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Thread: Scrappy Backing

  1. #1
    Junior Member The Bag Lady's Avatar
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    I have made a wallhanging and when I took it to the quilt shop to get fabric for the border the lady said why do't you make a scrappy backing. I was wondering if any of you have ever done this. Do you have to use the same fabric s as in the quilt and what size squares do you make etc.

    I am definitely going to make a scrappy binding after it is quilted and I am going to use the fabrics that are in the wallhanging. So, I may not have enough of the same fabrics for both the backing and the binding. Any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member katiescraftshop's Avatar
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    When I did this I measured the back, divided into squares and used any scraps that could be cut to that size. It's like having a 2nd quilt on the back. I love the look of a scrap quilt so I never worry out them matching. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I've made many scrappy quilt backings. One large quilt backing was made of 10" squares of different fabrics, you could use your scraps with a neutral for backing, but you could use anything you like, no rule that the backing needs to match the front. May in Jersey

  4. #4
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    They call is back art at my quilting guild and anything goes :)

  5. #5
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I've done a couple of scrappy backings. One I measured and actually had a block in the middle of the backing, the other was just random size rectangles of fabrics that coordinated with the front. But in both cases, I already had at least a yard of the main backing fabric.

    I've seen some, though, where the pieces were smaller, pieced randomly in a sort of "crumb" style, although the pieces weren't THAT small (because that would be craziness).

    My mom's first quilt was actually two quilt tops, one on the front, one on the back.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  6. #6
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    All my quilts except one have had scrappy or pieced backs for the past two years. It uses up old blocks, pieces of fabric that otherwise wouldn't get used (UGLY) and is a great way to use up the scraps from the quilt you just made. And it is FUN!

  7. #7
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I may be missing something, but why bother with nice fabrics or piecing on the back of a wall hanging? I just use plain white or natural fabric, something that I can buy cheaply.

  8. #8
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I think it's personal preference. If I'm making a quilt for display I usually use a whole piece of coordinating cloth for backing. If I'm making a quilt to be used I go right ahead and scrap piece it all together.

    As far as what to choose for a scrappy backing, there are no rules. Sometimes I find what bigger chunks I have in my stash and piece them together in a way that pleases me. I have been known to buy a yard of flannel for a backing and then cotton borders of different fabrics until the piece fits the top of my quilt. I read years ago on Bonnie Hunter's website (from Quiltville.com) that she cuts fabric into 6" squares and keeps it on hand to piece into backings. A lady in my quilt guild actually goes all out and pieces as intricate backings as she does tops.

    Another idea could be to use your leftover blocks from your top, or orphan blocks you have around the house pieced with fabric scraps for a backing.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    But why for a wallhanging, where you will never see the back? Bed quilts, fair enough (though I'm not sure it's worth making the back intricate, a co-ordinating colour is my preference too), and sofa or baby quilts, definitely make the backing interesting.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    If I'm making it for myself for a wall hanging, I usually use muslin for the backing and just write my label on it. As you say, no one will see it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lobster
    But why for a wallhanging, where you will never see the back? Bed quilts, fair enough (though I'm not sure it's worth making the back intricate, a co-ordinating colour is my preference too), and sofa or baby quilts, definitely make the backing interesting.

  11. #11
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I make charity quilts and use scrappy backings all the time.

    Of course, it is faster to use one big piece of fabric, but scrappy works just fine.

  12. #12
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yes, which ever way it works, squares or whole pieces.

    pieced back
    Name:  Attachment-134127.jpe
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    Front and note the back rolled to the front for binding.
    Name:  Attachment-135357.jpe
Views: 35
Size:  148.2 KB

  13. #13
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobster
    But why for a wallhanging, where you will never see the back? Bed quilts, fair enough (though I'm not sure it's worth making the back intricate, a co-ordinating colour is my preference too), and sofa or baby quilts, definitely make the backing interesting.
    This is why I think it's a matter of personal preference. For a wallhanging I would know what the back looks like even if no one else ever sees it, so it would bug me if I didn't do something nice with it. But not everyone feels that way. Just how some people prefer coordinating really matchy fabrics for their tops and some people like everything but the kitchen sink scrap quilts.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Another factor is cost - you're in America, I see. I'm in the UK and routinely pay 10/m for fabric, but I can get something much cheaper for backing wallhangings. I really can't afford to waste good fabric on a backing which no one will see. Nor do I usually buy large quantities of fabric at a time, I generally get quarter metre cuts.

    I do get the "but I know it's there" thing, though, as I'm always careful that the backs of my quilts look neat even when no one will see them.

  15. #15
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    That's true I'm sure cost factors into it as well. A lot of quilters from the UK order online from the US to save on fabric cost. Even after shipping you may still save quite a bit by ordering overseas.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    Yes, which ever way it works, squares or whole pieces.
    love your quilt: top, back AND the binding! way to go!

  17. #17
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    I agree with Lobster, actually, I usually use muslin or a sheet for backing.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobster
    Another factor is cost - you're in America, I see. I'm in the UK and routinely pay 10/m for fabric, but I can get something much cheaper for backing wallhangings. I really can't afford to waste good fabric on a backing which no one will see. Nor do I usually buy large quantities of fabric at a time, I generally get quarter metre cuts.

    I do get the "but I know it's there" thing, though, as I'm always careful that the backs of my quilts look neat even when no one will see them.
    I don't know if you can get bedsheets cheaply in the UK, but they seem to work really well for larger quilts. Who knows, we might come to the point where we BUY sheets, cut them up and make them into quilts (if we can find them cheaply enough)! So far I have been able to use leftover blocks and fabrics from the tops for my backs, but not much longer.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpatchquilter
    That's true I'm sure cost factors into it as well. A lot of quilters from the UK order online from the US to save on fabric cost. Even after shipping you may still save quite a bit by ordering overseas.
    I've done that occasionally to get a certain fabric, but the shipping costs tend to be rather high, I hate waiting that long for the fabric, and I can't order more than 17's worth at a time in case of getting hit by customs.

    Oddly enough, I've been chatting with a shop in England, and they get a surprising number of orders from the US. Yes, it costs far more, but the advantage is that we get fabrics quite a bit later in the UK, so some people do this when a certain fabric has been discontinued in the US but is still on sale in the UK.

  20. #20
    Senior Member laughingquilter's Avatar
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    I've been making scrappy backings with almost all of my bed quilts and throws that I've made in the last year. It's a great way to use up the scraps of fabric that you loved when you started the project but have had your fill of in the meantime. It helps control the size of the stash. Basically, there are no rules when I do this - I sew, trim, sew some more and see what I end up with. However, a friend of mine had a great idea, when she pieces the back, she'll do it whichever way works except that she'll usually make an extra row of the blocks and runs them along the top of the quilt. That way, when it's on the bed, if you just want to turn down the top of the quilt rather than tuck everything in, it's still decorative and matches the quilttop.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Jaos's Avatar
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    AnnaQuilts - I love how you did your binding!

    I piece all of my backings. I piece as many extra blocks as I can with the leftovers, include the "sample" blocks I made and add some yardage I buy specifically. When someone is admiring a wall hanging I flip it up and show a surprise on the back.

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