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Thread: How to make back fabric piece large at front

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    How to make back fabric piece large at front

    When I make a quilt front..I just make it until I like what I see...meaning not always makeing it a specific size but just build from center out or top to bottom until it is the size I want. Making blocks different sizes is usually how it starts.
    Anyway...I finish the front and then go for the back fabric...and just regular fabric (42-44" wide) is not wide enough. It is usually at least 6 inches on each side to short. Top to bottom is usually okay... My goal is a twin size quilt.

    So the only way I have figured to make the back equal to the front...is to get a matching color fabric, solid or print. and add a 6" border to each side. Well, that done...it now looks silly to have the border on the sides, and not the top and bottom...so I add there as well. Now it all fits or possibly the back larger than the front but I can cut that back. But..to me..this just looks like exactly what it is...a quilt made to small and the border added to make it bigger. It just screams "MISTAKE" to me to have the back "framed" like this. Currently I have a fabric with horses running in a field...beautiful, and of course to small so if intend to add green "borders" to match the green grass on the print. I have an eagle's flying in the sky fabric..same thing..back to small so I add matching blue and "frame" the eagles fabric with it.

    I guess it looks okay if it is given to someone that doesn't quilt, but to me...it looks like I was fixing a mistake.

    I know I should do more with measurements and all, but I am not that good at it and by the time I have done the math..the blocks don't end up matching that anyway which is why I just make the blocks, then sash it and then deal with the back.

    Does anyone have any other ideas about how to make the back fabric larger? I have only seen where they cut the back in 1/4ths and do a sashing inbetween the four pieces to make it larger, but I dont like that much..I prefer a back with no seams. Thanks for any suggestions

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    If you want a back with no seams then you need to buy extra width fabric (I think it comes in 120" ... I don't remember!).

    You could also piece the back with two pieces of fabric sideways. If it's a large print I like to match the print, if it's a small print it doesn't bother me.

    Or ... instead of two strips down each side ... run a single strip down the middle. Of course when you do this you need to center it so it doesn't look wonky.

    Or ... piece the whole thing from large scraps of the fabric from the top. I've seen lots of lovely backs that were just large squares or rectangles pieced together.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  3. #3
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    If I'm just a few inches short, I use this method of diagonal piecing.
    http://www.multi-patch.com/html/fabric_calc.php

  4. #4
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    If you want a back with no seams then you need to buy extra width fabric (I think it comes in 120" ... I don't remember!).

    You could also piece the back with two pieces of fabric sideways. If it's a large print I like to match the print, if it's a small print it doesn't bother me.

    Or ... instead of two strips down each side ... run a single strip down the middle. Of course when you do this you need to center it so it doesn't look wonky.

    Or ... piece the whole thing from large scraps of the fabric from the top. I've seen lots of lovely backs that were just large squares or rectangles pieced together.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I am a very tailored kind of quilter and having so many "pieces" on the back is just to me...makes it look like I used scraps to make it and scraps on the front and just to much "scrap" theme. I have not seen fabric larger than the 44"wide...I only have JOann's to shop at. And no...I dare not try the strip down the middle...to much a chance that it would get wonky! I don't do strips because of this either!

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Joann's carries 90 inch and 103 inch in our local stores and online.

  6. #6
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    Craftsy has a free class and quilt backs called "Creative Quilt Backs

    http://www.craftsy.com/class/creative-quilt-backs/117

  7. #7
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luana View Post
    If I'm just a few inches short, I use this method of diagonal piecing.
    http://www.multi-patch.com/html/fabric_calc.php
    INteresting. I'll keep this in mind, but my problem is that I can only get fabric that is 44" wide. There is always going to be an short back of the main fabric. I guess I just need to adjust my "standards" and not think of it as "addition" but as "part of"..in this case I am going to tell my GD that I am making the quilt for that the green (that I added) is part of hte meadow the horses are running in. I was just hoping for a less mathematical way of doing it!

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I use 44 inch wide fabric for my backs. I piece it. If it's all the same fabric by the time it's quilted it looks like one piece of fabric.

  9. #9
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    You may be overthinking it. I think a border around the edges of your back would look really attractive and be a real design feature.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  10. #10
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    If you go to www.maryquilts.com there is a pattern for a 4 piece backing which is off-centered that looks neat. Best of all, it's FREE!
    Sue

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeebreak View Post
    INteresting. I'll keep this in mind, but my problem is that I can only get fabric that is 44" wide.
    You should be able to use 44" fabric for this technique, it WILL work. Don't be scared by the math, it's quite simple once you grasp the concept.

    Pretend this rectangle is 44" wide. Not wide enough for your backing, right?


    Notice carefully what happens when you cut diagonally, slide the piece on the bottom left UP, and the piece on the upper right DOWN. The width of the rectangle (your fabric) gets WIDER.



    It also gets shorter, which you will have to take into account. But, this is a good, reliable way of making 44" fabric wide enough to use for a backing.
    Last edited by Peckish; 11-17-2012 at 04:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Also - when you go to Joann's (any fabric store), ask the employees where they keep the 108" wide fabric. I've seen it at Joann's.

  13. #13
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    There are lots of stores online that sell wide width fabric for backing.

    http://www.fabric.com/quilting-fabri...Source=LeftNav

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    if you have a twin top-say 63" x 72" you buy 4 yards of fabric for your backing- cut it in half---now you have 2 pieces 72" x 40" (or so) sew them together---now it's 72" X 80"...Quilt your quilt trim to size, bind--and you have some scraps to add to your stash...you do not have to add borders if you don't like the look- do some math & buy what you need to make your back fit. or you can always purchase wide backs- they are available from 90" wide up to 120" ...some people like scrappy pieced backs- some like them to look whole. if you piece like the first example when it is quilted it is pretty much impossible to tell it's not a whole piece.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    Thousandsofbolts.com has lots of 108" wide quilt backing material.

  16. #16
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    I use to work for an Interior Design workroom. When we made bedspreads and coverlets we would run 2 seams longways of the piece. We would center one width of fabric then split the other width and sew one on each side of the middle one. That stopped it from looking off center and made it very tailored.

  17. #17
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    You could also buy flat sheets to use for backing.

  18. #18
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    our group did a medalion quilt that just kept growing on the back we put in a band of fabric 6. wide off set to the left vertically and below center horazontally where they intersected we fitted a lable---it looked great

  19. #19
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    go to John Flynn's web site. I believe it is undr workshops. He has a method for piecing the back on the diagonal in which you add a certain number of inches to the length cut on the diagonal and then slide one side down to increase the width. It works great and sure saves fabric.

  20. #20
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Here are few ideas for enlarging a regular size (44" wide) fabric backing.

    Jan in VA
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    Jan in VA
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  21. #21
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I did a quilt for my nephew and had that problem - I had some extra blocks that I did not use on the front. I slit the bake about 1/3 of the way left to right and inserted the blocks - looked like I planned it and gave the back some pizzaz!
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    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  22. #22
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Why not make a few extra blocks and put them on he back in a design format . I do this and it does get rid of those extra pieces of fabric you did not need for the front.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  23. #23
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    See reply #20 from Jan in VA. I've seen this before and I copied/pasted her diagrams. It is now inside my book, Over Easy by Lerlene Nevaril, for later use. The book is also a great resource for piecing the backs of quilts.

  24. #24
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    Awesome solution!! Thanks for the link!
    Laura

  25. #25
    Senior Member rj.neihart's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't see the back with extra colors as a mistake. I see it all as a work of art, creative, and not one person has ever complained. It's original - one of a kind - and could be reversible! My hand quilting is very creative....

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