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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Sep 2017
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    Default different fabric backings?

    I could use some guidance on "workable" backing fabrics. For example, can I back a pieced normal cotton fabric quilt top with flannel? Also, I bought a large, very soft throw at Costco today and immediately thought it'd make a great backing--it's reminiscent of cuddlecloth (at a fraction of the price!) Could fluffy backing take the place of batting? thanks!

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I would wash it first to see how it handles. I bought something like minky but both sides felt like minky. Washed it and it had giant lint balls all over it . The balls were the size of my palm! I was so glad I washed it first.

    When I was a kid we did not have batting. My Aunt would go to Good Will and buy wool army blankets and use them for the inside of the quilts. Never heard of batting until after I retired and started taking quilting classes.

    I have used flannel instead of batting. I have also left batting out completely if I used fleece or minky for the backing. I have a little jean quilt that I made for the car. I took old jeans and cut squares out of the non worn out parts and backed with minky. It's heavy enough without batting.

    I made a rag quilt where the top was cotton, the inside was flannel and the backing was minky. Turned out great and the recipient loved it.

    I have made quilts where all three layers were flannel. I have learned that it's a good idea to wash flannel first since it shrinks the most. Fleece and minky don't shrink. Cotton does some.

    In other words, your quilt, your decision, no quilt police. Have fun, experiment with it. Show us the pictures so we can ooh and aah over them!
    Vonnie

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I had bought a soft blanket and thought I would cut up and back some baby quilts with it... well it was a battle and a half on my part. Definitely wash it first and the one I used, well it seem to grow and stretch and stretch with each stitch. I ripped a part couple of times and cut it down. I won in the end, but I think I will use the rest of the blanket as batting instead. It did turn out pretty for sure, but it was a challenge. With a little more fiddling with fabric experience I may try it again down the road.

  5. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I wouldn't mix flannel and cotton weave together for the backing UNLESS the flannel had been preshrunk. A friend just washed some flannel for a backing and found that it shrank (shrunk . . . shrinked) across more than lengthwise. Go with caution.
    Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
    it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

    "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

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  7. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I use cotton fabric for backing the majority of the time. Most of the quilts I make are crib size; I make them ~38-39" wide so I can use WOF for the backing & not have to piece it. Twice I used fleece backing with no batting. It worked ok. I've never used flannel for backing, but I know others do. Yes, it must be pre-washed because it will shrink.

  8. #6
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I have used flannel as a back several times with no problems. Like others have said, wash it first as it often shrinks differently. My favorite backings are thrifted sheets, way cheaper and they hold up fine. Plus, they are pre-shrunk.

  9. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I have backed with flannel on quilts with flannel top also. I prewashed it first. Warning if you are using dark flannel it picks up EVERYTHING, dog hair, cat hair, loose threads and is very very linty when you cut it, so it gets all over you, your clothes, the cutting table, your carpeting (my sewing room is carpet) etc. It is my least favorite because I find it very messy.

  10. #8
    Fabric Fanatic

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    Default Re: different fabric backings?

    I pre-wash both, before making the quilt. And usually do the flannel in warm water and hot dryer, just to shrink it to the max. I made one with a plaid flannel and put a piece of muslin in between, so the color of the flannel wouldn't show thru the lighter parts of the quilt.

    I have a jean and flannel quilt, very heavy, my car blanket, for picnics, dogs seat cover, etc.... After a while the quilt back will get pills, I brush it lightly with an old hairbrush after washing to make it nice and fuzzy again.

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