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Thread: A question regarding how much backing and batting to buy

  1. #1
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Unhappy A question regarding how much backing and batting to buy

    I just finished a lap quilt that measures 57wx70L. What size batting can I get away with and do you think 3-4 yards of backing will finish this quilt?

    Money is super tight right now so I don't want to waste anything in getting more then is actually needed but for the life of me and after looking at charts, I can't figure this out. I guess you could call it being in a brain freeze and I need help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member loisf's Avatar
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    My quilting calculator tells me that you should need 3 1/2 yards to 4 1/8 yards depending on which way you run the backing, so you might to able to make it. If you're a little short, you can always just add a strip of a coordinating fabric. Batting can be pieced with a zigzag stitch, so you might be able to use up some smaller pieces if you have them.

  3. #3
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    You need a minimum of 2" more on all 4 sides so your batting and backing should measure at least 61" x 74". If you are buying prepackaged batting, a twin size would do. If buying batting by the yard, 2 yards of 90" wide batting will be more than enough. I find that wide quilt backing fabrics or wide muslin is less expensive than regular 42" wide cottons. If you buy a wide fabric backing, 2 yards will be more than enough. I like to use old sheets for backs if I can find one in the right color, do you have a Goodwill or other Thrift Shop close to go find a sheet for a couple of dollars for the back??
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  4. #4
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I use the free Robert Kaufman app on my android phone or Ipad for backing, batting, borders and binding. It is the best thing next to sliced bread!
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    If money is tight, I usually pieced down the center using scraps so I only by the length that is needed. Batting if you are buying by the yard is usually 90" wide so just buy your width of your quilt.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I'd look for a new cotton sheet. Flat sheets can often be purchased for less than $15 in my part of Canada. In spite of what some quilters think, sheets do make excellent backs and are a lot cheaper than quilting fabric.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  7. #7
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    It all depends if you are sending It to a LAQ or mot. Most LAQs have batting and they require a certain extra length and width to the backing. If you are quilting it yourself 3 inches all around should do for the batting and backing.

  8. #8
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancyw View Post
    It all depends if you are sending It to a LAQ or mot. Most LAQs have batting and they require a certain extra length and width to the backing. If you are quilting it yourself 3 inches all around should do for the batting and backing.
    Exactly... I rent a LA to quilt my own but I still add 3 to 4 inches on each side so that it loads easily. When I used to send them to be quilted I believe they required even more than that. Besides a zig zag to join batting pieces, there is also a fusible tape that works well too.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  9. #9
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    Bet you have large pieces of batting left over from previous projects as well as a stash of fabrics including leftover pieces. They can be pieced into larger sizes as needed. The backings can look really sharp, like having another quilt on the back.

  10. #10
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    When hand quilting and using glue basting, it is not necessary to have so much excess backing and batting.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  11. #11
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    Roberta, We are making bunk bed quilts in this size for a children's home. I know this size is called a Lap Quilt, but it fits the bunk mattress well without too little or too much overhang. I am so glad you asked this question, and will save all 10 answers.

    Shelbie, I'm glad to see your answer about sheets for backing. Sheets have been used for many years, but somewhere along the way, someone wrote a negative article about using them, and it has become gospel, sort of like the Underground Railroad. Not all sheets are created equal, some heavier than others.

  12. #12
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    All of my backings come from clearance fabric at quilt shops or Fabric.com or Connecting Threads. I can usually get backing fabric for around $3-$4/yard and it looks great.

  13. #13
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I looked for a 100% cotton sheet at Wal-Mart recently and couldn't find one. They are all blended. Rats! Guess I'll have to go to thrift shop for 100% cotton now.
    TwandasMom

  14. #14
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    First - do you have bits and pieces left from making the top? I love working them into my backs - more interesting and then no waste! But, if not, get a cotton that is 42 - 44 wide and you will need 2 pieces. They need to be minimum 60" (1 2/3 yd) equals 3 1/3yards. I would feel safer with 3 1/2 yards. The other thing is that while it isn't the best thing and can be a bit more difficult to quilt - use a twin bed sheet. If you have a place like Tuesdays child or Anna's linens(I know they are now closed), they sell single sheets. You can get a nice quality sheet in many different colors or prints for $5. Put the money in your top! p.s. on the same line, you can use flannel or certain blankets from the discount stores for the batting. Think about history, they used what they had. Unless it is an heirloom item, use what you have.

  15. #15
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    I love using the robert kaufman quilting calculator ( it is a free app) It helps figure out batting and backing yardage as well as sashing, boarders and binding yardage. I love it and use it all the time

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda_Strand View Post
    I love using the robert kaufman quilting calculator ( it is a free app) It helps figure out batting and backing yardage as well as sashing, boarders and binding yardage. I love it and use it all the time
    Do you have a link for the app?

  17. #17
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I use sheets for backing all the time I do not care if they are a blend I hand quilt and have had no problems.

  18. #18
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    A little hint: I try to have at least 4 inch extra backing around the sandwich. That way, when I trim it, I can save the strip to make 2 or 21/2 inch strip for my next Bonnie Hunter quilt. On trouble is I have to be careful not to catch the extra underneath when I FMQ! This being said, I have noticed that some backing fabric seems thinner than quilting fabric.

  19. #19
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    I don't use an app, but there is a great free quilt calculator from Quilters Paradise that i use all the time. Just google quilt quilt calculator.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by My time View Post
    I don't use an app, but there is a great free quilt calculator from Quilters Paradise that i use all the time. Just google quilt quilt calculator.
    Thanks, I put that one in my favorites folder.

  21. #21
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    A common width is 36" (x 1 5/8 = 58 1/2", or x 2 = 72") so 3 1/4 yards cut in half and pieced will be just barely larger than your quilt top. This is actually a very efficient use of batting.
    For backing, it depends on how much you want around the edges when quilting. If you need 3 or 4 inches on each side, that makes the overall size 64 - 65 wide x 77 - 78 long. This means you will have one seam in your backing, and need either 2 x 65 = 130" (3 5/8 yd) or 2 x 78 = 156" (4 1/3 yd) depending on which way the seam goes.
    Retired math teacher --
    I CAN FIGURE IT OUT!

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