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Thread: Why not use sheets for quilt backs?

  1. #1

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    I have been quilting since 2002 and have used coordinating fabrics for the backs of my quilts. However, years earlier I had made several comforters (with really high-loft fiberfill ) and backed them with sheets. They seemed to work out fine. Then much later when I did REAL quilts the thought to use sheets never entered my mind. Just the other day for some reason this question came to my mind. So why not use sheets for quilt backs? Love to hear your opinions.

  2. #2
    moonangel12's Avatar
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    I have done it before... I actually think sometimes the quality is better depending on what you buy. Plus you can get them the size you want/need without having to piece it together. I have bought a couple sets at yards sales for just a couple dollars which equals very little money per yard. Can't beat it! Then I have the fabric from the fitted to use within the quilt and the backing to match!

  3. #3
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    I was told the higher density of the fabric makes if difficult to do the actual quilting, especially by hand. That said, I have used a sheet for backing. The less expensive sheets are not as dense.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonangel12
    I have done it before... I actually think sometimes the quality is better depending on what you buy. Plus you can get them the size you want/need without having to piece it together. I have bought a couple sets at yards sales for just a couple dollars which equals very little money per yard. Can't beat it! Then I have the fabric from the fitted to use within the quilt and the backing to match!
    Seems to me that in the deep, dark recesses of my mind I recall hearing something of the sort now that you mention it! I don't do handquilting so it wouldn't matter to me!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfkitty
    I was told the higher density of the fabric makes if difficult to do the actual quilting, especially by hand. That said, I have used a sheet for backing. The less expensive sheets are not as dense.
    ok so I replied to your comment on the first one. Go figure!
    Like I said think I heard something like that long, long ago! and as I don't handquilt it shouldn't matter!

  6. #6
    Member carole7481's Avatar
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    I have used sheets for backing. I don't like a seam on the back. I don't hand quilt and it works fine for me.

  7. #7
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    Sheets aren't necessarily all cotton, usually some poly so the shrinkage as a back would be different from front if front is all cotton. I have quilted customer quilts where the back is a sheet and they look good and is the customer's choice. I think the difference in shrinkage and the greater difficulty in hand quilting are the two greatest drawbacks. Still a lot of people use sheets and are happy so I would say it is up to each individual.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I love how the feel of nice sheets feel on the back of my quilts. You can get some really nice ones from costco and snuggly they are!!

  9. #9
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I use sheets sometimes too.

  10. #10
    Junior Member bluekrissyspikes's Avatar
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    i wouldn't think shrinkage would be much of a problem if you prewash you fabrics and the sheet. my mom told me they used to use sheets to make blankets when they were little.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it used to be frowned on to use sheets, mainly because of the tighter weave it is very difficult to hand stitch (quilt) them. now that it is more accepted to machine quilt more and more people are taking advantage of using sheets. the 'purist' and the quilt police will still frown, but, use what you want, it is your quilt.

  12. #12
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same...you can get good quality sheets at really good prices at discount stores.
    Quote Originally Posted by sherriequilts
    I have been quilting since 2002 and have used coordinating fabrics for the backs of my quilts. However, years earlier I had made several comforters (with really high-loft fiberfill ) and backed them with sheets. They seemed to work out fine. Then much later when I did REAL quilts the thought to use sheets never entered my mind. Just the other day for some reason this question came to my mind. So why not use sheets for quilt backs? Love to hear your opinions.

  13. #13
    np3
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    I prefer to buy the large quilt backing. Sometimes I will piece three strips together. I'm not a fan of sheets, but it is simply personal preference.

  14. #14
    Junior Member ShySally's Avatar
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    a 200 count is what you need if hand quiltd it has less thread so easy to get the needle thur. hope this helps.

  15. #15
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    with a low count do you have issue after a few washes?? You know the cotton bumps...forgot the word for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShySally
    a 200 count is what you need if hand quiltd it has less thread so easy to get the needle thur. hope this helps.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by carole7481
    I have used sheets for backing. I don't like a seam on the back. I don't hand quilt and it works fine for me.
    I don't like seams in the back either. In fact, I am so anal about backs that I even fussy? cut them and match the pattern so the seam is not noticed. One time I had half inch of fabric left over!!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    I was thinking the same...you can get good quality sheets at really good prices at discount stores.
    Quote Originally Posted by sherriequilts
    I have been quilting since 2002 and have used coordinating fabrics for the backs of my quilts. However, years earlier I had made several comforters (with really high-loft fiberfill ) and backed them with sheets. They seemed to work out fine. Then much later when I did REAL quilts the thought to use sheets never entered my mind. Just the other day for some reason this question came to my mind. So why not use sheets for quilt backs? Love to hear your opinions.
    Actually, I think what brought this to my mind was that I met someone the other day with a finished quilt and she had found the perfect color yellow sheet for the back of her quilt in a thrift shop!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by np3
    I prefer to buy the large quilt backing. Sometimes I will piece three strips together. I'm not a fan of sheets, but it is simply personal preference.
    I have an extra-wide piece in my stash waiting for me to do it's top! It just happened that when I found some really neat fabric for my stash and a future quilt I found the wide backing to match!! Now if I'd just stay off this site, I might get some quilting done. No, I still have an excuse! I am recovering from having both knees replaced and am not quite ready to sit down at a machine for any length of time, or stand up to cut out the pieces!

  19. #19
    Junior Member ShySally's Avatar
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    if you are using cotton batting you have to quilt closer.i never had any trouble as i dont use cotton batting.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    with a low count do you have issue after a few washes?? You know the cotton bumps...forgot the word for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShySally
    a 200 count is what you need if hand quiltd it has less thread so easy to get the needle thur. hope this helps.
    Pilling? I'm not sure, but I think that is a problem with polyester sheets -- not so much of a problem with all-cotton sheets. I don't think the thread count affects pilling, but fiber content does.

  21. #21
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I just finished a quilt top and from the beginning I planned to use a sheet. When I mentioned this to the LQS owner she was very discouraging. Said she'd rather see me use muslin than a sheet. Hmmmm. Glad this thread came up - I'm going to go with the sheet. I've heard that the sheet will not last as well, will fade, etc, but the quilt I made is for lovin' not for an heirloom and we're going to love with a sheet.

    I don't think she was just trying to sell her muslin - this is a small town and I've knew the lady years before she opened this shop.

  22. #22
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    some long-armers in my area don't like to quilt on sheets. So check if you're going to send it out for quilting.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfkitty
    I was told the higher density of the fabric makes if difficult to do the actual quilting, especially by hand. That said, I have used a sheet for backing. The less expensive sheets are not as dense.
    I've used a flannel sheet for my sons dinosaur, quilt. It wasn't that difficult to quilt. I have a flat sheet for my other sons quilt, I think it's 200 count cotton thread or something and it wasn't difficult to sew through either.

  24. #24
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I usually use sheets, they work just fine for quilting with my Tin Lizzie. I often find them in thrift shops, I wash them before bringing them into the house (fear of bed bugs).
    You can't beat the price and sheets are made with long lasting fabric. I do prefer the 100% cotton but I've used good quality cotton blends too.

  25. #25
    JT
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    I know people use sheets for backing, but I've been told by numerous long arm quilters that they won't quilt them using sheets on the back.

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