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Thread: re-purpose bed sheets for FMQ

  1. #1
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    re-purpose bed sheets for FMQ

    I am in the throws of downsizing from house to apartment and have several old top bed sheets that don't match or go with anything (saved for some "emergency" that hasn't happened for 26 years! LOL).
    I was wondering if I couldn't cut them up and make practice sandwiches for FMQ? They are not muslin but some type of cotton and polyester blend....kind of slipery. I have read on the board here to use muslin for the sandwiches but I am house rich and cash poor. Will the sheets quilt up differently than the muslin? I would only get probably $.25 for the sheets anyway in yard sale. Besides, doing something creative while cleaning out the house will get my mind off my troubles. What say you FMQ's out there?

  2. #2
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    I say use what ever you can! Waste not, want not. I know that many longarm quilters say not to use sheets for backings, but I have many customers who do & it's never been an issue. GO FOR IT! You may end up w/a whole clothe master piece! Map it out & give it a try! Or using chalk, draw a grid & do a different technique in each of the blocks! It's only practice right!?! HAVE A BLAST!

  3. #3
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    Hi,
    I have used vintage sheets for the backing of quilts, and they are fine. I love the look! Upcycle!!!
    nancy
    Nancy Lee

  4. #4
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I have just been to a shop of used items and purchased 2 curtains made with light weight cotton same as for quilting. I have them for backing as I like you find it so expensive for the big piece for the back. I paid 7 or the two.. 7 I metre is cheap over here in UK.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  5. #5
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    Estate sale sheets and blankets (for batting) are the only thing I've used to practice on. Fabric and batting are too expensive for practice!

  6. #6
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    I've used many a sheet for backing quilts and never had a problem.

  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    They sound work fine!

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Practice your FMQ. Back some quilts. Use them for blocks if they suit your fancy. Sheets will work for any of those things.

  9. #9
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    I would absolutely practice with them. Being the blend that they are will help you to learn to control the fabric better.The quilt police are not allowed in my house and wouldn't let them in your house. You can do what you want. It is called a learning experience. I'm working on a Victorian Crazy quilt and am using a former pillow case. A friend of mine uses very little muslin and she makes a lot of VCQs.

  10. #10
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    The only real problem is that of heat. Quilting cotton can generally take a higher heat, than polyester/poly blends. The solution is to simply lower the iron's heat setting.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  11. #11
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    My Mother and Grandmother used sheets for backing on their quilts for many years. They qilted up nicely and looked great.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  12. #12
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    You might also have to use a different needle. Since the sheet is woven more tightly it might need a sharper needle to penetrate the fabric

  13. #13
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    I use sheets for the backing on most of my quilts. I try match the sheet to the quilt (color, pattern). Use them any way you want, I'm all for saving money and using what you have. I think the patterned sheets beg me to use them for my quilt backing.
    Aronel aka Lee

  14. #14
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    Thank you all for your advice. As I said, these sheets are old, some with small holes. They are not good enough to be used as a quilt back. I was concerned if it would quilt up differently than muslin for practice FMG. Holice's suggestion of a different needle was something I had not thought of. I suppose I may have to try out different types of thread too if I run into proplems. Maybe I will only cut-up one sheet today and see how it goes.

  15. #15
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    you can also rip them into 2 1/2 in strips and make rugs

    dp

  16. #16
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    I just cleaned out a chest that was filled w/all kinds of sheets, blankets, etc. Those that matched I kept, some went for paint throws, the white ones I will cut up and use for the backing when I quilt the front of the pillow shams. That way, I have the same look as the quilt, but without using any of my stash.
    "Proud Parent of an American Airman in Red Horse Squadron"
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  17. #17
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    I use sheets just about always. Many years ago, I was given some "insulated" draperies-the ones that were rubber backed. My daughters and I wanted to create a nice picnic blanket and we used the draperies for the filler. It sewed beautifully and was a very good barrier from moisture from the ground and washed great. We created another for the bed that was in the coldest room without heat and it was the warmest bed in the house! One of my daughters still has the bed quilt but the picnic somewhere along the lines grew legs and walked away.

  18. #18
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    I have no problem using them for quilts, but I don't think I'd recommend them to a beginner wanting to practice. Sheets are definitely harder to quilt than cotton quilting fabric. They require more care to adjust the tension just right, and to really watch what you are doing that stitches don't skip. IMO- it would be a frustrating experience as a beginner.

  19. #19
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    I suggest starching the sheets before using as backing. Makes them not so slippery.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Do use them for practice! No quilt police here!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  21. #21
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    I have used sheets for backing many times and absolutely love it. I have also cut the left over pieces and used in pieced blocks. I never throw away a usable piece of fabric, which means I rarely throw away any fabric. Sheets are as good as any other fabric. I have even used sheets to make aprons or clothes if they had the right print/colors.
    Shirley in Arizona

  22. #22
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    I'm about to replace sheets and mattress cover. Just last night it occurred to me to use the mattress cover for FMQ practice. It's already sandwiched and even though it's cross-hatched quilted already I think it will work very well for MMQ practice without having to use any fabric or batting.
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  23. #23
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    When I took my first machine quilting class, the instructor said it was fine to use sheets for backing quilts. A high thread count percale might be a little slippery, but I have some cotton sheets that I know would work well. It's your quilt, do whatever you want, but I think the sheets with an old blanket or flannel sheet would be great to practice FMQ.

  24. #24
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would think you could use them for practice. Good sheets can be used for backings. I find them a bit slippery, may not be a problem for practice.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  25. #25
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    I think it would depend on the sheets.

    They vary a lot in fiber content and thread count.

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