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Thread: newbie question about 100% white cotton backing

  1. #11
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I use sheets in my projects as well. If you prefer a higher quality fabric than muslin, you can certainly purchase with coupons regularly.

    there is quite a difference between flannels and quilter's cottons....there are quilter's flannels as well. It can be very confusing, especially when you can't feel the difference as in ordering online. Quilter's Flannel is 100% cotton and it has a much better wear than cotton/poly blend flannels also known as flannellette but sold in chains as flannel. People have debated whether you can combine these in with traditional cottons in quilts, but you should know that it is slightly harder to work with and has a different texture other cottons.

    Good luck with your projects & happy sewing!

  2. #12
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Flannel has a reputation for shrinking. Especially the lower grade ones.

    WASH IT before using it.

    I even soak my fabrics in hot water before using them. for about half an hour - or longer - if I get sidetracked.

    I can see some of you cringing out there - but I just get a large bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket - but I tend to buy in bunches) (you can use whatever container holds your fabric) and place the fabric in there.

    I only put one items of the same color in at a time in the soak. so in case there are dye issues, nothing is really ruined.

    If I have colored water, then I take out each item - one at a time - and place in a separate container - to see which piece has the bad manners.

    After that, I wash for a minute or so on a gentle cycle and machine dry at warm.

    I try to avoid much agitation, especially the ones with the metallic (gold or silver) printing.

    I washed some off when I was starting.

    I have learned so much the backwards way. No need for everyone to do the same dumb things.

  3. #13
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    So. California
    Flannel is thicker & sort of fuzzier than regular cotton fabric & does tend to shrink more. If you have flannel pajamas & a regular cotton blouse, that will show you the difference. I don't see any reason you can't use muslin or a sheet on the back, whatever fits your budget the best. :D

  4. #14
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Clay Springs AZ
    I buy the 3 dollar a yard fabric at Quilt in a Day online for my backings.
    Its top quality at junk prices.

  5. #15
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    North Carolina
    Blog Entries
    Bleached good quality muslin is ok. Flannel for the back is iffy.
    I have never used sheets.- the are usually percale and I do not like the feel or look.
    If you shop on line try that Thousand of bolts.
    Just my ideas. Not always shared but that is why we do share.
    Welcome to the group. You will love these girls and the various answers you receive. lol

  6. #16
    lostinnappies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    wow, thanks for all the info and pictures. I recon using a sheet might be the best idea for me (a newbie) I will def try some of the websites. Thanks a million

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Louisa, Kentucky
    I find that muslin works fine for backings...easy to hand quilt and it can be purchased at several different widths and also weights (thread count) . However, due to its shrinkage, I always wash and iron it before using it

  8. #18
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Jackson, Michigan
    My family has always used flannel for the backings. That is how my great grandma taught us to make quilts. They have always been fine. Of course, we have all tried other fabrics, and basically we use what we can afford. The quilt my great grandma made for my wedding gift in 1976 was on my bed everyday for nearly 25 years. I washed in many many times. It started to show a little too much wear, so I stopped using it, I just take it out and look at it now. I am going to try using sheets since so many of you made that suggestion.


  9. #19
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    rural Maryland
    Hi, Welcome to the board. I use muslin or any other good cotton fabric. When I startead quilting 40+ years ago I wasn't aware of fabric that came wider than 44 " wide. I learned the hard way not to use sheets if you are a hand qulter. Sheets especially ones that are not 100% cotton are too tightly woven. I like to use cotton flannel on the backs of children's quilts or lap robes for those who are chair or bed bound. The flannel helps to keep the quilts from sliding off of a person's lap and they make them very cuddly for small children. The flannel can take the place of having batting if you just want something to cover a lap without being real heavy. I make lap robes for amputee soldiers with just a flannel back and no batting. They mostly want to hid their injuries from visitors. It makes both they and their guests more comfortable.

  10. #20
    kd124's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Camas, Washington
    Muslin works great for a backing. Since you cant' feel the difference in the quality of the muslin, I would stay away from the lower cost ones as the are usually very thin and/or coarse. I also sometimes use sheets for charity quilts.

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