Tips for machine quilters …. from Ikea


Tip #1 :  Ikea is a great place to buy quilt backing!!!

I went to Ikea the other day to buy some backing fabric for a couple of quilts.  I went knowing that I wanted to get this fabric, for sure, and wanted to check out a couple of others they had.


So I bought all of this that they had (you know how quilters are).  When I saw this fabric online, I didn’t realize the scale was so big.  So when I saw it in person, I liked it even more, and immediately thought… that would be an awesome quilting pattern!  I didn’t really find anything else in the fabric dept. that was going to work …….. but, when I came to the bedding dept. I sure did.  The fabric in some of their duvet cover sets was perfect.  So, I checked out how the display duvets were constructed, and realized I could just buy one, take out the seams, and have the backing fabric for my quilt.  The only thing that kept me from filling my cart was the fact that a lot of them had a very low (105 and 120) thread count.  I decided to buy only one and see if the weave closed up any once I washed and dried it on hot (it did tighten up quite a bit, but it definitely isn’t like Kona quality or anything, lol).  You really do need to read the labels, because they went from ones with a really low thread count, to a fairly high thread count (which I didn’t want either).  The other thing you want to look at is the content, most were cotton, but some were cotton/poly blend.  I did buy one that has a large gray stipple pattern on it, that is a cotton/poly blend … but, I’m ok with that.  I know from experience that it will quilt fine, and will end up outlasting the fabrics on the front of the quilt (AND it works perfect for a quilt that I need a backing for, lol).  Oh, and even if you don’t like any of the prints, they also have them in quite a few solids as well.


When I got home, I realized that they were both sewn differently, the stipple pattern one was only sewn on one side and the bottom, so after deconstructing (I just snipped a couple of threads, and then was able to just rip the seams open without damaging the fabric at all, it literally took like 2 minutes to do), I threw them in the washer/dryer, and then measured them to see how much yardage I ended up with.

The one with a side and bottom seam when opened up gave me an 88″ x 128″ piece, so I got 3.5 yds of 88″ wide backing fabric for 2.85 a yard (it was 9.99 for a twin set).

The other one was sewn only on the two sides, and when opened up gave me a 64″ x 168″ piece, so I got 4.6 yds of 64″ wide fabric for 3.26 a yard (this one was 14.99 for the twin set).

Plus, I got a couple of pillowcases as a bonus …… they will be great for keeping the quilts in when they are done.

Tip #2:  You can use these Ikea fabrics to quilt from the backside of your quilt! (this will work no matter what type of machine you use too, longarm or domestic)

I know this is nothing new, everyone has heard about quilting the designs on your backing fabric to create the allover quilting patterns on the front of your quilt.  But, I just can’t believe how cool these look!  And perfect for modern quilts!  I just had to share.

So what you want to do, if you have a longarm, is just load your quilt/fabric top where the backing would normally go, and load the backing/print fabric on the top so you can use it as a stitching pattern.  If you quilt on a domestic machine, you would just baste your quilt layers as you normally do, but then quilt it with the backing side up.

I started by trying the black and white yardage that I bought:  For both samples I used cotton batting, knowing that I wanted to wash it afterwards to get lots of crinkly texture.

I just simply stitched along the long curvy lines, then I tried doing all of the lines printed, as well as what would happen if you decided to add some designs in between the lines, etc.  I like just the long wavy lines best myself.

During quilting:


Front after quilting:


Front after washing/drying:


Next I did the same fabric (which was a duvet cover), that is in tan, and printed in a much smaller scale:


The front after quilting:


After washing/drying:


I really like the larger one, but I LOVE the smaller version.

I can’t wait to try this on a full size quilt!





2 thoughts on “Tips for machine quilters …. from Ikea

  1. LOVE these designs! So inspiring; you are so talented! While not new to longarming, I am quite new to the modern aspect of quilting, just hopped on this train about six months ago and I’m oh so addicted! BTW, hello neighbor, from New Brighton here!

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