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Thread: I'm not too fussy about backing fabric--R U?

  1. #1
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    I grew up with handmade quilts from the 1920s and '30s and the backs were pieced together just like the tops.
    So I don't get upset if I have to piece my backings, even if it's with non-matching fabric.
    Granted, I don't make quilts to be judged. If I did I would, of course, be more careful about it.
    But I overheard a lady at my LQS saying how she didn't buy enough of her backing fabric, and was having trouble finding more, etc. (I don't know if she make quilts for judging.)
    But it got me thinking if I'm too casual about my quilt backings?
    How about the rest of you?
    Do you panic if your backing on non-judging quilts can't be all the same fabric?

  2. #2
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    No I don't. I am working on one right now that has 3 pieces. Now I did try a bit for it to conform to the front. The front is lots of tans and browns. The back is two pieces of dark brown with light tan between. From a distance it might look like an Oreo cookie.

    I just don't get that exited about the backs because I am not making these to be judged by anyone. (I entered a show one time, and no more). They are to leave to my family. I have a system wherein they will draw numbers from a bowl and that will determine which quilt they will get. I want it to be fair.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I've never pieced a backing, just used one fabric. Now, that's not saying I'll never do it in the future. In fact, having the backside different from the front is appealing.

  4. #4
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    i don't worry about them either, i try to use left over pieces from the front into the back..mixed with white muslin, or whatever i have on had.

    i do use matching fabric for the backs of babys quilts..

    i can't afford to use the wide backs or regular fabric to use on the backs..some take 5 or 6 yards..too much money.
    muslin works just fine..

  5. #5
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    I use a wide width muslin on the back. I hand quilt and find my stitches show much better on a plain muslin back. I don't care for the printed fabric on the back because the quilting pattern and stitches get lost.

  6. #6
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    No I don't. However, I try to use wide backing so I won't have to piece it. I am working on a quilt now that is about 48"x60" and the fabric I bought for the back is 45". I plan on using fabric from the front and piece a row of squares and will split the 45" and add the row in the center. I may cut strips and cut them in half and sew together for the center back.

  7. #7
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathie_R
    I use a wide width muslin on the back. I hand quilt and find my stitches show much better on a plain muslin back. I don't care for the printed fabric on the back because the quilting pattern and stitches get lost.
    Considering what my stitches look like, I think I would prefer it.
    :lol:

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have pieced the backs and thought they looked very nice :D:D:D

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Show quilt or not, I'm just as fussy about the backing as I am about the front. It only makes sense to me to care enough to do my very best on the whole quilt, not just on the front of it. My backs are always pieced, but in a design of some sort like a repeat of the border design or seminole piecing running top to bottom in one or more strips and it always coordinates with the front.

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Non-experience speaking here:

    I wouldn't mind piecing the fabric to cover a wider quilt. Wouldn't even mind using different fabrics but the would have to coordinate somehow with the front.

    I was thinking along the lines of what Boston1954 - fabric split by blocks made from leftover fabric from the front. We know we almost always have some kind of fabric left over.

  11. #11
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    If it's a lap quilt, throw quilt, or bed quilt, I try to be creative with the backing. I usually have one fabric that I'll use. I haven't pieced any together yet, but I'm sure I will in the future.

    On the other hand, for wall hangings, table toppers, etc. I always use muslin. Unless someone turns the table topper over, no one is going to be gazing on the quilting stitches on the back. That way I save good fabric for another use.

  12. #12
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    I used to make the backings perfectly match the front or at least nicely compliment it. Then I went to a class and she had quilts she used the leftover fabric from the front in odd sized squares,e tc. Came out really nice. Or if you demand excellance you can make even blocks etc. And then the show quilts....Last year I pieced the back to match the front and actually passes the scrutiny of the judges and still got a check+. Whatever trips our triggers, I guess

  13. #13
    JJs
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    I use either wide fabric, pieced one fabric (say 5 yards of one fabric), or horrors - a sheet...
    I had a woman say to me, "The back should be as good as the front - think about it, what gets the most WEAR - the front or back?".... she's right, the back is what gets the most wear...
    I try to co-ordinate the front and back with regard to color and if I use a floral print (or other print) it 'goes with' what's on front - I don't want anything jarring, or incongruous... or slapdash...

  14. #14
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I try to make it look nice, all matching, but it really doesnt have tobe all the same fabric. My stuff isnt for judging either. When I do a charity quilt, I usually use a cotton sheet for the back...love it, because its always big enough!

  15. #15
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I mostly use sheets. I know, the quilt police don't approve, but they wear like iron and I don't hand quilt. Even if I have a large enough sheet, however, I usually at the very least create an off center stripe on the back with scraps from the front. Just a little signature thing. Some quilts I just use the whole sheet. And sometimes I have to make the stripe because I'm using scraps from other sheets I've used for backs.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJs
    ... think about it, what gets the most WEAR - the front or back?"
    That's true. I never gave it any thought. But I have to say the quilts we had as kids never fell apart, even with the pieced backings.

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    wow, thanks for the comments on this thread, I learn something new every day

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    No I don't. However, I try to use wide backing so I won't have to piece it. I am working on a quilt now that is about 48"x60" and the fabric I bought for the back is 45". I plan on using fabric from the front and piece a row of squares and will split the 45" and add the row in the center. I may cut strips and cut them in half and sew together for the center back.
    It might look more interesting if you made two rows of squares and put one on each side - backing-squares-backing-squares-backing

    Of just offset them to one side. wide section-squares-narrow section

    Some of the more interesting backs are pieced.

    I am, however, "fussy" about having it be flat and pressing it before using it.

  19. #19
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    I use whatever I have on hand for the backing, but I do like to coordinate with the front. Some are pieced, some aren't, some are reversible and some are just muslin!

  20. #20
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    I just finished one, piecing the back with the left-over fabrics from the quilt top, my first time to do this. But, I recently joined a quilt club with very accomplished quilters (not me), but they had done this on several quilts that they brought for "show and tell." I'm sure they don't do this with quilts that are to be judged. But some of them are very cute the way they arrange the leftovers. Lots of creativity in that club!!

  21. #21
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I also tend to be fussy about my backing. I match it to the fabrics in the front. I put so much work into them I'm particular that they're "just right" in my eyes. I do piece them on occasion, but if the fabric matches the front, that's fine. I but LQS quality fabric yardage on sale just for the backing in mind.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    i don't worry about them either, i try to use left over pieces from the front into the back..mixed with white muslin, or whatever i have on had.

    i do use matching fabric for the backs of babys quilts..

    i can't afford to use the wide backs or regular fabric to use on the backs..some take 5 or 6 yards..too much money.
    muslin works just fine..

    Ditto for me!

  23. #23
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathie_R
    I use a wide width muslin on the back. I hand quilt and find my stitches show much better on a plain muslin back. I don't care for the printed fabric on the back because the quilting pattern and stitches get lost.
    I agree. That's what I use. Then I don't have to worry about matching the front! My quilts are meant to be used and the back does not show if you're sleeping under it. :lol: If I used a print backing then that would be one more thing I have to worry about matching the front!

  24. #24
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    The things I panic about are not whether a quilt has a solid backing or different fabrics :D
    Noooo, I save my panic for other things lololol
    Since joining this board I've begun to think more about using up what I have rather than constant buying, which I did for quite a few years. The economy has hit us like lots of others and I'm kinda frugal by nature (except when it comes to fabric hahaha)
    I'm currently backing a basket quilt I made with several different fabrics in my stash and feel good about it. :D
    If I use coordinating fabrics(which I am) it can be reversible too!

  25. #25
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use this method of making quilt backing. It's easy to piece any part of this method and it looks professional.

    How to make a piece backing

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