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Quilt Backs, I'm Curious. How Do You Decide on Fabric and Make Yours?

Quilt Backs, I'm Curious. How Do You Decide on Fabric and Make Yours?

Old 03-22-2019, 09:47 AM
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Default Quilt Backs, I'm Curious. How Do You Decide on Fabric and Make Yours?

I was wondering how everyone here decided on quilt backing fabric. I work on one quilt top at a time and I don't buy quilt backing fabric until my top is almost done or completely done. It takes me a while to decide what I want to put on the back. I also like to piece my backing fabric with some blocks from the top or just pieces of fabric from the top. In one case I used completely different fabric just to add a bit of interest to the back. I try to make this insert the center of the quilt back and that really helps when I'm basting my sandwich together. It gives me a sense of where my center should go. I should also say that I make smallish quilts nothing larger than 80" on any one side what I call lap quilts with a twin size batting.


So I was wondering, do you shop stash for your backing fabric, do you agonize over what to use on the back like I do, and do you piece your back with fun blocks or other fabric?

Lets talk about quilt backs.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:59 AM
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I make a lot of donation quilts. Piecing a back is not something that I want to do for them. We make them so a single width of fabric works.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:15 AM
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Some quilts choose their own backs and refuse to be quilted with what you chose. Some quilts could care less about the backs, "just cover me...", other quilts will deal with whatever I choose.

I tend to like coordinating backs that I can insert blocks or leftovers from the front in.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:16 AM
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It completely depends on the quilt and the quilt's ultimate use as well as if I have ample time. I seem to like peiced backings and wide (108") fabrics equally when it comes to backing. I do have some stash of wide muslin and a couple of neutral wides that I turn to fairly regularly and a few pieces of wide batik that I am saving for something special down the road, but what that something special is, hasn't even been conceived of yet, let alone made. I don't tend to buy wide backing for a specific quilt (but I have on a couple of occasions). If I need more wide back fabric I will buy enough of it to do several quilts in a neutral color. If I have time and inclination I will piece a scrap quilt for a backing that may or may not have fabrics from the front. I like doing pieced backings because it 1. Helps me deplete my scraps and 2. Gives me a two for one double sided quilts and 3 I love to piece so I get more peicing in.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:52 AM
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For big quilts I use wide backs and I try to coordinate the colours so the binding matches both sides. I will piece backs if they are small and I can use up a couple of smaller pieces. Right now I will use all the extra bits leftover from a flannel quilt top on the back.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:05 AM
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I often piece backs (have never bought wide backing - no particular reason). I try to coordinate the colors with the front when I can, but I also buy bolts of neutral colors when on sale and use that on all sorts of projects. I donít lose sleep over what the backs look like and youíre right, with a little extra work itís a great way to use up some orphan blocks.

That being said, many of my quilts wind up in some pretty chilly corners of the world and I like to splurge on minky or fleece. I have no misconceptions that my quilts are an heirloom masterpiece, but sometimes I do wonder about the longevity of these synthetic materials. We have yet to have 50 year old fleece quilts hanging around!
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:45 AM
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Good discussion! Sometimes I buy wide backing specifically for the quilt, usually if it is a Queen sized quilt. For smaller quilts I often use one of the fabrics from the front of the quilt. On a recent quilt, I pieced a good portion of the back, as I wanted to use of some of the coordinating fabric from the front of the quilt. (Plus it was fun!). For a recent baby quilt I used a prized flannel blanket that was my daughter's baby blanket as the backing for the quilt. Sometimes I buy fabric I fall in love with, but would not use in a pieced top. I guess it depends on each quilt, the size, and planned use.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:54 AM
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I make double sided quilts, for instance all my Bonnie Hunter mystery's have mysteries on both sides.
Merely a matter of taste in some respects. And I love using my stash.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:59 AM
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I used to think they had to match. Now I just make sure it has a back. Many have tone on tone white or off-white. (I just went through all of the pictures and nearly every one is white except for a few with fall themes.)

A while ago I made a blue Boxed Squares and did not have enough of any one piece, so I put three sections together. It came out quite well.
Attached Thumbnails dark-ice-back.jpg  

Last edited by Boston1954; 03-22-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:00 PM
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Maybe I had better show you the front.
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