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Thread: How do you choose the backing for your quilts?

  1. #1
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Delaware, Ohio
    I have just completed a Twinkling Stars quilt top. Stars are various reds set on various shades of beiges and tan squares. Now, I can't decide on the backing. Or on the quilting that I will have done. Just wondering what/if any criteria do you use when making this decision. I am stumped!

    Here is the one I'm talking about...
    Name:  Attachment-133077.jpe
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  2. #2
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    I always like my backing to match or blend with the front. That way I get two quilts for the price of one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Melrose N.Y. Troy Area
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    I don't necessarly choose a fab that goes with the quilt, my go to is fairy frost there is a 3 tone in a few colors that my family loves, other than that I like something soft minkey or a flannel when possible as for the quilting, I let my laq choose it for me she knows best and is excellent unless i want a tight meandering, I don't like a wide meandering. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Rabs's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Charlotte, Mi
    I always use a fabric from the front...which ever one I liked best.

  5. #5
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Most of my backings are from fabric in my stash. I have one section just for backings. I also coordinate it to match the front but I don't think you have to or else type of thing.
    I've also pieced backings and it's fun! You get another design to look at.
    I like to buy extra wide backings on sale so I don't have a long seam to deal with but I have done that too.
    Don't any any tips on quilting b/c I'm practicing FMQ right now.
    Good luck! :D:D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Blog Entries
    I usually by backing to match the color of thread you are going to use to machine quilt it. I would us the cream colors for backing on this if use cream thread for quilting. It is a lot easier for a longarmer, then you don't see pokies from your bobbin thread.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I hope this works! Here's a pic of your quilt with some quilting ideas on it. You could do an overall fill design in the beige blocks - that would really make your stars "pop." Or, if you used a flower-like design (as shown) in the center of the star, you could carry that design into the beige blocks.

    For backing - that's totally your choice. Sometimes I choose a fabric that plays nicely with the front - same color scheme, for instance. Other times, I go with something radically different. In this case, I'd probably try to find something that had both beige and red in it - a toile would be nice.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Roswell, NM
    If I don't find a print that works well with the front, I use solid Kona cotton in a color from the front.

  9. #9
    MTS is offline
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by sandyl
    Just wondering what/if any criteria do you use when making this decision. I am stumped!
    First of all, FABULOUS quilt.

    It that were my quilt - this is the way I would make the decision:

    This quilt is not about the quilting, it's about the fabulous lines and the collection of tan/reds that make it up.
    So, right off the bat, in this case, I wouldn't need/have to have a solid/TOT fabric on the back to showcase intense detailed quilting - which isn't really called for here.

    I like to have a surprise on the back. I normally piece the backs from, admittedly a huge stash. I like the variety. I try to do something interesting for the top 20 inches of the back - what I call the "turn-down." Especially if it's a bed quilt, even for a guest room. That's the only part of the back that's really ever going to be seen. Then the rest of the back can be yardage or more piecing. I'm rarely concerned about it. Of course, all fabric is LQS quality.

    When I do got out and actually buy specific yardage for a quilt, it's usually because it's a great fit. Which for means a great contrast. IOW, I've already got a great front with great fabrics - why do I have to repeat that on the back?

    In the case of your quilt, it has a real vintage feel to it (at least to me).
    If I were going to buy fabric, I'd get something like these (hard to match up exactly so it's more the idea than the exact fabric):




    The larger scale of these prints contrast nicely (to me) with the repeated angle geometric shapes on the front.

    Sort of like you might do in your living room - different fabrics for the sofa and chair, with a little zing here and there. If you bothered with that sort of stuff.

    If you go the "turn-down" route, an interesting option would be make a panel across the top of the back of TAN stars with a RED background. That would also look great.

    And the rest of the backing can be whatever you got.

    It's a great quilt no matter what you put on the back.

    Edited to add after reading the previous post by EIQuilter:

    A toile would be awesome. :thumbup:


  10. #10
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    North Carolina - But otherwise, NOTW
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    If it's for "special" as in a gift or a raffle prize donation, I put a complimentary fabric on the back or tone on tone something or other. If it's for general use bed quilt, I use good quality muslin. No sense spending a lot of money on fabric for the back of a bed quilt that will only be used one side up!! IMHO. That's what I do.

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