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Thread: What is the downside to Muslin???

  1. #26
    Senior Member gail-r's Avatar
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    The first embroideried quilt I made was Simon's Folly, and I thought I had to follow the book, so the book said to use either calico or muslin for the blocks. So, I thought that calico would take away from the embroidery so I bought 200 TC muslin for the blocks and cheaper wide muslin for the back. I will never do that again, the cheap muslin stretched as I was trying to quilt it, so I ended up taking the quilting out and re-washing the backing in very hot water and drying on the highest dryer temp. Then I re-did the quilting. As an end result, I now have some waving in the center block. This is the quilt that took me 3 years to figure out how to re-hoop and get everything lined up just perfect. Some time later I found out that in Aus. the terms used for cotton is calico or muslin. I'll attach a couple of pic's so you can see what I'm talking about.

    Hugs, Gail
    Attached Images Attached Images


  2. #27
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt.......I use the Muslin that is permanent press, 100% cotton and 90" wide from Walmart. It is so soft when it is washed.....love that stuff! So much so that I have 2 bolts that I special ordered from Walmart. You can do that you know from the Walmarts that sell from the bolts. Just get in good with the fabric manager there.....lol.

  3. #28
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    I like to use minky or fleece for kids quilts. Those little stinkers like to put their little toesies through the fabric so I get something tough! For regular quilts I like to use a busy print to cover up my quilting mistakes! If you want to show off your quilting, use a plain muslin. I think it looks neat to look at the back of quilts that experienced quilters have made. I've seen some that are brave enough to use colored thread on a white muslin - looks gorgeous!

    So, I think you should choose according to how the quilt will be used or quilted. In other words, it's your call.

  4. #29
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    Gail - don't apologize for that quilt - it's gorgeous!

  5. #30
    Super Member kristen0112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gail-r
    The first embroideried quilt I made was Simon's Folly, and I thought I had to follow the book, so the book said to use either calico or muslin for the blocks. So, I thought that calico would take away from the embroidery so I bought 200 TC muslin for the blocks and cheaper wide muslin for the back. I will never do that again, the cheap muslin stretched as I was trying to quilt it, so I ended up taking the quilting out and re-washing the backing in very hot water and drying on the highest dryer temp. Then I re-did the quilting. As an end result, I now have some waving in the center block. This is the quilt that took me 3 years to figure out how to re-hoop and get everything lined up just perfect. Some time later I found out that in Aus. the terms used for cotton is calico or muslin. I'll attach a couple of pic's so you can see what I'm talking about.

    Hugs, Gail
    It's beautiful!

  6. #31
    Super Member kristen0112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    I read a post on here a few months back and they said that muslin in their country was more like what we'd call cheesecloth here. It may be just a matter of where people live as to whether or not they like muslin. I use it all the time --- especially if I want my quilt to look old or if I'm restoring a quilt.
    "The word muslin may not always refer to the cotton fabric [described above]. In Britain, any gauzy cotton fabric may go by the name of muslin, while in the United States, muslin may be any firm, sturdy, inexpensive cloth. In nautical slang, a ship's sails are referred to as muslin." from WISEGEEK.COM

  7. #32
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    I use permanent press muslin from JoAnn's for all kinds of things. I like it for foundations for string blocks, backings, and use in blocks and sashings. I think it looks beautiful quilted. As long as you stick to higher quality muslin you will be ok.

  8. #33
    Senior Member gail-r's Avatar
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    Thank you for the compliments, it does make into a beautiful quilt. I just will not evr use cheap muslin for a backing again. I'll attach a photo of a Simon's Folly that I sold, there is a huge difference in the way it lays.

    Hugs, Gail
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #34
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    Quote Originally Posted by quilterguy27
    ... I started this thread, because it seems there are so many people that frown on it. I just wanted to know why. ...
    because opinions are like elbows. most people have at least two. :lol:
    ROFL, this is so true and so funny.

  10. #35
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I like muslin for an old fashioned scrappy look. Used it for piecing and backing for my first quilts, now I try to coordinate my backings to the front. I like the perm. press muslin as it seems to stay clean longer than the 100% cotton.
    May in Jersey

  11. #36
    Super Member SandyinZ4's Avatar
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    I have a whole bolt of muslin that I bought at an auction and have yet to use. Bt this thread has inspired me to perhaps try it soon. and Gail-r..your quilts are fabulous!

  12. #37
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gail-r
    The first embroideried quilt I made was Simon's Folly, and I thought I had to follow the book, so the book said to use either calico or muslin for the blocks. So, I thought that calico would take away from the embroidery so I bought 200 TC muslin for the blocks and cheaper wide muslin for the back. I will never do that again, the cheap muslin stretched as I was trying to quilt it, so I ended up taking the quilting out and re-washing the backing in very hot water and drying on the highest dryer temp. Then I re-did the quilting. As an end result, I now have some waving in the center block. This is the quilt that took me 3 years to figure out how to re-hoop and get everything lined up just perfect. Some time later I found out that in Aus. the terms used for cotton is calico or muslin. I'll attach a couple of pic's so you can see what I'm talking about.

    Hugs, Gail
    Oh, what a stunning quilt. I love the look of muslin. So, I guess the key is to buy quality muslin.

  13. #38
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Gail, Your quilts are beautiful!!

  14. #39
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    It is funny about names of fabrics. My mom and Grandmother alway referred to florals or small printed cottons as Calicos. I always thought of muslin as that stiffer, cream with brown flecks cotton as muslin. And broadcloth was nice white, soft cotton used for everything. So, I'm not real sure what I've used for my backings and backgrounds , but it is cotton!! LOL

  15. #40
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I just prefer to use something pretty and colorful on the backs of my quilt. I pretty much use the same quality fabrics on front and back. I don't really like solid fabrics and avoid using them most all of the time. If I need a "solid" I will use a "tone on tone" that reads solid but isn't. I guess it's just my preference.

  16. #41
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    That's the best part about quilting. For as many different people there are doing it, there is a different method, technique, opinion, style and taste level. That's how we learn from each other. If we all did it the same way, what would be the fun in that. No variety!! They say variety is the spice of life. Can you imagine how boring and bland life would be if we were all clones of each other?

  17. #42
    Senior Member quilter41's Avatar
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    It's like buying sheets. The thread count is what matters. I personally like the Perma press the best, but tend to use QS quality fabrics most.

  18. #43
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    The muslin that I have is thin with a loose weave and it is not good for any part of a quilt. However, it is great for quilt frame leaders and for sealing the back of a quilt top (keeping loose threads from getting everywhere) when I need to wash it with color catchers. It's handy stuff to have around, good for quite a lot of things. I bought a whole bolt from Joann's, at half price, thinking to use it for machine embroidery practice, but I have not.

  19. #44
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    downside is look and difference in quality. It sometimes gives a vintage look when that is not what is needed. Many use it as backing. However, must examine to be sure you get good quality as some are thin and some have lots of starch in them and the fabric gets too limp and thin when washed.

  20. #45
    Quiltmaniac's Avatar
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    When I came here from England in 1981 I found I needed to learn a new language in some respects!

    Muslin in the US = cheesecloth in the UK, and cheesecloth in the UK = muslin in the US. Don't ask me why!

    In 1981, muslin (the US version) was what everyone was using to back their quilts. It was softer than the front fabric, easier to quilt by hand and showed to advantage all that beautiful hand quilting. (!)

  21. #46
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I use it a lot also. I use the thicker muslin tho, never had a problem.

  22. #47
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    I used to use muslin often. I noticed, however, that when my quilts were around for awhile (10 or more years) that the muslin was wearing -- in some cases falling apart -- while the other fabrics were still in very good shape.

  23. #48
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    I like muslin. I used to make dolls so I used alot of it. I haven't made a quilt with it yet but I have seen a few quilts & they are gorgeous. Like everyone said though you would want to buy the better muslin for quilts & not the cheaper stuff. I do have some bleached muslin I am going to use in a quilt. Soon as I decide on how I want to do it.

  24. #49

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    Guess I don't understand, thought Kona muslin was Kona muslin no matter where it is purchsed.
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    The only down side I have with muslin is that is shrinks more than regular cotton, especially Kona muslin from Jo-anns. I just wash in hot water, dry and iron (press). I use it in quilt blocks.

  25. #50
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I use muslin often - have never thought it 'wrong' to use... I love using it for backing.

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