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Thread: This is making my head hurt!

  1. #1
    Member Kimarene's Avatar
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    This is making my head hurt!

    I want to piece the back for a quilt because (a) I don't have enough of a single fabric and (b) I want to use all my scraps from the front. I've never done this before.

    I am trying to figure out where the leftover pieces should go relative to the bigger pieces of fabric to make the back the size I need.

    I've been trying to lay it out on graph paper this morning, but am not having a lot of luck. I get to a certain point and my head hurts and my eyes cross! I am considering cutting the larger pieces of fabric into, say, 12 inch blocks or strips and just start sewing everything together. Or perhaps I should look for a pattern to use for the back and hope I have enough fabric.

    Thank you for ideas and/or tips.
    If I had known how much fun I could have quilting, I would have started 40 years ago!

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think it's easiest to cut wide strips of the larger pieces, then decide on a block size and make a strip of blocks (does not need to be the same size) to insert between the wide fabric strips. You could repeat this as needed to fill out the length. You could also use blocks just for part of a strip and fill out the rest with strips of fabric. Off-center the blocks. This would make for an interesting back that is not too much work.

  3. #3
    Member Kimarene's Avatar
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    Thank you, Prism99! I'll just screw my courage to the sticking post and start cutting!
    If I had known how much fun I could have quilting, I would have started 40 years ago!

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Make a big square patch backing. Sew all the scrap pieces into big square pieces and then alternate the scrap squares with backing fabric squares. I do it this way to use up big scrap pieces and it makes a great backing fabric.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    You really want the least amount of seams on the backing. Remember, you have all the seams on your top and sometimes when quilting if a top seam and a back seam met, you might have trouble with the stitching because of the bulk. Also, the more seams the less fabric you have to work with. If you should ever catch the PBS show Quilt in a Day (also on the RFD), one of EB assistant is Sue Bouchard who ALWAYS uses up all her leftovers for piecing the back of her quilts. EB will always show the backs of Sue's quilts on the TV show.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
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    I do the same as Prism. I turn the spare fabric into squares and run them lengthwise down the back to make up the width. I never try to place it in the exact center, I always try to place it to one side maybe 8-12 inches from the edge on the left or right.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    there's a free class at craftsy on creative quilt backs:

    http://www.craftsy.com/classes/quilt...=quilting/free
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I used scraps on the back of this one. the front was diamonds with wide orange borders. I just put the scraps together and added orange fabric to top and bottom. then to the sides for enough backing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Junior Member Sailorwoman's Avatar
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    There are several good tutorials if you look on Google for pieced backing. Here is one that looks quite good:http://christaquiltsblog.com/2013/07...king-tutorial/

  10. #10
    Junior Member QuiltnMyra's Avatar
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    I love playing around with pieced backs Kim and once you start it tends to get a bit addictive. Am attaching some of mine to give you a bit of encouragement. Good luck.
    Attached Images Attached Images





    Mary B

  11. #11
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Boy, those backs are beautiful. I may have to get creative and try something different....WoW!!!

    Dina

  12. #12
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    Check out the book by Elizabeth Hartman titled Modern Patchwork. 12 patterns are given and there are suggestions for pieced backings, too. There are some very neat ideas in that book!

  13. #13
    Senior Member littlebitoheaven's Avatar
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    This is how I handled a similar problem. Saw this pattern on this site and used it and it worked. Good luck. This is very easy!

    Name:  Red Quilt Back.JPG
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Size:  61.6 KB

  14. #14
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I have many times pieced my backs to making it large enough. If I have any left over blocks I'll put those together to make a row. I made a Row Robin quilt this year where I enlarged the blocks I'd made to put on the back. I also used large sections of fabric colors I pulled from the blocks on the front. I did draw it out on graph paper first, but that was quite general in size. I know some long armers don't like a pieced back, but I fmq all my quilts, so it doesn't matter to me.

  15. #15
    pw6
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    make TWO quilt tops and use one for the back that way they have two quilts in one, works for tablecloths as well.. palcemats etc.. they do not have to match, you really don't want it to match. like different seasons.. Christmas or thanksgiving and so on.. enjoy

  16. #16
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    Go on John Flynn's website and he has a formula for a backing piecing.

  17. #17
    Member Kimarene's Avatar
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    Thank you, everyone! Lots of great ideas and I appreciate all of you taking the time to post. This is the best forum ever!
    If I had known how much fun I could have quilting, I would have started 40 years ago!

  18. #18
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    This blogger did a great tutorial/pattern for a really cute pieced back that would be easy to duplicate. http://catbirdquilts.wordpress.com/2...al-fast-backs/

  19. #19
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    In my advanced years and limited 3 years of quilting, I decided that the back of every quilt would be as interesting as the front so that I could just flip flop them if I wanted to do so. So, I always make the backs as much fun as the front. Here is my patriotic quilt that I got the basic quilt from Connecting Threads and then did my own thing with it. Maybe this will help. I have patch-worked the backs, designed backs with left over blocks from the fronts, made a totally different quilt on the back, husband wanted fleece on one of his OSU quilts so it is soft and wonderful and fluffy. The back of this one was two major pieces of backing with a beautiful row of left over stars that I had fussy cut for the blocks on the front of the quilt.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by QuiltingHaven; 11-04-2013 at 06:30 PM.
    Busy in Ohio

  20. #20
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    After seeing a documentary on Gees Bend quilts I was inspired to piece the back of a quilt without much planning. I just started sewing my leftover pieces together until it fit the top. I love the unexpected look of the back. I also really enjoyed the sewing with no planning approach, especially when it turned out so well. Enjoy the creating...it's fun!

  21. #21
    Super Member 1screech's Avatar
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    I just started sewing it together and when I got it wide enough, I started sewing on the end.

  22. #22
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    I love making my backs with left over fabric from the front. I just make it up as I go along. It usually comes out great. The people I give my quilts sometimes like the back just as much as the front.

  23. #23
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    If you are sending quilt out to long armer ask if they are prepared to quilt a pieced backing. I know one who after breaking numerous needles refuses to do another one. The needle kept breaking over the seams where the back and front matched . All the layers were too thick. If you are doing it yourself go carefully.
    This sounds as if I don't like pieced backing which is not true as I frequently do them.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I usually draw a diagram. It helps me to see it rather than going through a bunch of figures.

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that more seams in the back can be a problem--on the long arm seams can cause problems if front & back line up on the seams. Also, if you want the back pieced design to line up in a specific way, you need to be very accurate--mark both top and back centers with a pin woven it it (alert your LA) so that it works.

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