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Thread: Sheets for backing?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    Sheets for backing?

    I made this quilt on a whim recently. Saw something similar somewhere and thought "I can do that!" I used some material I had that was used for bedroom curtains in our previous house (actually took apart an accent pillow that I had tucked away to squeak in just enough fabric!). Not sure what I'll do with this one, but sometimes I just like to try things to see if I can do it. I found some blue sheets at a thrift store that looked like they'd be perfect for the back on this heart quilt. Turns out they are the same color blue as the LQS fabric I was going to use. Have you ever used sheets for backing material? With the prices of fabric these days, I find myself really looking for bargains.
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  2. #2
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Long arm quilters often discourage the use of sheets because the tight cotton weave can throw their tension out of whack...I honestly have never tried on my domestic but I know people do. Probably the worst that will happen is you'll go through a lot of needles.

    Gorgeous fabrics! I can see why you want that sheet, it's perfect!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Beautiful! I have never used a sheet, but others have said it works fine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sapphire_Rae's Avatar
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    Ah! Thanks pumpkinpatch, just the info. I was looking for. I have a HQ16, so I think I may try it for this small one. At least I will only cause myself grief. Part of my plan for quilting this one is to use very white thread in the middle around the heart so the off-white matches the tone-on-tone print a little more. I would have liked those two fabrics to be the same, but was using stash and didn't have enough of either for both areas. I didn't use a pattern, just winged it as I went, which is fairly new to me.
    Lynda Rae

    "One who makes no mistakes -- never makes anything!" Author Unknown

  5. #5
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I have used many sheets, but I quilt on my domestic sewing machine. On this board I have heard that you should ask your LA-er if she will quilt with sheet backing. Since you're doing it yourself - quilt away! Since our quilting sisters of long ago used whatever they could find it would be the machine quilting at issue rather than the integrity of the finished quilt. Your heart is wonderful!
    So many quilts, so little time.

  6. #6
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    My first quilt was a mix of cotton prints and poly cotton sheets as the solids with a sheet for the back. After piecing it and before quilting , I read that this could be a problem since the cottons and blends would shrink differently. I finally bit the bullet and quilted it on my DSM. It has worn and washed beautifully. Been on my bed for a year now, and I sleep with my dogs. I say go for it.

  7. #7
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    Using sheets is hard if you are hand quilting due to their dense weave. If your machine sews on them fine, go for it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt and the sheet looks great....let us know how you get on...I have used sheets with success, but not ones with a very high thread count.

  9. #9
    Member Mishi's Avatar
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    I used a sheet for the backing on my first quilt, quilted it with my DSM. I had no problems at all and the quilt is in regular use I say just go for it.
    Mishi

  10. #10
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I use them all the time. If its over 250 thread count you might need to change needle size.

  11. #11
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    Agree with Tartan. It is harder to handquilt --using a sheet. But, I have used them for piecing and get a long O.K.

  12. #12
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have used sheet, but, like the op's, feel that the weave is too dense. so i only do it for my DSM, not on my frame. love your quilt.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  13. #13
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I use them whenever I get the opportunity - that is, whenever I happen to find one that looks good with the top. It saves piecing the back, and the leftovers are nice long pieces great for binding.

  14. #14
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Count me as another one that's used sheets as backing. Because the sheet wasn't "new", they were softer, therefore easier for quilting. Haven't handquilted with a sheet backing.. yet. Only on machine and it worked out just fine. Like someone else said, our Grandmothers used whatever they had. Look at how long some of those quilts have lasted.

    Love your quilt. It's really nice!

  15. #15
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I use sheets all the time, all cotton, cotton/poly and flannel with great results. I make scrap quilts and they often contain older fabric and I can't justify spending $15 a metre (at most LQS in Canada) to purchase fabric for backing. My quilts are practically all given away and expensive backing fabrics would make this impossible. I have had absolutely no trouble machine quilting through sheets on my Janome 6500, 201 Singer or Husqvarna Viking#1 Plus. I buy the largest sheets that I can find when they are on sale. I often buy seconds at the Lens Mills stores or Sears or Giant Tiger and they are usually less than $10. My guild also uses sheets for the backing on our Community Quilts. The only problem that I've ever had with my sheet backings was one sheet (probably had a higher poly content) pilled after frequent repeated washings. By that point the rest of the quilt wasn't in good shape either. If I have a King sized sheet for backing a smaller quilt, I make a matching pillowcase from the left overs. Sheets definitely work for me and I don't care what the quilt police say on this one!
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  16. #16
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I use sheets all the time....I heard all the reasons not to but decided to try anyhow...I have an 18" Innova on a frame and she (Abby) sews them just fine, they wash and do up beautifully and best of all...no piecing, plus they are a great bargain when I find them at the thrift store!!

  17. #17
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    I've used sheets a number of times, both for backing and for background for appliques. Quilted on DSM with no problems. I've noticed no problems with wear either. Right now I'm using pieces from an old cotton sheet as foundation for a scrappy diagonal block. I'll use pieces from another old cotton sheet as backing for this quilt.

  18. #18
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Been there done that no problems here. Your quilt is beautiful! Have fun.
    Penny
    Country 1

  19. #19
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I also use cotton sheets and cotton flannel sheets for quilt backings. I just make sure that they are 100% cotton with a thread count of about 200. I buy a lot of my sheets from thrift stores. If they feel good and look good, especially the flannels, then they are "fair game" for a quilt. As a hint, look for duvet covers. There is a lot of yardage in them. I bought one last week for $3.50 (senior discount day ! and already marked down) that measured out to be 12.5 yards of fabric, cost 27 cents a yard.
    Sweet Caroline

  20. #20
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    I have used sheets a few times and never had problems.
    Theressa
    Cowgirlquilter

  21. #21
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    While cleaning out the house at my Aunt's, I found several King size flat sheets. They had a King size water bed. I have used 2 of them so far on donation quilts. One was a solid blue the other was a funky blue/green print from the 70's that worked perfect with the bright funky top.
    No problem with the tension, and these sheets were super soft from many washings.
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  22. #22
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    As long as the sheet is a low thread count and cotton it will work even for handquilting. It sure saves a lot of time on seaming etc.

  23. #23
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Me too on DSM and no problem..love the weight and feel In fact I used white and then dyed them to match top...some came out looking like tie dye and I loved the look

  24. #24
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    Have used sheets for backing on my longarm, no problems.

  25. #25
    Senior Member craftygal63's Avatar
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    My mother, grandmother and great grandmothers all use(d) sheets for backing. I have only done 5 quilts, but have used sheets on 3 and fleece on two...but I hand quilt using a lap frame. We try to use 300tct to 400tct, Mom says anything higher is TUFF on the fingers. 300tct does not pill, feels nice on the skin and launders really well.

    Walmart has great economy priced sheets in great colors and some have come from the thrift shops...lots of Martha Stewart flat sheets and Better Homes and Gardens.

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