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How do you choose your back fabric?

How do you choose your back fabric?

Old 01-26-2015, 06:47 PM
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Default How do you choose your back fabric?

So I'm in the process of finishing 2 of my quilts that I have been working on and discovered I needed backing fabric for both of them. So I went to Joann's and looked for some backing fabric but didn't know what color to get. I was dumb founded at the thought at trying to pick the right color that looked good with my quilts. I read and looked a pictures but nothing really helped. After looking I decided on a solid dark green for one and for the other one off white, what I want to know is "How do you pick your backing fabric?" and know that I have decided to do dark green "What color thread should I quilt it with?" Oh ya I forgot to tell you after I got done basting one of the quilts realized there wasn't enough backing fabric. Any suggestions would help greatly.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:52 PM
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I consider a couple of things:

- what color is my binding going to be? I like the binding and backing fabric to look good together.

- if I have a very light quilt top, I won't choose a dark backing, as it may shadow through (some of that depends on how opaque the batting is)

- what color thread will I be quilting with, and how much do I want the quilting to show on the back? As a longarm quilter, I match my bobbin thread to my top thread. If I'm using white thread, and my backing fabric is black, that thread will REALLY show. If you are a new quilter and aren't really confident of your quilting ability, you may be happier with a thread that blends in on the backing, so it doesn't show all your 'wobbles'. So then I would choose either a lighter backing, or a very busy print, that will help hide the quilting.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:01 PM
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I used to try to match the front as closely as possible, but lately I have been going with tone on tone white or off white. It matches anything and I can shop at my sister's house (next door). She has wonderful bargains. :-)
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:29 PM
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I usually do some piecing on my backs, so I start with leftover blocks or leftover scraps. Then I look for additional fabric that coordinates with those pieces. I often select a contrasting fabric as I do like the look of a dark fabric back on a lighter pieced front if the overall colors coordinate. Seems like I do spend a lot of time on the backs which not everyone wants to do.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:32 PM
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Ya I thought about getting a bolt of white fabric or off white to quilt my backs with instead of using a solid "color" so that I know it match better.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:45 PM
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If I have a very busy or bright top, then I look for a subdued backing. I have pieced backings and like the look, too. In January, I go to Sears and JCPenney to see if they have any flannel sheet sets on sale. If I like one or two, I buy them at very discounted prices. There's a lot of flannel in twin, full or queen size sheets. I will also use 100% cotton sheets, 180 thread count or a poly/cotton blend as long as there is more cotton then poly.

There are times when I just see a fabric and know it will work for the backing! That's usually a more expensive way to pick backing, though.

All methods work, though!
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:12 PM
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I buy fabric on sale for backings. Connecting Threads has good sale prices. I also shop M & L in Anaheim whenever I visit my daughter. Usually I don't have a particular quilt in mind so I get 5-6 yards in colors that go with stash fabrics. That's usually enough for the size quilts I make. If it's a bit short I'll piece the back. Sometimes I piece the backing using leftovers from the front. I choose a backing that coordinates with the front but might not necessarily "match." And since my FMQ isn't that great (yet) I like a busy print.

Last edited by quiltsRfun; 01-26-2015 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:13 PM
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I usually buy a back with a pattern that will hide any mistakes I make quilting. I pick a colour that will look good with the binding on both sides. I also don't like to have to fiddle to get a perfectly balanced stitch so I pick a backing colour that the same thread looks good with both sides.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:49 PM
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I often piece my backing from leftover bits from the front. Love the idea of back art. Then I find something that fits with all of the fabrics I'm already using. As for thread, I like to use variegated thread that picks up a lot of the colors, or I'll go neutral. If I don't want to see the stitches, there is always monofilament.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:06 PM
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I try to use leftover fabrics/blocks from the top, along with similar fabrics to make a pieced back. It's also fun to do another pattern or design too~ I also like to use busy prints.
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