I use a 100% all natural cotton muslin on the back of almost all my quilts.

I like this material because it’s an all natural product and has no synthetic fibers in it and the cotton for it is grown right here in the US. It comes to me in a natural color that I always describe as oatmeal colored because most of it is a cream, but then there is these little tiny speckles of dark (just like oatmeal).

It feels just like any cotton….until you wash it and then it turns into this buttery soft goodness that I love so much. I use it in all my quilts with the exception of minky dot quilts, but it is in the rag quilts where it really stands out the most I think.

On a rag quilt all the little edges poke out in every seem, so you can see the muslin on the front of the quilt and it rags beautifully. There is nothing like it. I’ve used regular cotton, broadcloth, even flannel, but nothing in my opinion is better than muslin.

back of rag quilt dyed pale pink

Many people want color on the back instead of the natural (though, leaving it natural is still the most popular in my shop). I had to go buy regular cotton at the store to get the color they wanted. Then I started dyeing it myself with a non-harsh dye. It worked out great. No longer do you have to sacrifice the quality to get a nice color. Now we have both.

I dye in very small batches, almost per quilt, so I never actually get the same color twice. There is always just a shade or two of difference.
Unfortunately, I have yet to be able to achieve the color brown, or anywhere close to it. I end up with a shade of grape purplish everytime. I might in the future try tea-dyeing, but not for now. So I can do every color with the exception of brown for now.

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