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Thread: newbie question about 100% white cotton backing

  1. #1
    lostinnappies's Avatar
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    Sorry to get to basics, Ive been looking for 100% white cotton fabric for backing and some boarders. Im getting confused with all the different types of fabric. Is it ok to use muslin. I have found that the basic white cotton is very expensive. is there any alternative.

    oh and yes, whats the difference between normal cotton and flannel. Im doing my fabric shopping online as there are no fabric shops near by.

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    It is OK to use muslin. I have.

  3. #3
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I"ve used muslin alot. Best part is most of it comes in the 108" :)

  4. #4
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    When all else fails, use a bed sheet!

    I make charity quilts and buy used sheets at Thrift stores. It saves a lot of money and does not need piecing. Used sheets are most often soft from repeated washing and work well to give a nice soft backing to the quilt.

    Those who are making "heirloom" quilts don't like this idea, but I find they extend my budget and saves time in piecing.

    I also have used the 108 inch backing on big quilts when a good sheet in the appropriate color cannot be found.


  5. #5
    lostinnappies's Avatar
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    would muslin not make it very see-through?

  6. #6
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Muslin comes in different weights but you usually can't see through it. I have used it with success. I think it sometimes is a little wrinkly but for a back it gives it charm.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    I very rarely anymore use anything other than a sheet for my backs. It saves me money and time in peicing. Right now I'm working on a quilt that is going to have a flannel backing, but only because the person I'm doing it for wanted it to be very very warm.

    I say use muslin and call it good!

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Like everyone else, I've used muslin and sheets. I've also pieced fabric together for a backing for a special quilt.

  9. #9
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    I've used muslin with success. You can see in the pic that its not see through.

    [IMG]http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k2...lts/blockb.jpg[/IMG]

  10. #10
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    Can't answer that, but welcome to the board from Washington

  11. #11
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I use sheets in my projects as well. If you prefer a higher quality fabric than muslin, you can certainly purchase with coupons regularly.

    there is quite a difference between flannels and quilter's cottons....there are quilter's flannels as well. It can be very confusing, especially when you can't feel the difference as in ordering online. Quilter's Flannel is 100% cotton and it has a much better wear than cotton/poly blend flannels also known as flannellette but sold in chains as flannel. People have debated whether you can combine these in with traditional cottons in quilts, but you should know that it is slightly harder to work with and has a different texture other cottons.

    Good luck with your projects & happy sewing!

  12. #12
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    Flannel has a reputation for shrinking. Especially the lower grade ones.

    WASH IT before using it.

    I even soak my fabrics in hot water before using them. for about half an hour - or longer - if I get sidetracked.

    I can see some of you cringing out there - but I just get a large bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket - but I tend to buy in bunches) (you can use whatever container holds your fabric) and place the fabric in there.

    I only put one items of the same color in at a time in the soak. so in case there are dye issues, nothing is really ruined.

    If I have colored water, then I take out each item - one at a time - and place in a separate container - to see which piece has the bad manners.

    After that, I wash for a minute or so on a gentle cycle and machine dry at warm.

    I try to avoid much agitation, especially the ones with the metallic (gold or silver) printing.

    I washed some off when I was starting.

    I have learned so much the backwards way. No need for everyone to do the same dumb things.

  13. #13
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Flannel is thicker & sort of fuzzier than regular cotton fabric & does tend to shrink more. If you have flannel pajamas & a regular cotton blouse, that will show you the difference. I don't see any reason you can't use muslin or a sheet on the back, whatever fits your budget the best. :D

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I buy the 3 dollar a yard fabric at Quilt in a Day online for my backings.
    Its top quality at junk prices.

  15. #15
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
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    Bleached good quality muslin is ok. Flannel for the back is iffy.
    I have never used sheets.- the are usually percale and I do not like the feel or look.
    If you shop on line try that Thousand of bolts.
    Just my ideas. Not always shared but that is why we do share.
    Welcome to the group. You will love these girls and the various answers you receive. lol
    :wink:

  16. #16
    lostinnappies's Avatar
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    wow, thanks for all the info and pictures. I recon using a sheet might be the best idea for me (a newbie) I will def try some of the websites. Thanks a million

  17. #17
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    I find that muslin works fine for backings...easy to hand quilt and it can be purchased at several different widths and also weights (thread count) . However, due to its shrinkage, I always wash and iron it before using it

  18. #18
    Senior Member laparshall's Avatar
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    My family has always used flannel for the backings. That is how my great grandma taught us to make quilts. They have always been fine. Of course, we have all tried other fabrics, and basically we use what we can afford. The quilt my great grandma made for my wedding gift in 1976 was on my bed everyday for nearly 25 years. I washed in many many times. It started to show a little too much wear, so I stopped using it, I just take it out and look at it now. I am going to try using sheets since so many of you made that suggestion.

    Linda

  19. #19
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi, Welcome to the board. I use muslin or any other good cotton fabric. When I startead quilting 40+ years ago I wasn't aware of fabric that came wider than 44 " wide. I learned the hard way not to use sheets if you are a hand qulter. Sheets especially ones that are not 100% cotton are too tightly woven. I like to use cotton flannel on the backs of children's quilts or lap robes for those who are chair or bed bound. The flannel helps to keep the quilts from sliding off of a person's lap and they make them very cuddly for small children. The flannel can take the place of having batting if you just want something to cover a lap without being real heavy. I make lap robes for amputee soldiers with just a flannel back and no batting. They mostly want to hid their injuries from visitors. It makes both they and their guests more comfortable.

  20. #20
    kd124's Avatar
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    Muslin works great for a backing. Since you cant' feel the difference in the quality of the muslin, I would stay away from the lower cost ones as the are usually very thin and/or coarse. I also sometimes use sheets for charity quilts.

  21. #21
    lostinnappies's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the useful advice. Its nice to have experts you can ask the silly questions too. :D

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