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Thread: Help please! Piecing a back

  1. #1
    Senior Member Antdebby1's Avatar
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    I need your help! I have a quilt top that measures 57 x 75. I bought 4 yards of backing fabric that is 40 inches wide (flannel).
    How do I piece the back? Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Debby

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Hi Debby,
    First of all I would wash the flannel to get the shrinkage done.
    For piecing I cut it and stitch down the middle. YOu could even take some fabric and make some blocks for the back where it meets in the middle of the backing, something like that.
    I've heard that piecing the back can cause stress on the seam but it's never happened to me and I've made many quilts.
    Hope this helps!
    Sue

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.

    That's what I do and it works great.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like they got it covered for you! Good luck and posT pics when finished!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Ditto to the above ... and absolutely, be sure to pre-shrink being that it's flannel.

    Wash in hot water ... dry in hot dryer ... and being that it's flannel, I'd do this at least twice!

    Measure it both for width and length after, as sometimes it shrinks a lot and different in the width/length. Better to deal with it now than be disappointed later..

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Measurements ... 40" widths double will not give you 80"

    Don't forget to take off seam allowances and the selvedges being cut off!

  7. #7
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE
    Measurements ... 40" widths double will not give you 80"

    Don't forget to take off seam allowances and the selvedges being cut off!
    Picky, picky, but true! :wink: Would be a shame to come up short once again.

  8. #8
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.
    To prevent the seam in the middle of the quilt, you can now take one of those 2-yard pieces and cut IT in the middle, lengthwise.

    So, take the 4-yard piece, cut it in half. You now have two 40 x 72" pieces.

    Fold and find the middle (lengthwise) of one of these pieces, and cut down the middle.

    Now you have:
    - one 40 x 72" piece
    - two 20 x 72" pieces

    Sew one of the 20" wide pieces to each side of the 40" piece. Your backing is now 72" x 79.5".

    Now you've distributed the stress more evenly throughout the back.

  9. #9
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.

    That's what I do and it works great.
    Your math is close; if the selvedge, shrinkage, and seam allowance don't take away too much it should be plenty wide for the 75" dimension.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaM
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.
    To prevent the seam in the middle of the quilt, you can now take one of those 2-yard pieces and cut IT in the middle, lengthwise.

    So, take the 4-yard piece, cut it in half. You now have two 40 x 72" pieces.

    Fold and find the middle (lengthwise) of one of these pieces, and cut down the middle.

    Now you have:
    - one 40 x 72" piece
    - two 20 x 72" pieces

    Sew one of the 20" wide pieces to each side of the 40" piece. Your backing is now 72" x 79.5".

    Now you've distributed the stress more evenly throughout the back.
    This is the way I also do backings, agree totally. You never want a seam down the middle, always ditbribute the stress evenly.

  11. #11
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    I have not read all the posts. However,,,,,,John Flynn has a technique that he cuts the backing diagonally for the back. the instructions are on his web site. I will try and find it for you. The formula will tell you how much to add to the length. My guess is a piece about 95". You cut from corner to corner and then slide one side dowm until the piece is the width you need. Then sew the seam and you will be able to save fabric and (according to him) have a stronger seam for the back. Let me know if you need the site. I use it and it works. Sure saves fabric.

  12. #12
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I have not read all the posts. However,,,,,,John Flynn has a technique that he cuts the backing diagonally for the back. the instructions are on his web site. I will try and find it for you. The formula will tell you how much to add to the length. My guess is a piece about 95". You cut from corner to corner and then slide one side dowm until the piece is the width you need. Then sew the seam and you will be able to save fabric and (according to him) have a stronger seam for the back. Let me know if you need the site. I use it and it works. Sure saves fabric.
    Here's John's lesson - scroll down to the 'Diagonal Pieced Back' area. http://www.flynnquilt.com/workshop/FreeLessons/

  13. #13
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gal288
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaM
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.
    To prevent the seam in the middle of the quilt, you can now take one of those 2-yard pieces and cut IT in the middle, lengthwise.

    So, take the 4-yard piece, cut it in half. You now have two 40 x 72" pieces.

    Fold and find the middle (lengthwise) of one of these pieces, and cut down the middle.

    Now you have:
    - one 40 x 72" piece
    - two 20 x 72" pieces

    Sew one of the 20" wide pieces to each side of the 40" piece. Your backing is now 72" x 79.5".

    Now you've distributed the stress more evenly throughout the back.
    This is the way I also do backings, agree totally. You never want a seam down the middle, always ditbribute the stress evenly.
    This is also the way I piece a back. In fact that's what I'm doing tomorrow (I've read to wash & dry flannel 3 times before using).

  14. #14
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I read JOHN instructions about the diagonal cutting, but I dont think I understand........I need pictures, a demo, or something.........has anyone tried this???

  15. #15
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    The picture and illustration is on John's web site and can be downloaded. You have to work through the math but it does work. Can extend a 40 width fabric out to about 60"

  16. #16
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    if you click on the link to download the illustration will be there with picture.

  17. #17
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    if you click on the link to download the illustration will be there with picture.

  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonnieLoree
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE
    Measurements ... 40" widths double will not give you 80"

    Don't forget to take off seam allowances and the selvedges being cut off!
    Picky, picky, but true! :wink: Would be a shame to come up short once again.

    No, TonnieLorree not at all picky ... I just didnt' want the OP to count on the 80" and then wonder why it didn't work out right for her.

    Sometimes we move ahead in haste ... and OOPS! have a bigger problem.

  19. #19
    Super Member DeeBooper's Avatar
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    DITTO.....this is how I do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaM
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    If you cut the backing in half so that you have 2 2yd pieces and then sew the longest sides together you should have a piece that is 72 X 80, if I am doing my math right. Now your piece will be big enough.
    To prevent the seam in the middle of the quilt, you can now take one of those 2-yard pieces and cut IT in the middle, lengthwise.

    So, take the 4-yard piece, cut it in half. You now have two 40 x 72" pieces.

    Fold and find the middle (lengthwise) of one of these pieces, and cut down the middle.

    Now you have:
    - one 40 x 72" piece
    - two 20 x 72" pieces

    Sew one of the 20" wide pieces to each side of the 40" piece. Your backing is now 72" x 79.5".

    Now you've distributed the stress more evenly throughout the back.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I have not read all the posts. However,,,,,,John Flynn has a technique that he cuts the backing diagonally for the back. the instructions are on his web site. I will try and find it for you. The formula will tell you how much to add to the length. My guess is a piece about 95". You cut from corner to corner and then slide one side down until the piece is the width you need. Then sew the seam and you will be able to save fabric and (according to him) have a stronger seam for the back. Let me know if you need the site. I use it and it works. Sure saves fabric.
    I tried this recently and was not pleased with the result. I looked odd to me to have a diagonal seam on the back of the quilt, especially with a printed flannel.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Antdebby1's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help!!

  22. #22
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    LindaM and others who piece this way... thank you! I've struggled with the few backs I've made. This makes a lot of sense!!

  23. #23
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    Aaaaany way you want. I don't add another piece down the middle because if the back shifts at all while basting or quilting, it will be off-center and look like an oops. So I make my piecing off-kilter and it looks deliberate...which it is! Here are 3 examples
    Attached Images Attached Images



  24. #24
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Here's some more backsides for ideas .......

    Butterflies in My Garden .... Backside!
    Name:  Attachment-188809.jpe
Views: 32
Size:  82.7 KB

    D9P Front ... Backside with Oversized D9P!!
    Name:  Attachment-188810.jpe
Views: 37
Size:  178.0 KB

  25. #25
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    I'm going to try John Flynn's diagonal method - but i'll probably put another fabric between the 2 pieces. I almost never use just one fabric on the back of the quilt. I usually put something from the front of the quilt on the back. His method would work very nicely for wall hangings, though, where you don't really care a lot about how the back looks. You could jazz up the back with a band of color from the front, and make a BIG DEAL out of the diagonal cut instead of trying to hide it.

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