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Thread: About to back my first "real" quilt.. Advice?

  1. #1
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    About to back my first "real" quilt.. Advice?

    My first project was a baby quilt, which was super easy since the fabric was big enough to cover the back. Now I am about to get my sandwich together for my second project, a large lap quilt (had to buy twin sized batting). I just pulled the batting out of the dryer, so it should be shrunk and ready to go. I've been googling for methods of doing this with fabric that isn't sized large enough to cover the back without piecing it together.

    What is your preferred method? Also, any thing I should look out for with grain direction?

    It seems some people like to just have a seam down the middle (vertical or horizontal) while others like to offset the seam. For the larger quilts I also saw one suggestion to cut three panels, and have a larger panel in the middle with smaller panels on the sides.

    One that I particularly liked, and am toying with in my head, is putting a strip of a different fabric between the two halves of the backing fabric(s) to create a stripe. Since this is the back of a lattice quilt with a black background, I was thinking it might even look good to make a kind of offset + with black strips... but that will require a trip to buy more black fabric.

    About the only things the methods seem to agree on is that you need a 1/2" seam that is pressed open, and that the selvage should be cut off.

  2. #2
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Putting a design element on the back sounds really nice. It doesn't necessarily need to be black - you could use a solid or print of any color at all and you'd have a reversible quilt. Pictures! We want pictures!
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  3. #3
    Junior Member gemmyfrog's Avatar
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    On the back you can put some of your left over fabric from the front, even some of the squares, strips, whatever. I had a back that wasn't big enough, so I just cut it into 4 pieces - not the same size, added some squares (made to look like a race track) and sewed it up. It turned out pretty nice! If you can, use what you have.

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    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I use scraps for the back. Like this:
    Name:  springflingbacksm.jpg
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    Or if I don't want it so scrappy, I'll do it like this:
    Name:  zebrababybacksm-M.jpg
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Size:  107.8 KB

  5. #5
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    My sister always told me not to run the seam down the middle of the back. I don't know why, but I've followed her advice. I, also am creative with my backings. I usually add different fabrics together for the backing and like what it looks like.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  6. #6
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    My sister always told me not to run the seam down the middle of the back. I don't know why, but I've followed her advice. I, also am creative with my backings. I usually add different fabrics together for the backing and like what it looks like.
    I think the seam down the middle is only a bad idea if you are sending it to a long arm quilter....and then it is okay if the seam is horizontal rather than vertical. (loading the back to quilt on the long arm ...you don't want that vertical seam lapping over itself over and over.) If you are going to quilt it yourself, that seam down the middle is just a personal preference or not.

    Welcome to the quilting world. Are you addicted yet?? It doesn't take long.

    Dina

  7. #7
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    My absolute favorite method to "fill in" the back is to make extra blocks or use the blocks that aren't quite good enough for the back and run a strip of blocks down the back. (or across the back if it is better). I make 48 x 72 throws so, I only need about a block's width to add. If I don't have extra blocks, then I sew squares of the fabric from the front and use that. Of course, squares you could go 2, 3, 4 or more to add width.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    My sister always told me not to run the seam down the middle of the back. I don't know why, but I've followed her advice. I, also am creative with my backings. I usually add different fabrics together for the backing and like what it looks like.
    In my earlier googling I read this was because some people believed that if the seam was in a fold line the quilt would wear out faster, but not sure if that is true or not.

  9. #9
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    I don't have any of the front fabric left over because it was done with a jelly roll. I am trying to decide if I want to just do the one fabric (pictured below) for the backing, or if I can be patient enough to go get more black fabric and add a design element. I was playing with meandering FMQ for the first time yesterday and now I am excited and ready to start trying it on this quilt. (off topic question... black thread or dark grey thread for the meandering stitch? opinions? hubby says black, but I am not positive)

    Was asked for pictures...

    Quilt top:
    Name:  20130815-170636.jpg
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    Fabric I chose for the back: (can't really see the detail here, but the color is true)
    Name:  6655_turq.jpg
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Size:  21.5 KB

    A picture of back fabric detail: (colors not true)
    Name:  photo.JPG
Views: 220
Size:  868.1 KB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toverly View Post
    My absolute favorite method to "fill in" the back is to make extra blocks or use the blocks that aren't quite good enough for the back and run a strip of blocks down the back.
    That sounds awesome, I will keep that in mind for my next quilts. I have two lined up: Yellow Brick Road and Hopscotch. I am thinking that would look great with the Yellow Brick Road, and I am thinking maybe a few scattered or spaced blocks for the Hopscotch.
    Last edited by romille; 08-30-2013 at 11:59 AM.

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