Monday, December 23, 2013

Musings on the quilt back - Part 4

Who knew I could spend so much time on the quilt back?  When it comes to fabric choices for your quilt back, there are many options:

1.  Sheets - I mean who knew to think of using a sheet for the quilt back?  With the high quality, high thread count sheets out there - they can make a nice back.  However, beware of the flannel sheets, fleece sheets and the lower quality sheets sets.  Those just do not make good quilt backs.  They will be stretchy, knobby or really sheer.  Not the best choice.

2.  Cotton fabric:  The cotton fabrics you find in the quilt shops are always good quality - just be careful shopping at JoAnn's or Hancocks and make sure the cotton fabrics are good quality (not stretchy or too sheer).  Since most cotton fabrics are 44 inches wide, you will usually need to piece them once or twice to get them to the size you need.

3.  Flannel:  Flannel makes a great backing fabric - just be sure to wash it before you cut it because flannel can shrink a lot. 

4.  Fleece:  I have quilted on a fleece back before BUT it is really stretchy and I was concerned the whole time that there were going to be puckers/pleats.

5.  Minky:  My family loves minky now.  I have made two quilts with minky backs and those are the quilts they fight for.  Minky is super soft - try to make the stretchy part of minky be the width of the fabric instead of the length.  Also, minky comes in a 1 inch pile which is awesome but it will fold over with the quilting.

Another thing to think about with the fabric selection for the back is whether to wash it or not before you bring it to me.  This is where your batting choice can make an impact.  IF you like the super wrinkled look of your quilt after it goes into the washer/dryer, then you do NOT want to wash the top or back fabrics and you will want to use 100% cotton batting.

IF you prefer your quilts to maintain more of that new finished look, then pre-wash your quilt top and back, press and use wool or puff batting since they will not shrink.  You will not have to pre-wash the minky fabric.

IF your quilt back is a red batik, you may want to test a section of it to make sure it is colorfast and will not run when you wash your entire quilt.

Hmmmmmm, I think that is all for today.  Have a great one - especially if you have to get out and about - it is crazy out there today!!!

Take care,

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