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Thread: Muslin As Quilt Backing?

  1. #1
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Muslin As Quilt Backing?

    Does anyone still use muslin for quilt backing? A couple of years ago my husband and I went to a quilter's estate sale and among the many treasures we purchased two 50 yard bolts of muslin - one heavy weight and the other mid-weight - for $10 each! Since they were in my attic, they were among the few things that didn't get destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. I've been using it to piece small wall quilts and might use it as a back for placemats, but wonder if using it as a quilt backing is ridiculous. Any thoughts? The fellow we purchased it from said, "No one uses that any more ..."
    Krystyna
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  2. #2
    Super Member girliegirl's Avatar
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    That's all my Gram ever used and yes use it... I would.. and I have used muslin for backing and I just might start using it more.. why use expensive fabric on the back if you are not going to show it.
    Squirrelly Shirley

  3. #3
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    First, I'm so sorry about all this w/ Hurricane Sandy - hope things are able to get back to whatever normal is for you these days. Absolutely use the muslin!!! I can think of many color combinations that a muslin backing would be perfect!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  4. #4
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I use it to back things like wallhangings and table runners, things that are not double sided.

  5. #5
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    Muslin works very well for quilt backs. It also works well as a focus color in a quilt, and to use as a whole cloth fmq top and back.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  6. #6
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    Iv' used it in what few quilts I have made. I don't see how it's that much different from regular cotton cloth, but I had heard it was what you were suppose to use. It also seems to be the only thing Iv, found that comes in a large enough size that I don't have to piece together a back.

  7. #7
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    I use unbleached muslin for piecing blocks. Gives them an older appearance. I especially like it with the 30's prints.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    There are so many fabric choices now that our ancestors didn't have. I find muslin very boring as there are so many delicious colors and patterns available now. But, I do use it for foundation piecing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I use it all the time. Where else can you find 109 and 120 inches wide material for such a bargain.

  10. #10
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    I have a friend who uses muslin for the backing on all her quilts. They look great, really have that "old school" look and feel. Makes your quilting really pop on the back too.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  11. #11
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Dear Krystyna, Yes by all means, use it!! I purchased a quilt from the Amish a number of years
    ago and it had a muslin backing and also used on the front. This quilt was VERY expensive and
    I noticed they all had this type of backing, so go for it.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  12. #12
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    I use muslin and love it. I love the antique look of it and how it showcases the quilting on the back of a quilt so well. The prettiest quilt I have ever seen was pieced with one shade of muslin and the quilting on it was extraordinary - done with cream thread, with small seed pearls and a small amount of peach thread. Muslin is my absolute favorite fabric. Oh, and it is really pretty tea stained.

  13. #13
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have used it and it work fine.

  14. #14
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. Since I have about 100 yards of it -- at the cost of $20 -- I think I'll start using it for backings and save my other fabrics for the front! Just using it on small things like placemats and wall hangings means it will last far longer than I'm going to live! (I'd better get stitching just in case that asteroid comes too close!)
    Krystyna
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  15. #15
    Super Member Phannie1's Avatar
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    I use what I got. If I had your muslin, I would use your muslin.

  16. #16
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The only reason I don't use it is because I like patterns to hide more less than perfect quilting on the back. I love the look of a muslin back with great quilting on it. If my quilting ever gets good enough, I'll certainly use it.

    In general, I think it's a taste choice. If you like the look, use it.

  17. #17
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    I use muslin more on the front of my scrap charity quilts it gives that old look,
    like the quilts grandma use to make, no one has ever refused one of my quilts because it has muslin in the blocks. You go ahead and use it what a bargain you got

  18. #18
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I used muslin on my teen DGKs quilts last summer. they love them. they like to look at the quilting from the back. now, the quilting wasn't that great, but they love it and that's what counts. i'm also using muslin as the background on one of my Dear Jane quilts. if you think you'll never use up all of that muslin, you can try trading or selling it here on the QB
    Nancy in western NY
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  19. #19
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I use muslin on backs of some of my quilts and on baby quilts. But what is wonderful is to be able to make practice quilts for my longarm. Some of my muslin practice quilts, I have bound as they look really nice - especially with variegated thread.
    Beth in Maryland

  20. #20
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    I use it all the time, for piecing and on the back. I also use it for the foundation for my crazy quilting. It is so soft and has a wonderful feel after being washed.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    That is a real stable in the older quilts. I would use it without hesitation. I have used good quality in quilt tops also. I would prewash it, as I do all my fabrics.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  22. #22
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Not all muslin is created equal. Some has a really large amount of shrinkage... and some never even gets close to lying flat without alot of steam and a good hot iron. Take a piece, measure it , and launder it prior to use.
    I use muslin alot for backings and have come to know which ones are better, in your case you don't know much about the manfuacture or even what year it was produced ... TEST!

  23. #23
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    Muslin is used all the time! Maybe you could have gotten it for cheaper from him.... next time agree and say "How about $5 a bolt?"

  24. #24
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    Gosh, your question really made me stop and think. When I first started quilting many years ago, I always used muslin for the backing- mainly because it was what my grandmother had always used, and because it was inexpensive. Then I started using quilting fabric for "special" quilts, like ones that were gifts, or for a bedspread that the top would be turned back and the backing would show. These days I use quilt fabric exclusively for backing on every quilt I make, but I have such a large amount of fabric that lately I have been thinking I would start piecing the backing to use up fabric.
    But your question made me think about using muslin again, and now I think I probably will. Why not?

  25. #25
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    muslin is still used by many, many people for quilt backs- i know ladies who use nothing else. muslin makes wonderful backs- it washes up so nicely- gets softer & softer with use & laundering- and show cases quilting stitches. there are still many (traditionalists) who do not understand using prints/calico's- other fabrics for backing- muslin is (common practice) in many parts of the country.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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