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Thread: Help! Not enough backing fabric!

  1. #1
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Help! Not enough backing fabric!

    I normally don't purchase fabric.. the only fabric I buy is backing and I usually buy the very wide fabric, and when I don't, my fabric store figures out how much i need and that's what I buy and they are always spot on!
    However, I was at a Discount Foam and Fabric store and found some $1 fabric that I thought "would do" for this big quilt. They didn't know how to figure out how much I needed and neither did I, so I bought what I thought was enough. Obviously, it's not! If I cut it into 3 pieces, and sew them together, it's too short, but there is excess on the sides.

    I'm not in love with the quilt top or the backing fabric, so I kinda want to use it for this quilt. It's a purple/pink with little flowers on it and the top is pink and white, so they don't even really match. I don't think I can do the diagonal pieced back method, since this quilt top is so wide.

    Other than taking a row off the quilt top (I'm willing, but I'd like to see if there's anything else I can do), is there any easy way to make it work without looking too bad?
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  2. #2
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    How much did you buy and what is the size of quilt? That will help us to know if there is a fix with the fabric you have.
    See if you could cut one of the three pieces length wise and add it to the bottom to make it long enough. I have done that before.
    Happy Quilting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    I would piece the back with that fabric and some of the fabric used in the front to make it big enough. It is ok to use more than one fabric on the back.
    Jean in MI

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you have extra width why not cut the fabric again, turn & add to top or bottom?
    - cut the length of fabric into the width you need it to be- then one left over piece you may need to cut in half (at the fold) & stitch the 2 short ends together to make it the correct width to add- so your seams are horizontal instead of vertical???with a small print chances are the seams will not show when the quilt is quilted.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    You said, "If I cut it into 3 pieces, and sew them together, it's too short, but there is excess on the sides."
    so the backing is wide enough. What you can do is add a strip of another fabric between each of the 3 big wide pieces and the backing should be long enough.
    wide piece #1
    strip of another fabric
    wide piece #2
    strip of another fabric
    wide piece #3

  6. #6
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    What are the sizes of quilt and fabric? If you have excess width, I bet you can use the diagonal method. Cut the fabric in half and sew together into an 80" wide piece. Then use that for your diagonal backing calculations.

  7. #7
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Ok, measurements:

    Top is 115x100 and the backing is 7 yds, 21 inches x 46 inches wide - I haven't cut into it yet

    And I have no fabric from the top of the quilt. It was given to me. And as I said, they don't really go together
    Last edited by AshleyR; 08-19-2012 at 04:00 AM.
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You have enough...just. Cut two full length pieces, then cut the remainder into thirds, Should be about 14" x 43" each, but cut actual thirds and make sure the grain runs the same way as the full strips before you cut. Seam the short sides to make the third strip and put that one in the middle between the two long ones. Measure twice, or more, there's not much wiggle room once you figure in a bit extra all around for quilting.

    You'll have two full length vertical seams and two short horizontal seams in the center panel...looking kind of like a ladder.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 08-19-2012 at 04:42 AM.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #9
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    This will work but may sound confusing. Maybe you should draw a diagram. I only gave you a bit on each side, but you might be able to work out more once you see where I'm going. Cut two strips 101.5 inches the full width of fabric. This should leave you with one piece that is full width and 70" long. BTW, my method doesn't end up with everything going the same direction. Then cut this third piece the full 70" by 27". That leaves a 4th piece that is 70" by about 18". This one can be cut in two 35" by 18" pieces. Sew these two back together to form a 35" by about 35" square. That square should go onto the end of the third piece. That should give you 3 strips to sew together that are 101.5" wide (you'll have to trim the square to match) and will cover the 100" part. Got it?

  10. #10
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    And you can always run a stripe of a different fabric inserted in this fabric. I do that all the time.

  11. #11
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    try to add differnent fabric the quilt on top and botton then it will look like that is the way you wanted it

  12. #12
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I think this is going to be too advanced for my very newbie skills! I will go by the Foam place next week and see if they have any of that fabric left! It was only $1/yard, so if I have to buy more, it won't hurt too much, but since it was a few months ago, I doubt they will have any, but it's not too far away from where I work.
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  13. #13
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i had to add a strip of dark brown onto the top of my backing fabric. it matches the inner border on the front, so it doesnt' look out of place.
    some add blocks or another fabric down the center or across it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    I love adding fabric I used in the quilt top on the back. I have fun putting that fabric together intermingled with the back. It makes the front and back belong together and it also uses up left over stash that has gotten out of hand. If you look at quilts made today, this is often what is done to extend the back and I love it.
    Murphy1
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  15. #15
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    I think it was Burchquilts that posted a link this week of a nice little quilt with a super cool back. The picture was of a back with 2 different colours joined in the center with a giant zipper effect? You could do the same with your back and maybe add white for the zipper effect to tie the front and back together. Maybe Burchquilts will see this reply and repost the link? I know that I am going to use the design on a quilt back myself.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Karenowc's Avatar
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    I would also use some extra quilt blocks in the back of the quilt. Here is one that I recently finished.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Karen in CA
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  17. #17
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Here are some examples of ways to piece a backing.

    Jan in VA
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    Jan in VA
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  18. #18
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    You have enough...just. Cut two full length pieces, then cut the remainder into thirds, Should be about 14" x 43" each, but cut actual thirds and make sure the grain runs the same way as the full strips before you cut. Seam the short sides to make the third strip and put that one in the middle between the two long ones. Measure twice, or more, there's not much wiggle room once you figure in a bit extra all around for quilting.

    You'll have two full length vertical seams and two short horizontal seams in the center panel...looking kind of like a ladder.
    Ghostrider has the easiest way. It will look like Jan's center bottom drawing with horizontal seams in the center section. If you don't care for the fabric, I wouldn't buy more.

  19. #19
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's input. I don't dislike the fabric... I just am not in love with it! I'm not a "pink" kind of girl. I need to get pictures of this quilt to so you can see it. It's amazing, but I just don't like it too much. My ex's mother made it and gave it to me years and years ago, so it has the opposite of sentimental value! I have no idea what I'll do with this quilt when it's done!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  20. #20
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    My sister miscalculated on backing when she sent me one to quilt for her. To make up the difference, I used leftover blocks and fabric from the front. It turned out just fine.

  21. #21
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    what if you cut your fabric across the width of your top, instead of the length
    example: quilt 40 x 60, cut pieces 44 x width of fabric and sew
    2 pieces will give 44 x 80

  22. #22
    Super Member PS Stitcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey View Post
    You said, "If I cut it into 3 pieces, and sew them together, it's too short, but there is excess on the sides."
    so the backing is wide enough. What you can do is add a strip of another fabric between each of the 3 big wide pieces and the backing should be long enough.
    wide piece #1
    strip of another fabric
    wide piece #2
    strip of another fabric
    wide piece #3
    This is what I would do as well.
    Mom to 2 Future Stitchers....Wife to One Great Hubby!
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  23. #23
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    This is an easy one. Make a pieced back and use another contrast fabric that will compliment your piece that is to short. You can make a nine patch type, or virtually any combination. I don't worry a bit about having a "solid run" the vertical length of the quilt - nor the horizontal width either. You'll find you will really like the look a pieced back gives to your quilt!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I would just make sure you have enough for the sides and use something that works with the fabric you have. For one quilt, I really liked the backing fabric, but didn't have enough, so added some solid black strips. You could do this on the widths. Makes it look like you intended it that way if you do it on all strips.

  25. #25
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I miscalculated the latest really HUGE quilt and had to piece the back.

    Then, I had to further piece one edge to make the border even wider, putting in a strip of HST's left over from the front.

    I had to do that because I ran out of the light color that I used to make the tic-tac-toe shape and outer borders. I think I have a 2x8" strip of that left - talk about taking it down to the wire...
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