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Thread: Let's Talk Pieced Backings...

  1. #1
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    For the quilts I've made so far, I've either bought wide backing (108" ), or used one of the fabrics that is in the quilt and just sewn it together to make a piece big enough for the backing.

    Having just rapidly grown my stash to sizeable proportions, most of the material that I have now is around 2 yards in size -- that's not going to be enough to make a backing from a single material, as I generally make larger quilts. And I don't want to spend money trying to find an extra large backing that will go with the rest of the quilt. So it sounds like I will need to start piecing backings.

    For those of you that piece backings, what do you normally do? It seems like it should be a much simpler pattern than the front, yes? Do you try to match the front of quilt in any way? How intricate do you get with the back?

    And for those of you using longarms that have dealt with this, is it difficult to make it so that the backing pattern isn't lopsided or off-kilter (on the frame), either vertically or horizontally? Any tips?

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I have a large King top done that I need to send out to quilt. The blocks are 16" and too big to handle on a domestic and the pattern I want I need to work the whole block at one time. It's too big for wide fabric to cover all of it, let alone the extra width on the side for a longarm so I will need to piece it. It's a simple pattern of a rectangle in a square (Happy Hour I think it was called). I was thinking of the back just making one big rectangle in the square.

    I neve thought of how easy/difficult it will be for the longarm quilter to make sure it's straight. I'll have to ask her.

    Sue

  3. #3

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    would a king size sheet be large enough? i like them for backs sometimes.

  4. #4
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    Thank you asking your question. I would also like to know this information.

  5. #5
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    Great question. I think it's going to be a matter of personal preference more than anything on how each of us does our backing. As for me, I am still a fan of muslin. I often use top quality muslin for my backing. I get so many compliments on the quilts I give as gifts that the back of the quilt is so soft and comfy when they snuggle up under it. (Most of my quilts are lap quilts.). If I don't use muslin, I use whatever neutral fabric I used in the quilt top for the backing. Either way, I just piece together whatever I have to make the back big enough. Because it's all the same fabric, there is no pattern to the piecing. I just need to make it large enough.

  6. #6
    Member SharonG's Avatar
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    I use a sheet for larger quilt backing.

  7. #7
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    I sometimes piece my backings and I don't think I have ever had a problem. Yes, you can use a sheet. If you do a sheet backing search I am sure you will find more info.

  8. #8
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I am glad you asked this too. I am trying to be more frugal, and buying the larger backing can be expensive!

  9. #9

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    flannel sheets work too, really soft & cuddly. but wash them first!

  10. #10
    Super Member Enchanted Quilter's Avatar
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    I piece alot of my backs especially for flannel and I don't have a problem w/my longarm as long as they are pressed open no ridges.

  11. #11
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    I will use acrapes of material for my backing eaither from the project I am working on or material from my stach that will work. I also will use sheets, they make great backings and are cheaper in many cases for backing. I know the wuilt stores will always not to do this, but do not forget they are in the business of selling material. As a long armer I will tell my customers that if they do have a peiced backing I cannot always guarntee that it will be perfectly sq. I love have a story on the back of my quilts as well as on the front.

  12. #12
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i almost always use the scraps from the quilt i made into the backing either using over sized blocks or just piecing them together with other fabrics if needed

  13. #13
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    The yardage requirements for the lap-size quilt I'm working on now weren't clear at all and I purchased way too much fabric. I took advantage of my mistake and made a D9P for the backing. I've almost finished FMQ it and haven't had any problems at all.

  14. #14
    Super Member QuiltQtrs's Avatar
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    Have made alot of pieced backings using large pieced blocks either
    in a row down center of backing, or randomly placed. (If in center the
    quilter will have no problem "centering"). Good way to use up your stash,
    and have a reversible quilt, more or less.

  15. #15
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    I've done a couple of different things. On one log cabin, I made the backing one giant log cabin block. When I have leftover blocks (or material to make a few more) from the quilt top, I make a strip of those (either horizontal or vertical) to connect two smaller widths of fabric together. I have even taken odd-sized leftovers and just pieced until I had a large enough piece for backing. I buy wide backing, but only when its a deal too good to pass up.

  16. #16
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Squaring your backing, pressing seams open & starching it heavily will help a pieced backing tremendously. Keeping it taut but not tight on the frame will keep it from skewing.

    I have more trouble with dirty batting than pieced backings on my frame. Make sure there are no selvages left on the backing in the area to be quilted. I've left them on before and my needle did not like them one bit--too dense.

  17. #17
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I almost always piece my backs. I try to make it so that the back doesn't have to line up with anything on front. I haven't had a problem going over the seams, either with my DSM or my longarm.

    Here are two of my more intricately pieced backs; both have log cabins on the front. The first was quilted in sections on my DSM and the 2nd on my longarm.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-23612-1.htm
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-82165-1.htm

    And here's one that's not so intricately pieced:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-22410-1.htm

  18. #18
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    Beautiful quilts as usual. I really like your pieced backings. Thanks for sharing.

  19. #19
    davidwent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonG
    I use a sheet for larger quilt backing.
    Me too, always bought from SA or Goodwill
    David

  20. #20
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Some go for simple backs, some look like another quilt top. It all depends on what you like. If you hand quilt, you may want to consider how many seams you want to quilt through though :D:D:D

  21. #21
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    As a LRQ I can tell you what I have run into... Almost all quilts come with some sort of pieced backing... If one seam in the backing it should be horizonal... because the seam should lay on the roller ... evenly distributing the backing.. I know there are lots of ways to piece a back and one says to take the width of the fabric and run it lengthwize down the fabrid and take the 2nd and cut in half and place on both side of the 1st piece.. problem for LRQ is the 2 seams build up on the backing roller and you really have to watch the backing for a dip in the fabric. It would actually be better to make the bigger squares , I think you said 17" for all over the back at least the seams would be distributed all over and not in just 2 areas as said above. Sheets.... I haven't had a problem with them but if it were my quilt I'd want a very good quality... and wash them first to see if they really are straight.. that seem to be the biggest problem. I'd rather see my clients go to the fabric store and purchase the sale fabric at 50% off for backing than use a sheet but I also don't discourage them ... I want them to do what they want.... I'm always looking in the sale fabric for backing....
    My 2 cents.
    judy

  22. #22
    cjr
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    Super Member cjr's Avatar
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    My backings vary. Have not purchased extra wide fabric for backing. mine are always pieced. I usually do not purchase specific fabric for backs, try to use my stash.

  23. #23
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    After piecing my top, I for one do not want to have to piece the back. I try to find good deals on 108" wide backing fabric and buy about 10 yards. I also don't have to worry about lining up the backing seams. I am not a muslin or sheet fan, so wide backing is for me.

  24. #24
    Super Member adrianlee's Avatar
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    One of the recent quilts I made I pieced the backing. The front of the quilt is Garfields and the back is fabric with cat related designs.

    Back of Garfield quilt
    Name:  Attachment-166511.jpe
Views: 18
Size:  89.5 KB

  25. #25
    Senior Member 1barron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    I have a large King top done that I need to send out to quilt. The blocks are 16" and too big to handle on a domestic and the pattern I want I need to work the whole block at one time. It's too big for wide fabric to cover all of it, let alone the extra width on the side for a longarm so I will need to piece it. It's a simple pattern of a rectangle in a square (Happy Hour I think it was called). I was thinking of the back just making one big rectangle in the square.

    I neve thought of how easy/difficult it will be for the longarm quilter to make sure it's straight. I'll have to ask her.


    Speaking as a long-armed quilter, the less seams on the back the better. Also, if you make a pattern for the back, it make be off because of how it goes in the frame. As a quilt top maker, I'd use as large as pieces as possible in a crazy kind of way. Word of caution about the back color, make sure that it doesn't show though to the front when layered.

    Sue

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