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Thread: Question on the size of your quilt backing

  1. #1

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    Aug 2009
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    Okay ... I know technically I'm supposed to have what - 2 - 3" extra when I back my quilt. Can anyone tell me why? I always get irritated when I have to cut so much fabric down - to me it's a waste and now I have unwanted scraps! (Not to mention the few extra $$ that it winds up costing.)

    So ... any good reasons for keeping doing this?

    TIA!
    Beverly

  2. #2
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    It's just so you can quilt right up to the edge of your quilt top. If the backing were already cut off, you wouldn't have anything to hold on to or to clamp in a hoop.

  3. #3

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    If that's the only reason ... I can now safely alter how much I keep to the side! Thanks!

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Bev: I'm no expert but I think that's because when you quilt the body of your quilt it can "shrink up" your backing and batting and you wouldn't want to have areas that aren't backed. I agree tho that sometimes it seems like a waste of fabric but I'd rather have that extra to cut off than have to add more fabric to an already quilted quilt back.
    I save all the fabric that's left because I can cut them easily into 2-3 inch strips for future use.
    Maybe someone else here can give you more info-this is just my humble 2 cents worth.
    Oh, the extra hanging out the ends also makes sure that your binding will have batting in it too I think.

  5. #5
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    I tend to use the backing as the binding as well. I've been told that this is "old-school", but it's the way my family has done it.

    If you are using separate binding, just cut off the extra & save it for other quilt/sewing projects. :)

  6. #6
    Member Julie Baird's Avatar
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    Hi Beverly...

    I actually add a good 4" to each side when I cut my backing and here's why...

    1. When you quilt with a walking foot, the foot pushes out the quilt top a bit so it looks like the back is shrinking, when really the top is growing a bit...

    2. If I'm going to be quilting for a long time I wrap the backing around to the front to protect the edges as I pull it in and out of my machine.

    I've been trying to work down my stash a bit, so a lot of times now, I'll piece the back. Nothing fancy just a bunch of squares or rectangles, or I cut lengthwise grain strips (wide) from several fabrics (so I have a lot of use-able fabric of each left) and piece those together to make the backing. I use 1/2" seams and press them open.

    I know what you mean, even though my stash is pretty embarrassing, I still hate to just waste the fabric.

    Julie

  7. #7
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    I ask my customers to make their backing & batting 8" wider & 8" longer than the top. Often backings need to be properly squared up. Plus, the excess allows for distortions that can take place during the quilting process, and to give some extra leeway for squaring up the entire sandwich when quilting is complete.

    Many of my customers have me trim their quilts to within an inch and allow me to donate the left over pieces for charity quilts. Others like to keep the excess & use it in scrappy quilts. Little to no fabric ever goes to waste :)

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I usually go 3 or 4 inches more so that when I cut it down I have enough for strips for a Log Cabin or maybe some small squares. Actually it is the batting that I don't like cutting so big.

  9. #9
    Super Member belmer's Avatar
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    I agree with this one 100%. There is so much you can do with the excess of fabric you cut off.
    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    Bev: I'm no expert but I think that's because when you quilt the body of your quilt it can "shrink up" your backing and batting and you wouldn't want to have areas that aren't backed. I agree tho that sometimes it seems like a waste of fabric but I'd rather have that extra to cut off than have to add more fabric to an already quilted quilt back.
    I save all the fabric that's left because I can cut them easily into 2-3 inch strips for future use.
    Maybe someone else here can give you more info-this is just my humble 2 cents worth.
    Oh, the extra hanging out the ends also makes sure that your binding will have batting in it too I think.

  10. #10
    Diamonds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redkimba
    I tend to use the backing as the binding as well. I've been told that this is "old-school", but it's the way my family has done it.

    :)
    I use the backing as the binding too... Flip it over and only have to sew one side down.. It is the way my Granny taught me... :thumbup:

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