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Thread: Sheets for backing?????????????

  1. #1
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have seen some web sites and books that say never use sheets, and others that recommend them for quilt backing.
    Walmart sells a 200 thread count, 60 cotton 40 poly sheet for $3.00 twin.{ these are available in several colors] Now if I decide to use it what are some do's and don'ts?
    In advance thank you for the advice. :P

  2. #2
    Leslee's Avatar
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    Ruthie, I think hand quilting would be torture if the backing was a sheet! Maybe one of our machine-quilting friends out there can tell us if it works when the quilt's machine sewn...?

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I use sheets a lot for backing quilts. The better quality (tighter weave) sheets make hand-quilting a lot more difficult, but I think they're great for machine quilting. If I'm going to hand-quilt, I look for 180-count or less with a looser weave.
    I pre-wash in the hottest water and dry them on the highest setting to make sure they're thoroughly pre-shrunk.
    They really stand up to use and repeated washing. It could be my imagination, but I think the finished quilts are a bit warmer, too.
    It's always less expensive to use sheets for twin-size quilts or smaller. Beyond that, I do the math and calculate/compare the cost of using a sheet vs. regular fabric. (Why a queen sheet costs more than double when it isn't twice the size is beyond me, but that's the way it usually is.)
    I suppose if I was to ever make a quilt to enter into competition (as if I'd ever get that good. LOL) I'd spend the extra money on "fancy" fabric no matter the size. Otherwise, I'd rather save the money to spend on more fabric for tops. ;-)

  4. #4

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    I saw on one of the sites that a well know quilt artist said that she alway uses sheets for the back of her quilts.

    hellcat

  5. #5
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Thats all I use! I just bought a twin and two doubles at Walmart last week and it cost less than $25 ... its a personal preference I believe... alot of hand quilters have told me they wouldn't use them but I either tie my quilts or machine quilt them and it works wonderful for me! I just pre wash them, rip off the ends and sides and I am ready to go!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I have chosen to use sheets for the backing of quilts I plan to give away. I go to the Thrift stores and purchase Queen and King flat sheets that have been used enough to make them soft. While I am not a hand quilter, this keeps my costs low. The Long Arm quilter I use charges $40 and $50.

    A few of the quilts I made for family, I pieced the backs. The soft sheets give a good feel to the quilt for the persons using them. Some have been in soft colors and other have unusual patterns printed on them. They catch my eye and the quilter has told me that when her customers come in and see them, they remark about how pretty they are.

    It truly is a matter of choice and the type quilting you are doing. This is what works for me. The less I spend, the more I can make and donate to Battered Women's Shelter.

  7. #7
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Maybe well washed is the way to go........I washed my sheet once and it has been hard going. I am hand quilting a irish chain in red and white. I am also using cotton batting. I have to wait two days between quilting sessions for my fingers to take more. Oh well live and learn. :roll:

  8. #8
    Norah's Avatar
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    My two cents worth :? is this. Most sheets have a much tighter weave than most of the fabrics we use for quilts and backing, so it is much harder to force a needle between the threads of the weave. Therefore, it is harder to hand sew, but easy to machine quilt. The sheet should wear better than the regular cottons that we piece with because it is a higher quality of fabric. Also, have any of you had trouble with the blended sheets (poly/cotton) pilling and balling up? You know, the little knots that get all over a fabric and makes you want to shave it or pick them off? That has been my experience, but sometimes I buy cheap sheets. Could be I get what I am paying for. :roll:

  9. #9
    quiltinlily's Avatar
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    Dear sister,
    I just read on www.quiltville.com not to use them. Go on Bonnie's site and read her comments and she will tell you not to use them for many reasons. They have seams, not cotton, not straight, etc, etc. Use all cotton pima for best results. Costs more but do you want a crummy result for all your time spent on the top to put junk on the backing? You should be as concerned for the back as the front. That quilt will live long after you, so, make it the best you have to give and you will be remember by your love for your work. Use quality in all ways, at all times, for the best results. Lin

  10. #10
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Well, for arguments sake...if for no other reason! LOL I have to tell about something I did about 25 years ago.... my sister and brother in law asked me to make them a "quilt"...well, I wasn't quite into pieceing alot yet then so I took two double flat sheets...put a batting in between them...and I tied them (not quilted) and zigzagged the edges shut.... they are STILL using that "blanket" today! Sheets last forever...I have been married 31 years and still have some of the sheets I received as gifts and they are in good condition yet!

    And, as I said in an earlier post....I dont hand quilt when I use sheets as backing and was also told by someone with a longarm that they don't line up well on the long arm machines...but for my regular machine quilting and tying I can't afford to go spend 3 or 4 times as much on material...when you can put a backing on a twin quilt for $3.00 then hey...go for it! LOL

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