5 Essential Tips for Using Fireside on the Back of your Quilt

There are so many choices for backing quilts these days.  From regular quilting cottons to wide backs and don’t forget flannel.  However, many quilters have abandoned these traditional options and have moved on to cozy synthetics such as Fireside.  Fireside is a 150cm (60”) wide 100% polyester fabric with a soft, velvety hand.  It’s less slippery than Minkee, so it’s a little easier to work with.  While Minkee may be more appealing to children, Fireside may appeal to teens and adults.  If you’re thinking about trying Fireside, here are some tips to help you find success:
1. “ To batt or not to batt.  That is the question”
Because Fireside is already so cozy, you may decide you don’t need to put batting in your quilt.  If you think you would still like a layer of batting, choose something thin to make it easier to quilt and so as not to overheat the person(s) using the quilt.
2.  Stay sharp!
As with other synthetic fabrics such as Minkee or fleece, you may find that your needle dulls faster than it does when sewing with natural fibres such as cotton, wool, or silk.  If you start with a fresh needle, you can avoid the pitfalls of dull needles such as breakage, skipped stitches, or the needle trying to push the fabric into the machine.
3.  “Has anyone seen my quilting?  It was here a second ago.”
Because of the velvety pile of Fireside, it may be hard to see the stitches on the back of your quilt as the stitches can get hidden in the pile.  Use a slightly heavier thread, such as a 30wt, to create more impact with your quilting.
4.  Don’t skimp on the basting!
Fireside is a knit fabric and, like most knit fabrics, it is stretchy.  To keep it from stretching as you sew, it is important to do a good job basting your layers before you start quilting.  If you are using quilters’ curved safety pins, you should have one pin every 4” (10cm) both vertically and horizontally.  Basting spray is also a great tool when working with Fireside. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your spray (use in well ventilated area and beware of overspray – you could find yourself in a ‘sticky’ situation!)
5.  Don’t forget the nap…
No, not THAT kind of nap.  You can have a cozy snooze with your quilt once it’s finished.  We’re talking about the nap on the fabric.  The velvety pile on Fireside is directional.  If you are piecing the quilt back, make sure that the nap on the panels is running in the same direction.  Also, it is recommended that the nap run down the length of the quilt, i.e. it should feel smooth as you run your hand down from the top of the quilt.
Next time you’re in the store, check out our selection of Fireside.  You may find it’s just soft and cozy enough to convince you to try using it on the back of a quilt.


  • Thu, 10/04/2018 - 20:52 reply
    How is this great for me to put on the back of my quilts
    • Fri, 10/05/2018 - 16:39 reply
      Hi carol, People often use fireside when they would like a soft, warm fabric on the back of their quilt and (sometimes) also don't want to have to put a batting in between the layers. Also Fireside is a lot easier to work with than minkee that tends to stretch.
  • Mon, 03/25/2019 - 08:34 reply
    Your post said 100% polyesTer. The nwxt step said bast well it stretches. How can this be??
    • Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:18 reply
      Hi Sheila, while the fireside fabric is 100% polyester it does have a bit of give or stretch to it as it is a knitted type fabric as opposed to woven. Another good example of a fabric like this would be minkee. It is also 100% polyester but has give to it as well. The fireside is not nearly as stretchy as a minkee fabric though. Hope this helps!
  • Thu, 10/24/2019 - 13:40 reply
    Is your fireside fabric manufactured by moda?
    • Fri, 11/01/2019 - 14:26 reply
      Hi Shirley, The Fireside we carry is not the one produced by Moda. We have a different one we carry that has a larger colour selection.
  • Wed, 10/30/2019 - 11:09 reply
    ALTHOUGH im not a VERY expErienced quilter this one should have be dead easy. I pinned Repinned and smoothed oveR and over. Instead i have had nothing but trouble and wish i cOulD start over with a simp FLANNEL backing. Puckering, ripping ouT, starting from scratch twice nw has been my extremely frustrating experience with this fabric. Never again.
    • Fri, 11/01/2019 - 11:16 reply
      Hi Myrna, Sorry to hear you had a frustrating time with the fireside fabric. As it does have a bit of stretch to it, it can take some time to get used to. I often find if I use it as a quilt backing I like to prep my layers with both quilt basting spray as well as pins. If you prefer to just baste with pins I often find cotton or flannel easier to work with.
  • Sat, 02/15/2020 - 12:55 reply
    A Customer just asked if I would quilt her quilt as she wants to use fireside. First time I heard of fireside. I am a long arm quilter. I have previously used minkee - once - never again any suggestions.
    • Tue, 02/18/2020 - 10:56 reply
      Hi Gwen, Fireside is a great alternative to minkee as it provides a fuzzy backing but does not stretch like minkee does and also is approx. 60" wide. If you didn't want to work with fireside, the next closest fabric (in terms of being cozy) would be quilt flannel but unless you got a wideback quilt flannel, the backing would have to be pieced. Hope this helps!

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