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Cotton sheet for quilt backing?

Cotton sheet for quilt backing?

Old 01-20-2020, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2020
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It's the tight weave and high thread count of really nice cotton sheets that give long-armers fits, especially when densely quilting. For this purpose, cheaper is better. Think the nasty coarse sheets in cheap motels, camp, and the Army - perfect for quilt backs, if new and washed once.

Put a microfiber polyester sheet on the back of a quilt and it will slide right off the bed the second the cat jumps on it.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:10 PM
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I go to target and buy the flat sheets all the time, I have a long arm and have never had any issues. But, as others have mentioned if you’re sending it to a longarmer check to see if they are ok with a sheet before sending it to them.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:48 PM
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When quilters used to do hand quilting, cotton sheets were discouraged because they could be hard to hand needle. If you are sending it out to be longarm quilted then check with your quilter. If you are quilting it yourself, go for it!
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:50 PM
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I longarm and will use a customer's sheet as long as it's thread count is less than 250. If it's more than that I ask them to use a different sheet. There are too many thread breaks with a tighter weave.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:29 PM
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Bed sheets use to be the norm for quilt backings. If you are going to quilt it use whatever you want.

Welcome to this board.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:37 PM
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Back in the day there weren't many wide back options. You pieced backs or you used sheets, or you might be able to get typically bleached or unbleached muslin so no/few color or print choices..

Personally, I liked the weight of the sheets better than the thin muslin. It was usually more economical for me to buy sheets than piece the backs from yardage, especially since I had sources for seconds.

My one big caveat is that a white sheet particularly shows every single imperfection of yours and can create its own. Your assembly skill should be high or your ability to deal with flaws on the back (and who looks at the back anyway) should be equally high.

A nice print back hides so many imperfections. I love big bold prints but I often have problems using them except as backs. In the last few years I'm doing more and more piecing of my backs, incorporating otherwise orphan blocks from the front or fabrics that just didn't make in in the front, or other things.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:13 PM
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avoid sheets with a high thread count (over 200) as most quilting cottons are thread counts in the 40-70 range. A high thread count sheet will shrink very differently and is hard to needle through, causing thread shredding and skips on the long arm. If a client brings me one, I ask for low thread count, wash and pressed, and if they have taken out the hems and expect that fabric to be part of the backing, they need to prep them carefully.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:26 AM
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I use sheets as backings all the time, have never had a problem.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I too use the flat sheets from Target...and love the way they turn out...I believe they are 300 thread count, but I've never had any problems with quitting them..plus they wash up beautifully!!
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:09 AM
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I use a good thrift shop sheet whenever i can. Not only do I use them for quilt backs, but I love to make pajama pants out of them. Lots of good stripes, nice florals, kid prints - all kinds of nice quality cotton percale sheets. I've found lots of really nice Pottery Barn sheets for toddler beds which are perfect for quilt backs. Top sheets get almost no wear and tear.
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