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Thread: Sheets for backing--good or bad?

  1. #1
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    As a beginner, I have so much to learn and I am "thankful" for all the wonderful hints offered on the Quilting Board. Making my first quilt some time ago, I wondered about using a new (washed, of course) sheet as a backing. It would be wide enough and would eliminate one or more unnecessary seams. (As it turned out, I opted for a soft flannel backing and had to piece it together.) Has anyone used or would recommend using a sheet as backing. I think 100% cotton ones are available. What do you think? :roll:

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Well, the consensus here has pretty much always been use what you want, there is no quilt police. However, there have been discussions over how difficult it is to handquilt bedsheets.

  3. #3
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    i have a friend who has quilted for years. she told me that she has used sheets told me that sometimes it can be cheaper. she likes to also go to the thrift shops and buy them if they are in good shape.

  4. #4
    Connie Hadba's Avatar
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    There are times here in Lebanon when the only fabric you can find are sheets, so I have used them. The weave is tighter than regular cotton fabrics, so this is the reason why many quilters discourage their use. If the sheet has been used and washed many, many times, it is softer and therefore easier to work with.

    As someone says, there are no quilt police around here. If the fabric suits your purpose and you can work with it, use it. Like you said, for backing, it is ideal because you do not have to piece it and then deal with one more seam to quilt through at awkward places.

    Connie

  5. #5
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I use sheets often and like how they are large and seam free. I hand quilted one and thought it worked fairly easy. I had washed it several times to soften it, and didn't have too much trouble, once I learned hand needles dull fast, and need changed often. once I got out new needles, I had a great time hand quilting.
    Deb :mrgreen:

  6. #6
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Hi Joan:
    If you have an heirloom quilt that is 100 years old DON'T "fix" it with a 70's Daisy print blended fabric sheet! We saw just such a thing at a quilt show and it almost made the judges cry that this very old quilt was pretty much ruined by the addition of that horrible backing sheet. I'm fairly new to quilting so I don't know much but I probably wouldn't shy away from 100% cotton sheets but I don't think I'd use a blend, ever. Like someone else said, No Quilt Police, use what works for you and enjoy your results.

    Feathers

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    100% cotton sheets can get pretty pricey. i don't suppose it would be logical to insist on 100% cotton for the top then use a blend for the back. then again ... i've never thought it logical to insist on 100% cotton.

    as redrummy pointed out, you will need to change needles more often - whether hand or machine quilting. but if it's a pretty sheet, and the cost of the sheet + the cost of a pack of needles is lower than the cost of using regular fabric for the back, i'd say go for it.

  8. #8
    Jerrie's Avatar
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    I use 100% cotton sheets on all my quilts and i have nothad any complains. They works good. I but mines from Walmart they have several thread counts and they are not exspensive.

  9. #9
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your replies. Quilters on this board just have a wealth of information to share. Looking at some of the other fabric sites, it doesn't appear that there is much to pick from in appropriate widths for backings. I'm glad to hear that some have found them useful. It appears that the most important thing is to wash them several times.

  10. #10
    ginnykquilts's Avatar
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    I too, have used sheets from Wal-mart. I look for the loosest weave and wash several times. Another option is to buy wide unbleached muslin at the fabric store. The unbleached color worked for the back I needed, but it would not be hard to dye it to the color needed.

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