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Thread: Pieced Backings

  1. #1
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    Pieced Backings

    I need to piece the backing for a recent quilt and stitch 1/2 inch seams. I will starch and press the seam after piecing.

    Have you/would you top stitch down the seam line? Press the seam open or to one side? Seam line horizontal or vertical? The quilt is 50x 50 so the backing will be 60x60. I purchased 4 yards of fabric so should have plenty.

    Of course, I can check with the long-armer next week. It's just been a while since I finished a quilt and forget the details of piecing the back.

    Thanks for your help and/or suggestions.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Longarmers prefer the seams to be horizontal.

    I would press to the side and would not top stitch.

  3. #3
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    i would press to the side and not topstitch.

  4. #4
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    I do my own quilts and do use a 1/2" seam when seaming the backing. I iron the seam open. I do the seam on the horizontal. I didn't think it would matter, and I did a seam on the vertical. It made sense to do it that way because I needed about 80" width for the backing and that way I only had to sew 1 seam. It was a big mistake. Every time I rolled the quilt on the Longarm frame, the center got higher and looser on each side of it. I fought that quilt to get it to stitch evenly. I now, either do a diagonal seam now or a horizontal one when I piece the backing.
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  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    if possible the seam should be horizontal, but with a quilt that small, the long armer can load it on the frame turned 90 degrees so in this case, it probably doesn't matter. I use a half inch seam and press open. Remember to remove the selvedges from the seamed edge. I usually do about a 1" seam, then cut both selvedges off.
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  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    The Longarmers that I have dealt with ask for it to be horizontal with 1/2" seam, pressed open.
    (agree with PaperPrincess, that shouldn't be an issue, as they can load it with the 90 turn.)

    As you can see there are different thoughts as to what to do with a pieced backing.

    .... you really would be best to speak directly with your LA'er and do it the way s/he wants done!
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  7. #7
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    I do a 1/2 seam and press it to one side.

    Rotating the quilt is only a problem if you want an all over pattern that is directional. I have several that are up and down, and it would look really silly to put them on a quilt so they went left/right. I've done several edge to edge from top to bottom instead of side to side, and they look fine.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for your thoughts and help. I am using the uncorked line of fabric and just realized it is directional. It will look best with the lines running up and down.

    I will check with the longarmer to make sure she can rotate the quilt. I always mark the backing with TOP and BOTTOM arrows so it is oriented correctly.

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    Since everyone seems to fold quilts right down the middle, I figure I'd reinforce it on that backing seam. I sew 1/2 inch seam allowance, press it open and then stitch on each side of the seam about 1/4 inch from the seam. I match the fabric, so it's not too easy to see. Since I longarm it myself, I prefer the bulk on that seam to be open. They are charity or baby quilts, so I'm hoping they will be well used. So, reinforcing that seam just seems right to me. And, yes...horizontal seam........it's too hard for me to roll those guys and prevent puckers, etc. when the seam is vertical.

  10. #10
    mac
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    Several of you have commented on making a '1/2" seam' for the backing. Is there a special reason to do this? I usually just do a 1/4" seam and never thought about making it wider? Does this make the back seam stronger or last longer?? Just wondering...

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I use 5/8" to 1" seam when I piece quilt backings. Since I usually have plenty of fabric I think a larger seam is better. I FMQ my own quilts on 9" throat machines.
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  12. #12
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I like a 1/2" seam (or slightly larger) and pressed open--do be sure to trim off the selvedge as it won't shrink the same rate of the rest of the backing. I always load it on the frame horizontally so it doesn't create sags that lead to puckers.

  13. #13
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    I use the serger to piece my backings and press the seams to the side. There are no problems as to whether the seams are vertical or horizontal, too.

  14. #14
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    Nora B, Thanks for your tip especially since you long-arm your quilts too. Nice to know that method works too.

    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiger View Post
    I use the serger to piece my backings and press the seams to the side. There are no problems as to whether the seams are vertical or horizontal, too.
    Do you use a 3 or 4 thread stitch on the serger? I could set mine up and use it.

    Mac, The quilter I use said to use a 1/2 inch seam for backings. I think it would be less likely to come apart with all the pulling and tugging that happens with quilting.

    Jingle, Thanks! Oh my that 5/8 inch seam again! It was hard for me to get the 1/4 inch seam down after using the 5/8 inch seam. Good to know it will work too.

    QST, Yes to the selvages off. I match and mark the two pieces first so I don't get confused before cutting.

    Thanks again!

  15. #15
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    I always trim my selvedges. I use the trimmings to tie up veggies in the garden because they are so strong. I have a special hook in the pantry to hang them until needed.

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