needles, both by hand and by machine, so that you can obtain the look you want in your final project.
Do you ever wish there was a simpler way to sew a whole batch of half square triangles? Perhaps you would really like to do an Ocean Waves quilt or a classic Bear Paw quilt but dreaded the idea of having to sew and square up a zillion half square triangles.
Well, for many years now, our shop has sold a line of paper packs in various sizes called “Thangles”. These easy to tear paper packs come with simple instructions. In fact, we have often included a packet of the desired size in our quilt kits if the quilt design features a whole bunch of half square triangle units. Yes, these Thangles are that good!
Think about it: no more math of adding 7/8″ and all that. What if all you had to do is cut strips and sew on a line?
Thangles are an easy accurate way to make half square triangles in very little time. They come in a variety of sizes and are super easy to apply to the quilt project you are already trying to sew. The first thing you do is decide on the size you need for your “finished” half square triangle. Finished meaning the size once sewn into your quilt with the seam allowance off.
Thangles are available in our store (and via our website) for all finished half square sizes from 1/2″ to 6″ finished. Each size you want to achieve is available in its own package of specially created papers.
Here’s a video to demonstrate how they work:
We really hope you will consider using Thangles the next time you have quilt pattern requiring half square triangles.
Vanessa Christiansen is a wife and mother to four “active” children. She is the designer for Moda and who has developed Ombre Confetti Metallic fabric that fades from dark to light over the width of fabric (from selvedge to selvedge). The colour in an ombre fabric is all the same hue, with shades and tints added. In one strip cut across the width of the bolt there are seven different shades of the colour. So much versatility with this fabric lineup! Think about all the possibilities of being able to use one fabric and have seven colours in that one fabric to work from. These Ombre Confetti Metallic fabrics are perfect for Bargello quilts as well as any quilt pattern that requires a variety of colours in the same shade. Here’s a video with Vanessa showing her lovely fabric.
We have now received Ombre Confetti Metallic on bolts here in our shop on the bolt as well as in precuts. This fabric presents a whole world of possibilities and some beautiful patterns have been developed.
These beautiful fabrics are in stock now, so don’t wait to get the colours you really want.