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Thread: How important is backing fabric?

  1. #1
    Junior Member bri1977's Avatar
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    How important is backing fabric?

    I am in the process of making a T shirt quilt for my friends dad. The top has been done for a while and today, when I went to baste the layers together, I realized the backing fabric I had was too short in one spot and I couldn't use it. It was navy blue and complemented the blues in the quilt top and t shirts. I went to get more and they didn't have enough in stock. I chose a similar weight 108" muslin backing that is a natural color. I feel like it is boring, or like I put no thought into it, but I really did think abo it it a lot before I chose it. How important is it anyway? Should I just use it and not worry so much about it. I mean it IS the back.....any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    I would think the back is just something to hold the quilt together. Sometimes when I run out of material, I just grab some Fat Quarters in complimentary colors and piece it. Other times I just grab a piece of material that somehow matches one of the colors in the quilt and just use it.

    Are you planning to FMQ, Hand quilt, or tie the quilt to finish it off? If you are quilting, the back will show off your quilting skill and work (think of it like a wholecloth quilt). Sometimes it is better to make the back dark in order to not have the stitches show. I am doing one right now that has a light tan back because I couldn't find any chocolate colored material to fit. I have flipped the quilt over so I can see what I am quilting on the back since it is a solid color. The front is very busy with prints so I figured it would be easier to control my quilting from the back than the front.

    Just do it! It is more important to finish it than to obsess over what is on the back.
    VickyS

  3. #3
    Senior Member margecam52's Avatar
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    Why not piece the blue with a small section of the natural across the middle...in layers? Nothing in the "rules" says a backing has to be one piece, or one color.
    Quote Originally Posted by bri1977 View Post
    I am in the process of making a T shirt quilt for my friends dad. The top has been done for a while and today, when I went to baste the layers together, I realized the backing fabric I had was too short in one spot and I couldn't use it. It was navy blue and complemented the blues in the quilt top and t shirts. I went to get more and they didn't have enough in stock. I chose a similar weight 108" muslin backing that is a natural color. I feel like it is boring, or like I put no thought into it, but I really did think abo it it a lot before I chose it. How important is it anyway? Should I just use it and not worry so much about it. I mean it IS the back.....any thoughts?
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter
    http://www.Lmcampbel.com

  4. #4
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    If that is what you have, use it. A lot of people piece the back when it is too little or on purpose!

  5. #5
    Junior Member bri1977's Avatar
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    Thanks I am doing straight line quilting with a walking foot in the sashing and then some very light quilting in the individual blocks to accentuate each t shirt design and hold it all together. I will be do ing that by machine as well. Probably won't FMQ because I'm using a domestic machine with limited throat space. I have done FMQ on my own queen size T shirt quilt and it is very tiring. Probably won't ever do that again
    Last edited by bri1977; 03-28-2012 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Spelling

  6. #6
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yes this. It will look great.

    Quote Originally Posted by margecam52 View Post
    Why not piece the blue with a small section of the natural across the middle...in layers? Nothing in the "rules" says a backing has to be one piece, or one color.
    Anna Quilts

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I have used one solid large piece for a backing, and have done many that are pieced. I have also appliqued extra blocks onto the backside to give a bit of design to an otherwise boring backing. It is all about what you think looks good. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to backing - pretty, plain, patterned, striped, appliqued, blocks.....so many choices!

  8. #8
    Junior Member bri1977's Avatar
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    Marge, I honestly though about doing that.....it's a possibility. Most of the other fabric I have is really juvenile because I make quilts for children mostly, so I wouldn't want to use any of my larger scraps.

  9. #9
    Junior Member flhomeschoolmom's Avatar
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    Honestly, I would quarter the blue fabric and join the quarters together with the muslin to get the full size of the backing that you need. There would be some piecing involved, but not a lot, and it would look like a gift box without the bow.

  10. #10
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I didn't want to keep accumulating scraps from quilting projects (at a rapid rate) so I started using the scraps to make a strip to go down the back (usually from top to bottom) - I place the top and back together so the strip does not go down the center. I figure it is a win-win because I have less scraps to store and I use less fabric on the back because I have pieced that one strip - on my last quilt I was able to have one whole length of batik to use on another quilt instead of a bunch of smaller scraps.

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