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Thread: Best way to piece a backing

  1. #1
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    Best way to piece a backing

    I am ready to cut my backing material for a queen size quilt. I have two 45"W x 108"L panels. Is it best to sew these two down the middle or to cut one of them lengthwise, put the one 45" piece in the middle and the other two pieces on the sides? I thought I read somewhere that the latter was the best way. Thanks for you help.

  2. #2
    Super Member Iamquilter's Avatar
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    The latter way is the way most books suggest you piece the back.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    It's a matter of personal preference. Some people feel that a seam down the center makes the quilt more fragile. I've never had a problem with it myself. I also often run my fabrics horizontally and piece something else in, either leftover blocks from the front, coordinating fabric, etc. It helps to use up what I had on the front and adds a decorative touch.

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    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    If you have an intricate center design, the latter is probably the best way. If you have an all-over pattern, you could do #1 without any concern. #1 is the way most of my earlier quilts have been done. Recently I've taken to piecing my backs almost as much as my fronts to make the quilt reversible.

    How much time and energy do you wish to spend on this? A third method would be to use the "John Flynn" method of slicing the 45" pieces on the diagonal, then sliding down the two pieces down the bias to make a fatter rectangle. That method won't work with the size constraints of your project.

  5. #5
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    For competition it is recommended that the back is 3 pieces rather than a seam in the middle. A lot of people now use pieced backs with extra quilt blocks added to make a quilt reversible. If it is going to the longarm quilter, I think they perfer the seams to be horizontal rather than vertical? I'm not sure about the last part but it has to do with rolling the quilt on a frame and the seam allowances making a lump. Do what you think is best for it's intended purpose.

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    1. trim away all selvedges, square up ends by tearing to get straight
    2. place two lengths RS to RS and seam both sides after pinning to keep even
    3. snip the center of ONE pc and rip lengthwise... this keeps the back from getting out of square and produces the large center, 2 small sides that gets away from the center seam which is mostly eye appeal...visually, the human eye prefers odd numbers...

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    1. trim away all selvedges, square up ends by tearing to get straight
    2. place two lengths RS to RS and seam both sides after pinning to keep even
    3. snip the center of ONE pc and rip lengthwise... this keeps the back from getting out of square and produces the large center, 2 small sides that gets away from the center seam which is mostly eye appeal...visually, the human eye prefers odd numbers...
    I LOVE this tip. Thanks for posting it!
    Nancy in western NY

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I LOVE this tip. Thanks for posting it!
    I spend a lot of time trying to convert people...it is SO much easier to keep large pcs flat and even...but kind of hard to visualize... this might be easier to do with 2 one foot squares for a little sample... but it DOES work really nicely...

  9. #9
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I agree with the two seam method when you split the one piece and attach it on either side. As a handquilter it usually works out better since you don't seem to end up with the center seam running through the middle of a row of blocks. I always do it that way.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

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