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Thread: Backing fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member campion's Avatar
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    Can I use cotton sheeting for the backing of a quilt? Are there any rules---for/against.
    I am going to hand quilt.

  2. #2
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I have a friend that uses a king size 100 percent cotton sheet when making quilts for her bed. I have thought about doing the same. Seems like as long as you get a good quality sheet it would be the same. I have also used a few King size pillow cases that were never used for blocks. (when I buy set of sheets the king size pillow cases are way to big for my pillows.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Many people use them and have done so for years and never had a problem. I haven't yet but have decided to give it a try on my next bed quilt. Course my problem is that I've purchased so many quilts backs that they will take me forever to use them all!!!!

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you are going to hand quilt you will want an inexpensive (loose-weave) sheet. the higher the thread count the harder it will be to hand quilt. that is the biggest reason that 'they say' do not use sheets is because the thread count is alot higher than quilting cottons and makes it difficult to get a needle through by hand, by machine sheets work fine. so, i would put together a small practice sandwich and try it out before committing to a whole quilt.

  5. #5
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    Not easy to hand quilt with a sheet for backing. as ckcowl said the thread count makes it hard to quilt thru.

  6. #6
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Sheets are great, no seams to contend with, often less than $10 and they wear well. I use them all the time and always have a stack on hand. I bought a dozen King size cotton sheets (more fabric to use) at $5 just lately. My son was with me and didn't understand what I was thinking. His comment "How many mis-matched sheets does one family need?" If hand quilting look for a cotton sheet with a lower thread count so the weave is not as tight. Save those 600 thread count sheets for machine quilted quilts where they work out perfectly.

  7. #7
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    When buying the king size pillow cases get the ones that have no seam at the end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie
    Sheets are great, no seams to contend with, often less than $10 and they wear well. I use them all the time and always have a stack on hand. I bought a dozen King size cotton sheets (more fabric to use) at $5 just lately. My son was with me and didn't understand what I was thinking. His comment "How many mis-matched sheets does one family need?" If hand quilting look for a cotton sheet with a lower thread count so the weave is not as tight. Save those 600 thread count sheets for machine quilted quilts where they work out perfectly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PamS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campion
    Can I use cotton sheeting for the backing of a quilt? Are there any rules---for/against.
    I am going to hand quilt.
    I think the rule is: if it works and you like it, do it!

  9. #9
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    I do not like sheets for backing. On my longarm the tension can get bad and I have heard it is hard to handquilt through.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quiltbugs's Avatar
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    I tried to use a sheet for backing one time, way back when. Hand quilting was virtually impossible. The needle wouldn't go through that sheet at all.

  11. #11
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    No rules. However, it is much easier to use a low thread count otherwise it will be more difficult to quilt through.
    Take a needle with you when you buy one (if you buy it) to make sure it needles ok. Even the sewing machine can act funny if the backing is more tightely woven. So a sharp needle may be needed to penetrate through the tight fabric. Back on the early days (1970's) it was recommended to get a muslin. Not sure they make those anymore. Muslin sheets would needle better than the percale.

  12. #12
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    this is where the cheapies come into use.

  13. #13
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Buy a cheap one and try it out. No quilt police here.

  14. #14
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I have a friend that buys old vintage table cloths for backings. They look wonderful! She picks them up for under 5 dollars. Until I get good I will stick with ways to practice my quilting with cheaper ways unless I am giving them away as gifts. I still look for quality, just a cheaper way to enjoy my hobby.

  15. #15
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Right now I'm using all of my grandma's sheets as backing for her quilts I'm doing for her. No problems so far.

  16. #16
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    I do the same thing as I wait for wal mart to have thier closeout on each seasons colors and pick em up for next to nothing. You get 2 sheets for like 4 bucks I just undo the elastic and trim up the fitted shees for lap quilts and then unhem the flat sheets.

  17. #17
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    if you are going to hand quilt you will want an inexpensive (loose-weave) sheet. the higher the thread count the harder it will be to hand quilt. that is the biggest reason that 'they say' do not use sheets is because the thread count is alot higher than quilting cottons and makes it difficult to get a needle through by hand, by machine sheets work fine. so, i would put together a small practice sandwich and try it out before committing to a whole quilt.
    Yeah on the above.

  18. #18
    Senior Member campion's Avatar
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    I have bought a 200 count cotton sheet,so I may after all machine quilt but I will do a practise hand quilt first----the sheets are so much cheaper than fabric!!!! That's here in England,suppose we can't have it all ways
    Thank you for all your help

  19. #19
    Super Member finch's Avatar
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    I used one on my t shirt quilt and had no complaints at all from the lady that did it for me.I use them quite a bit.

  20. #20
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    thanks for asking this question. I was wondering the same thing. Since I need to make so many in such a short time thanks for the advice.

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