There are many Polyester Microfibre fabrics on the market today. l have tried several and have decided that Fireside is the one I want to put on my own personal quilts.
This is the back of a quilt that was a sample for Trend-Tex recently. If you click on the picture you can see the texture that Fireside has.
Quilting on a longarm with Fireside is easy, keeping in mind nap and stretch. The fabric has a knit backing so it is stretchy, more so on the cross grain. Mount on the machine with the width going cross wise. Snug the backing up to the top, not pulling it too tight. Quilt just like you would flannel. I like to put a fair bit of quilting on all my quilts. With both flannel and Fireside I try not to leave large areas open to reduce the chance of popped stitches under heavy use.
Fireside is sixty inches wide. If it needs to be pieced, make sure all the stretch and nap are going the same way. If you are unfamiliar with nap, click here for clarification. Use a half inch seam allowance and let the seam allowance lie open.
I have tried both Cuddle and Minky. They are a little silkier feeling, therefore a little colder to the touch. I ran into problems with Minky with the fibres pulling through to the front. I asked the women at Shanon Fabrics if they had the same problem. They showed me their quilts and they all had fibres pulled to the front. My solution to this was to quilt with the same colour thread as the backing, to disguise the problem. When I first used Fireside I found that very little pulled through. I do still use a thread that is similar in colour to the back. On this quilt I used white thread on top with a grey Fireside on the back.
I do put batting in my quilts with Fireside on the back. I use Arctic Cotton natural with scrim or Arctic Cotton Blend. They help to stabilize the backing, and make the quilts extra warm and cuddly.
Next up is thread. I use a 40 wt cotton on the top, as that is what my machine likes. On the bottom I use a 60 wt poly so it sinks into the back and I get a lot more on a bobbin. It really is about what's easy.
These pictures show the front and back of a quilt. The fireside on the back really shows off the quilting. If you haven't tried it yet, go for it.
Quick note for domestic machine users. If you are using Fireside, spray baste to your batting, and the stretch won't be a problem.