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Thread: Bedding as Backings

  1. #1

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    This is my first time to write in for help. But first I would like to thank all the people who have given me some great tips and updated my knowledge. I'm a born-again quilter. I started quilting 30 years ago, but had to stop because of time, kids, car pools, etc. Now I'm back but things have changed. I used to use flat sheets for my backings. I have no idea that the thread count was on those sheets. Now you can get flat sheets with thread counts from 200 to 1200. I hand quilt my quilts and would like to know if those thread counts make a difference when doing hand quilting.

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Very high thread counts are not as easy to get through. The needle does not want to slide between the threads, but break through them instead. I'm not sure how much this matters in the long run - for a wall hanging, it shouldn't affect the life of the piece, but for something frequently washed, it may eventually wear out at a different rate.

  3. #3
    GryffinSong's Avatar
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    I'm not a hand quilter, so I'm kind of going out on a limb here. I have some high-thread-count sheets and they seem to me to be "dense." I think, but am not sure, that they'd be harder to quilt than regular cotton fabric.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think sheets are OK if you are machine quilting. I have heard they can be hard to hand quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    even when machine quilting, the higher the thread count, the more tightly it's woven. when the weave is very tight, the needle tends to puncture the fabric so it's breaking the fibre at that spot. the fabric is weakened right there. so if you stitch in a line, you're puncturing holes every place a needle goes through.
    if you want to use bedding, look for a low thread count. usually, the less expensive sheets.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the information. I wondered if because the thread count was so high if the sheet would be too tightly woven together.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I only hand quilt, and use muslin ofor backing. It makes quilting easier. sheets make pulling the needle through harder.

  8. #8
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I don't quilt by hand but it makes sense the denser the fabric the harder to sew, I use a variety of things to back my quilts, it would be interesting to find how the polar fleece is to hand quilt (I hope to learn one day)

  9. #9
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I have hand quilted two Quilts using the 200 count Main Stay sheets from Walmart. I didn't have any problem and they don't get those annoying little balls on them.

  10. #10

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    I HATE those little balls!

  11. #11
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    Well if you do get those little balls do what I do I get a cheap shaving razer and runn it over the area and it takes the balls away..:}

  12. #12

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    Thats what I've been doing. I also pray at the same time that I don't put a hole in the fabric. I wonder what causes these little pain-in-the-butt balls to form. Why some sheets get them and others don't.

  13. #13
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    I love to hand quilt and I learned the hard way not to use those high thread count sheets for backings. I hadn't even considered that the needle breaks the fabric, thus weakening it. My problem is that you don't get even stitches when quilting with a tight weave. I figure if I'm putting all those hours into hand quilting it, I want it to look nice and uneven stitches (mine, not other peoples) drive me batty!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwpainter
    Thats what I've been doing. I also pray at the same time that I don't put a hole in the fabric. I wonder what causes these little pain-in-the-butt balls to form. Why some sheets get them and others don't.
    I don't remember any 100% cotton sheets or t-shirts getting those little pills/balls.

    I have had some sleazy poly/cotton sheets pill up horribly.

    (I've also had cotton/poly sheets for years that have stayed nice)

  15. #15
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    I'm a hand quilter and I used to use only muslin for the backs because of the ease then I got into using cotton prints but now that they have the wide width muslin with prints on them I'm using that a lot. My stitches aren't always the same length and it is annoying but I still enjoy hand quilting.

  16. #16

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    I always wash my sheets a number of times to ge that sizing out of them. I have to drive a good distance to get to a fabric store so I order most of my backings on line. Do you know of good on line stores for backings?

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