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Thread: Backing of a Quilt

  1. #1
    Member ljwinemiller's Avatar
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    This maybe a silly question, but looking at alot of quilts I see that the backing is plain with maybe on section of fabric from the of the quilt. Is there a reason for this or is this a new fad? I have always used just a plain backing and I am just curious!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    I do plain backings also, but unless you purchase extra wide fabric, it must be pieced. Many folks use this as an opportunity to show some artistic style on the back. I think they look great and maybe someday will make one that way too.

  3. #3
    Member mcpatches's Avatar
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    I try to stretch whatever I have on hand rather than buy more fabric for the backing. Sometimes that means I use some leftover fabric or blocks from the front to get enough yardage for the backing.

  4. #4
    Super Member bjeriann's Avatar
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    I usually do a plain or one fabric back but the last quilt I did I mis measured and had to piece it. So I got creative, I like the out come.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Senior Member Granny Quilter's Avatar
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    According to my quilt class instructor, a quilt entered in a contest such as at the fair, should have all on fabric on the back. It can be pieced because it isn't wide enough but all the same, and not seamed down the middle.

  6. #6
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i prefer hand dyed wide back fabric.

    this way the top of the quilt looks like a pieced quilt and the back looks like a whole cloth quilt.

    i also use many colored threads when i quilt so the whole cloth side looks really nice with each design in a different color thread.

  7. #7
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    Granny Quilter: I disagree with your quilt class instructor. I'm a judge and I don't judge the back other than if pieced it is well done and not crooked. I don't know everything, but I don't know of a single show that had criteria for the back. Some recent quilters do very fancy stuff on the back but that is irrevelent to the top.
    So I think your quilt class instructor is giving a personal opinion. Perhaps there are local fairs that require this but not in my 100's of judging experience. We look at the back to see if the back stitching is well done and may say "how clever to piece the back" but that's it.

  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I use a print or coordinating fabric for the back of a lap quilt because both sides are often showing. For a bed quilt or wall hanging, I will use anything I think will last as long as the quilt. Plain colored or even white is fine.

  9. #9
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Ive seen many creative backings. We call it back art!

  10. #10
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    It is fun to see some creative piecing on the backs of quilts! No rules (only in this instance) just right! :-)

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i piece most of my backings- seldom use a (solid)...is that what you are refering to as 'plain'?
    many times the back of my quilts look like a whole different quilt-
    if i don't want to piece a back i tend to purchase 108" wide fabrics- still not 'plain'- usually a great print that will compliment the top.
    once in a great while i will make a quilt that needs a muslin back- that's about the only time i use (plain)
    just the way i do it- everyone does them the way they like-and i think it depends on location- and who taught you in the first place- i was taught to use as much as i have---and not shop for every little thing- if i can put together a good looking back for a quilt with scraps- i do.
    and prints will hide any (flaws) in your quilting too- solids tend to show every stitch.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Your quilt. Your front. Your back.
    I've done "back art" on mine for decades!
    There's something really efficient about thinking of a quilt as having two sides and being two quilts, in my opinion. :-D

    Jan in VA

  13. #13
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    My first one I pieced, but all the same fabric, and because it wasn't big enough. I did it in thirds so the seam wouldn't be in the middle, because people tend to fold in the middle and a seam is a weak place to be folding. My second one I pieced mine with leftovers from the front. Gave it a little more interest and character.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My aim is to have fabric on the back so I can sandwich it and start quilting. At first I use the main fabric from the front for the back, found I usually needed lots of fabric, now I don't worry if it doesn't match the front. I suppose it could be considered a double sided quilt.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    Typically I use a plain backing that is made with either three panels (tube method) or the diagonal John Flynn method of piecing.

    I have used extra units from the front of a quilt a couple of times.

    Have to say that I don't care for the "scrappy" backs. Like the ones that have something in common with the front. That's my 2 cents!

  16. #16
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    Mine kind of depends on what I have on hand a the time. Lots of my quilts are scraps left from other quilts or even clothers. I don't tend to buy a lot of batting but reuse old sheets for the batting and backing. Make do, reuse, do without.

  17. #17
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    If I hand quilt... I use a plain back. All the beautiful quilting shows up better.

    If I machine quilt, I often use a patterned back.... even pieces of coordinating fabric.

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Personal preference, running out of fabric, using up stash :D:D:D

  19. #19
    Junior Member Jazzz's Avatar
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    Wow, lots of ideas for the back. I think in the beginning, I was so relieved to get the top done, I just used plain backing to get it finished faster...no additional effort on designing the back. I would just try to find a good deal on fabric that would make a neutral but interesting print on the back. That worked out well because my quilts ended up more as fabric art that hung on a wall. I think now that I see more "back art", I would consider putting more effort on the back if I knew the quilt was going to be used on a bed or lap.

    Appreciate all the ideas you guys have though.

  20. #20
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    The plain homespun is cheaper than the quilting fabric by a minimum of $10 per metre and therefore, more cost - effective to have a plain back. I do have a more colourful backing only when I have managed to buy the quilting fabric at a cheaper price. When the fabric is $26 a metre it is a real luxury to have the 'good' fabric hidden on the back.

  21. #21
    Super Member mimiknoxtaylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    Your quilt. Your front. Your back.
    I've done "back art" on mine for decades!
    There's something really efficient about thinking of a quilt as having two sides and being two quilts, in my opinion. :-D

    Jan in VA
    I concur with Jan. I've done backs all different ways-just depends on the use, who it's for, etc. We quilters are creative & we love to "re-purpose" which I always keep in mind.

  22. #22
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    I usually use a single wide fabric, although while I was on a "use it up" binge, I did piece a backing for a baby quilt. I would have had to make a run to the fabric store otherwise. You do what you gotta do!!

  23. #23
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    Very nice! Looks good

  24. #24
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    I think this is a good way to stretch fabric. I only bought 4 yards of backing for a quilt I want to do and worried if I had enough. I know I have plenty of the material I'm using for the front so I'll add some squares to the back to stretch the 4 yards.

  25. #25
    eagle5006's Avatar
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    Is this found in most fabric stores? The hand dyed wide back fabric, that is.

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