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Thread: What is the downside to Muslin???

  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladybug4495
    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.
    There are various weights/thread counts of Kona Muslin, no matter where it's bought. They have good ones and cheaper ones. So that's probably what she meant.

    Muslin quilt backs are what my grandma used. Today on my bed is one of her hand quilted quilts that is about 40 yrs old. The back is no more worn than the front. I don't worry about wear, or anything else, when purchasing a better quality muslin. The cheaper muslins are great for using as a foundation, practicing machine quilting, toy linings, etc, but do shrink more when washed.

    I say - use what you want! No problemo :)

  2. #52
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    I use muslin in many of my quilts. There is nothing like it for the old fashioned look to quilts. It was the only white that my mother and aunts used in their quilts for years and years. I have some on Moms quiits that were made in the 30 abd fortys and they still look good.

  3. #53
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    Muslin has to be preshrunk if used with other cottons or you have puckered patches when the quilt is washed and dried. Some feel you get what you pay for so they use only cottons from other sources and avoid the cheapest cloth for quilting, which is muslin. It does not have the sheen or fine thread count other cottons and calicoes have but it is economical to use. A purist would not use muslin and would not use it along with more expensive cloth.
    Carol J.

  4. #54
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    I'm so glad I asked this question. All of your responses vary so much. I used muslin in the very first quilt I made and it's still on my bed. It's at least 8 years old and gets washed regularly and is still holding up just great. No signs of wear at all. Hope it stays that way cause I expect to have it on my bed for many more years to come. It's not that pretty as it was my FIRST, but it is my favorite. Besides one other that hangs on the wall of my sewing room it's the only one I've ever kept.

    I will continue to use muslin in my quilts, front and back. I happen to love the look and the feel of it. I do always wash it first to get all the shrinkage out of it. Thanks so much to all of you for all your varied responses. I look forward to reading more.

  5. #55
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I think if your project NEEDS muslin use it. I think the problem with muslin is that is becomes a 'default' decision when you can't find something else. ("Well, I guess I could just use muslin!") Let there be a reason for the muslin choice other than that, and there's nothing wrong with it.

  6. #56
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    I love muslin as quilt backings. JoAnns carriers various widths. Muslin is just so good to have on hand to practice a quilting technique, to make up a dress/blouse pattern for fitting. Years and years ago I made "cottage" curtains with muslin for my house. Not long ago I made curtains (not drapes) for my DD and I used muslin for the linning. Those curtains had such a good "hand". Just as others mention here, wash it first.

  7. #57
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BevD
    I think it's the same as what we call 'calico' here?? I use it heaps as backgrounds and backings for small quilts and wallhangings. It comes in varying shades of cream and I usually buy it by the bolt as I also do calico dolls.
    I wouldn't doubt that you're right. There's a quilter I quilt with here who is from South Africa, and she confused me good a couple of times before I figured out that what she calls "calico" I would call "muslin".

  8. #58
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    I have a stash of inherited family quilts, some over 100 years old. I've noticed that the heavier quality muslin used in many, both within the top pattern and for the backing, holds up better through time than the printed fabrics.

    I like the muslin for block backgrounds, etc. It gives the rustic, older look I like in my quilts.

    However, I've also discovered all muslin is not alike--texture, density, and even color, whether the bleached or unbleached. So--if you are using it, be sure you buy enough at the time for your project or you may not be able to find the exact match later. Luckily, when I decided to increase the size of a quilt I was making using muslin on hand and couldn't find a match, I found some at an estate sale that was an exact match. Was I happy when I got home with it and compared it to what I was using that it was identical!

  9. #59
    MNM
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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
    What a beautiful piece of art this quilt is. My mouth is hanging open still. You must have the patience of a saint to do all that hand work MNM

  10. #60
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    I use a better quality muslin for quilts and also backings. Haven't had a problem. The input was interesting.

  11. #61
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I like muslin but I buy the Moda online. I find the stuff from other places can be really cheap and I am concerned about the quality. Even Moda has different types. I use it very occasionally for backing but often on the front to tie it all together or if I need a plain background. I am not big on the white with the little plastic white print on it and preffer to use muslin instead.

  12. #62
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    i use it all the time myself and have had no trouble with it.i guess it might be the type of brand the stores or shop carry

  13. #63
    Super Member paintmejudy's Avatar
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    The downside to CHEAP muslin is that it horrible. Loosely woven, nasty to work with, lots of shrinkage. And it is 44" wide.

    Now, GOOD muslin, and I use the Kona muslin, is as tightly woven as a good batik, and wonderful to work with. 108" wide and at $12.99 a yard at Joann with a 40% coupon, a good deal.

  14. #64
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    Some muslins are thin and may wear down faster because of that. And, with muslin, you get a solid color which may not be as exciting as some other backings. You will see every quilting stitch which may not be a good thing for inexperienced quilters. Neither one of these are really bad though.

  15. #65
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't use muslin except for foundations in foundation piecing. I don't use it for backs or tops. Why? No offense, but there are soooo many yummy fabrics on the market and I find muslin boring. I guess I like the patterns, colors and choices and wouldn't be happy with plain:>

  16. #66
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    I have used the "super Muslin" sold at Walmart. I really like working with this because it holds its shape so well and is a nice color to offset pinks and browns (which I have been doing recently). But I notice that it is very difficult to hand sew but just the greatest for free motion quilting (no puckers). I will try what some of you call the "permanent press" or "quilters muslin". Sounds like a better weight to match the other cotton fabrics used in most quilts.

    I had a nice surprise when I used it on my first "free motion" quilt. When I turned it over to the muslin backing, the pattern that was created over the whole quilt was so pretty! when I threw the finished quilt back into the washer and dryer, the finished product looked like an antique quilt with all the little puffs that emphasize the design.

    Try it, you'll like it.

  17. #67
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I have a boatload I bought on sale one time, for backing table runners and smaller projects, etc.
    No complaints here. It is unbleached,...wonder if it would dye well?

  18. #68
    Senior Member maggiemuggins's Avatar
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    Just a quick question for the experts...what is the difference between what is labelled as Kona cotton and Kona muslin...are they labelled differently?

  19. #69
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    I love muslin! I buy it by the bolt. Bleached and unbleached. Not only for my quilts,but I use it for hand embroidery.

  20. #70
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    I love muslin for lots of things. I always buy the more expensive muslin at JoAnn's and usually get the extra wide so I can use it for quilt backs if I want to. Look at the thread count and get the higher thread count. I use both the unbleached and bleached muslin, depending on what I'm doing.

    Better grade muslin is wonderful for red work and other embroidery projects. If you do crayon fabric tinting, it is absolutely the best.

    Watch out for both quilt police and fabric snobs! Both can wreak havoc if you pay too much attention to them.

  21. #71
    Super Member paintmejudy's Avatar
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    Kona cotton is sold at my local Bernina quilt shop at $7.99 and 45" wide per yard. Kona muslin, the 108" wide, is in the muslin section at Joann. I find them very similar.

  22. #72
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with muslin, I use is for backing, and background material, and I've seen some even dye it. That's muslin in my avatar picture.

  23. #73
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    I also use muslin all the time, I use it for quilt piecing, for the back of quilts, for crafts, etc. I love to use muslng.

  24. #74
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    What is crayon fabric tinting? Inquiring minds want to know!

  25. #75
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    I buy Moda muslin by the bolt and use it when I am trying to replicate a 1930's feel. In general, I prefer pretty, colorful, printed fabrics that I can get as cheaply as muslin. Why go with plain if I don't have to?

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