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Thread: What Makes an Ideal Backing Fabric-small scale or lrg scale print, light or dark?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    The California Hills

    What Makes an Ideal Backing Fabric-small scale or lrg scale print, light or dark?

    I am new to quilting and was wondering what makes a more ideal backing fabric? I was thinking medium to large scale print in medium to light tone but wanted to see what quilters who have made several quilts think.

    I am thinking of a backing for a quilt that will be quilted in a "less is more" style (basic straight lines or gentle meander). I have seen a lot of solid backings in white or cream but I don't really prefer this (I know from seeing some spectacular pictures, that the solid light fabric really shows off the beautiful and intricate quilting--however, I see these quilts as being more simple in style).

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Anything goes!!

    If you want to have the quilting show, yes, a plain back is better ... though it does not have to be light. You can choose a thread to help it show.

    If you want to disguise the quilting on the back (eg. it doesn't always look good from the back!) ... a print will help to do the trick! Large, medium or small ... your choice!

    And too, some use leftovers from the front, to create a scrappy back. Or a few extra blocks leftover from the front worked into the back can be nice!

    It's really a matter of what you want and prefer ... like most of quilting, there's no rules!
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    North Pole
    Many times I use muslim for my back, unless I want to make the quilt reversable...then I use a print.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    it depends on the quilt top-
    i generally use some sort of print- or mottled fabric- sometimes i dye my own backing to get what i want- i've used panals, i've made whole new big block quilts for the back- i've used stripes, plaids, florals----what ever catches my eye & seems to me to be the perfect choice for the back of this quilt- there are no rules- it is up to you to use what you like for the quilt you are making.
    one thing is ---solids will show every stitch- prints will help hide any small errors- so if you are fairly new to quilting a print of some sort will be more (forgiving) a solid will show everything.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Waco, Texas
    Blog Entries
    i have used anything from plain muslin to fully coordinated fabrics. your quilt, your choice!!!

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Yes, anything really does go! If you like it, use it....no rules!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!

  7. #7
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Western MA
    I agree with the others....anything goes, that's what makes quilting so much fun. Because I'm still a novice at FMQ, I use an all over print with the background color to match the quilt top so I can use the same color thread in bobbin and needle. If I use different colors, sometimes the threads appear on top or the bottom.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I think it has alot to do with the type of top and how you will quilt it. I like fabric that is light and little pattern if I am sending it out for quilting..as I want to see all the beautiful quilting stitches. If its something I will quilt myself and I am not so confident on my quilting or its not anything outstanding planned for the quilting , I use a print with colors from the top for my backing fabric. I do try to stay within the style... traditional, contemporary ..But large scale prints make fabulous backings as you can see all of the print.

  9. #9
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Stagecoach, NV
    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110 View Post
    i have used anything from plain muslin to fully coordinated fabrics. your quilt, your choice!!!
    Ditto!! Use what you want to - I use plain muslin at times and sometimes a color that coordinates with the colors in the top.

  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yep, it is your preference. I prefer to put planned over/leftover blocks and make a pieced back with any left over fabric from making the top.

    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

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