Quilt Backings or how would you back this?

murphy_zone7July 21, 2011

How do you decide how to back your quilts? Do you do anything special, designs, left over blocks, different fabric?

I have just finished the top of the Yo-Yo Row quilt seen on the cover of the American Patchwork and Quilting June 2011 issue. and now must back it. I have yet to see a quilt pattern that tells you what to do about the back of the quilt. Usually the directions say "finish quilt by layering quilt top, batting, and backing: baste, quilt as desired" I plan to use the same fabric I used in the rows but that is a lot of one solid color and want to break it up a bit. I thought various size circles of the binding fabric placed randomly on the back would be ok. But with all the great minds in this forum, I wanted your opinions.

What would you do?

Thanks in advance for any help.


Here is a link to the cover, it is the third one down.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.ericas.com/quilting/magazines/americanpatch.htm

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I often do pieced backings. Sometimes I'll use up fabric that is in the quilt, sometimes I'll pull out a few that are kind of color-coordinated with the top. Sometimes if I don't find something in my stash I like I'll go buy yardage.

Your idea of circles sounds interesting.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:32AM
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Since this is a Yo-yo quilt, you might take into consideration how you plan to use it. I very rarely piece a backing, in fact, often use a sheet for the larger sizes and the left overs for binding. Works for me.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:44AM
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Here is a link to some ides -
I have only completed 10 quilts so far, and my favorite back is on a quilt I quickly put together from Lotto blocks and fabric I had. I was forced to piece the back with scraps from the blocks I had submitted and the fabric I used for the front.

I like the all one fabric backs the least, but they look good. I like the interest of a random design of piecing for the back - sort of an unexpected element.

Your question is timely for me, as I want to concentrate on making backs more interesting. I am interested in what others say.

I read somewhere that someone likes to start her backs using a preprinted panel that ties into the front. I did on the Veggies Jar Quilt I just completed. It was alot of extra seams and work, and could have been a quilt front!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pieced back pics

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 8:08AM
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I like Sharon's comment about how you plan to use the quilt; that could be an important consideration.

Mostly I use one fabric for the backing or I may take two fabrics and alternate 12" stripes. I've seen many quilt backs with just one or two blocks inset and I like the look of it but haven't done it. I think it was MRG who used one giant version of the blocks from the front of the quilt on the back and that was very clever.

I would not recommend using a solid color - too boring for a large space! I recently made a quilt with soft colored squares and black sashing; to give the quilt more interest and contrast, I used a very bold print in similar colors for the backing. (pictures)

Quilt top:

Australian Print backing:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 8:24AM
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thank you for the ideas and comments.
Sharon, the finished size is 62X76 and won't fit my king or queen beds, I think it will be a throw type.
maygothyrivergirl, those were some awesome quilt backs, a lot of them looked like fronts to me. Gonna save those ideas for next time.
I have about decided to stick with the backing fabric I purchased. It is not a solid but a small mottled print with tiny black "squiggles" in it. Looks like leaves, kinda. Since the front calls for in the ditch stitching for quilting, I think I will use a variegated thread and have that design on the back along with the circles. I think that will break up the expanse of the one color and add interest.
I wish I knew how to post a picture here so I could show you what I am talking about.
Again thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 6:11AM
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I like the look of a strip of fabric offset to one side or the other. It is simple (doesn't compete with the front) but adds interest.


Here is a link that might be useful: Jaybird pieced back tutorial

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:51PM
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Call me lazy but I always just go buy wide fabric and do whole cloth backs. I think the pieced backs are interesting but......... after all the time to finish the top I just want to move on.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:46AM
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This thread has given me some great ideas! Although I can be creative with backings, I often purchase the wide fabric if that's what I need. However, now that you've got me thinking about it, I have a new plan for the quilt I'm working on. The quilt has ended up being 60"x60", larger than I originally planned. So the 44" backing in a flannel dark leaf pattern that I bought to go with it won't quite make it, at least not all by itself. Here's my plan to make it work and add some interest at the same time.

Thanks for the ideas!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Great design Kate! If you are making the center of the star the label, I would eliminate the 1" squares and just leave it a whole piece for your label info - or put 1" squares around the border of the label info.

I have never used wide fabric for the backing - I need to find another store or bite the bullet and order online. One of the lessons I have learned is not to buy the backing fabric until I get the quilt top finished. I have changed my mind too many times and that is a costly mistake.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:35AM
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There are a couple great sources on-line for 108"-110" backing fabrics; even some beautiful batiks. Most fabric places have backings but some of the prices are outrageous ($14-$18/yd). The ones where you can typically find good prices (~$9/yd) on really pretty backings are fabric.com and hancocks-paducah.com. I'm sure there are others and if anyone wants to share a good site they've found, that would be great!


Here is a link that might be useful: Hancocks of Paducah 108

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:16AM
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