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Using Bed Sheets as Quilt Backs

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Is that even possible? 

Yes! It sure it! 

How about finding a little bit more about using bed sheets as quilt backs and what happens when you do….. is there really anything that will happen?  

Using Bed Sheets as Quilt Backs

  • Check the thread count before purchasing
  • Know that it may be a little difficult for hand quilting because of the higher thread count
  • Explore table cloths, fleece and other fabrics for quilt backs

Emily asked: I have a quilting book that says to NEVER use a bed sheet as a backing. It says that the thread count is usually too high, and trying to quilt it results in holes and tears that don’t hold up. Has anyone ever had a problem with this, or am I ok to use a bed sheet?

Here are some great responses to this question that was asked:

Daniel: Mine is holding up just fine. Have not had any problems at all with it. I guess maybe if you used a 1000 TC sheet you might have issues but I think I used a 300 and it has held up great so far.

Susie: I use sheets, fleece and blankets and once an old curtain, never had a problem with it.

Carla: When my boys were little, I used a sheet on the back of their quilts. They are 30+ years old, and still going strong.

Melanie: I have wonderful quilts that my grandmother made by buying $1 sheets from goodwill when many years ago. Used sheets at that! She did not quilt them, she turned and tied them as they would stretch differently. Her applique is starting to wear off after 40+ years and thousands of washings, but the only fabric flaws are where the dog chewed ….grrr.

Marsha: Use it! Use a sharp needle and you’ll be fine!!

Regina: Hand quilting can be a little harder but had no problems.

Cris: Everyone used sheets years ago if they could get them. They were used quilts you know the ones you threw in the washer. You used them everyday and kids dragged them through the house and they lasted for years until they fell apart well loved. The cost of quilt fabric is turning quilting into a rich person’s hobby and it doesn’t have to be that way nor was it that way in the past.

Tricia: I used a bed sheet on my first quilt. It held up fine. It tattered the same as the front 🙂

Janet: Just like anything, know your fabric, old worn out, high thread count or low thread count? Cotton or poly?

Deborah: Every quilt my gramma made was backed by a bed sheet(high count, cotton, quality sheets, that was bigger than the quilt), she folded the excess sheet over for the binding and tied the quilts. or hand quilted ( i have her queen size wooden frame she never took out of the boxes).I still have “grammas” quilt, 40 + yrs later……thats what was used,,,,,,,quilting has “turned” into a “business” and everyone has forgotton the origin and has decided what “rules” they thnk should be in place,,,,,,

Lorene: I do bed sheets a lot. Never have had a problem. I get 200 count bed sheet, wash 2-3 times. Perfect

Sandi: I’ve used a top sheet, and one of my mother’s old tablecloths. It’s a heavy damask, and makes a great quilt back! It’s your creation, so make it your own ❤

The overall thoughts were positive and to use what you have on hand and what you like. 

It’s great to ask around and find the answer for yourself from information as well as trying it out. 

In the end, it’s your quilt and art and you can do what you’d like. No need to ask permission, but it’s great to ask for opinions and experience.

You can continue the conversation here.

1 Comment

  1. Mary Walker

    I would not use a new sheet because they are hard to hand quilt and you need a three inch extra border to compensate for the “take up” with quilting and you would have to unpick or trim off the hems. I would not use any “old” or worn fabric because by the time I have invested all that energy creating the top I want the item to last. Backing fabrics are sold wide enough for even a king size and the selection of colours and patterns are better than any sheets. Watch out for sales!

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