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Thread: What's a good price to pay for backing?

  1. #1
    Member 2 Much Fabric's Avatar
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    What's a good price to pay for quilt backing?

    Are they all about the same, or are there some brands that are better than others?

    Does it really make a difference? (You'll probably never reverse a quilt, anyway.)

  2. #2
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I had a tendency to go "cheap" on the back so that I could get the good stuff for the front. But I started thinking that when it is washed maybe the back will wear out quicker so I feel I should get the good stuff for both.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I tend to not be as fussy about how "pretty", the backing is, but I do want it to hold up, as well as the front.
    I actually, bought quite a bit of muslin, not too long ago, to use for backings on some of my smaller stuff. Don't know If I will use as a backing for a quilt that goes on a bed though. I like some color to those.
    If I used it on the front, I might.
    I tend to be a bargain shopper, but starting to 'up', what I will pay for fabrics, bc I am noticing so many, 'cheap', made fabrics. It's very disappointing to spy a pretty one, only to get a closer look and see all those grainy lines, and then run you hand under the single layer, and see your fingers through it :roll:

  4. #4
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    I have been using vintage sheets for the backs of my quilts lately. I don't care so much for the newer sheets. They are either cheaply made or so thickly woven that the needle makes a "puck" sound when it goes through. But the older sheets, as long as they are in good shape, are so soft and they last forever. I have been able to find a lot of cute ones for only $4 or $5 at Goodwill.

    I have used newer flannel sheets also and they work really well (so soft!), but once again, the cheap ones are no good so unless you get them on clearance or at a thrift store, you really don't save much.

    The other thing I do is look at the lqs in the sale room- here it's 40% off- and often I can get enough for a back. That way I know it's not going to unravel or tear easily. Cheaply made fabric is so prevalent now. GRR!! If a quilt is going to be a "special" one, with a lot of time or money in it, then I will use one of the fabrics that I used on the front, cost be darned!

    I would guess I spend about $40 on a back, unless I find a sheet that works at Goodwill, then it's only $4 or $5. (Been doing more of that lately!)

  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I pay just as much attention to the back of my quilts as I do to the front. Just because something doesn't show at first glance is no reason to scrimp on it. I would call a "good price" the best you can afford for a fabric you believe adds to the overall beauty and quality of the quilt you are making at the time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Here's MY rules and why I use them (remember, there are NO quilt police!)

    1) No percale sheets. Why? They are too tightly woven, the threads break instead of parting when the needle goes through. Yea, you can find some that don't, but for me, life's just too darn short and I want my quilts to last.

    2) Flannel sheets are fine, as long as I can load with the stretch lengthwise on the frame and have the top going the right direction for the chosen design. Why? It allows for the stretch to be consistent (while I try to minimize the stretch). Puckers are just to easy to happen if the stretchy direction is horizontal to the bars.

    3) No batiks, UNLESS it is the 108" wide specifically made for machine quilting. Sewbatik.com carries it. See rule number 1. Batiks are usually a very tight weave. It doesn't seem to matter as much on the tops, but it can become a hugh mess on the back.

    For my own quilts, I look for busy fabrics so that I don't have to worry too much about what happens on the back. I really do love the SewBatik fabrics for the big quilts, and for the small ones I use Quilt Shop quality fabrics on the 40-50% off racks. As long as it'll look ok, it works for me.

  7. #7
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I use quilt shop quality fabrics that I happen to have bought on sale for the backs of my quilts. I want the back to look good and be as durable as the front with the same amount of shrinkage etc. I have been very fortunate to have been able to purchase some large pieces of very good fabrics from $1 to $3 per yard. Whenever I can catch a sale like that, I stock up and buy the 6-12 yard pieces in colors I use most.
    My backs may not necessarily "match" my tops but I have been able to geth them to "go" well with them.

  8. #8
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    On the back of my last quilt, I found some 108" fabric at JoAnn's for $8 or $9 a yard. I think, I bought 2 1/2 yards of it for a queen quilt. And I had quite a bit left over for my scrap pile.

  9. #9
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I'll stock up on bargain fabric that I'll use for backing. About a year (more..?) ago Quilt in a Day had a sale where you bought 10 yards for $25 in a certain color way. So I bought a bunch of those, and the pretty ones go onto quilt tops and the not-as-pretty ones get pieced to become backs.

    It's difficult to pay $25-30 for backing fabric when I could spend that for another quilt top

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    As much as possible, I use pieces left over from making the top. That includes extra blocks that I didn't use on the top. I want the back to be the same quality as the top, and I prefer that it use the same fabrics. Most of my quilts are scrappy, so if I have a large piece that I would like to have on the back I will incorporate some of it on the top too.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Connecting Threads has great fabric clearances. When it goes to less then $3 a yard for the good stuff then I buy. I noticed when CT gets a new fabric line, the older line has some print that goes on clearance. I tend to buy light, med or dark print fabric for my backings. I buy at least 7 yards, so when fabric is $3 a yard it's very economical and over $50 is free shipping. CT is the only online store I trust to have quality fabric for $3 a yard.

  12. #12
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    My LQS recently started offering 20% off backing fabric (which is their usual high quality fabrics)on the 15th of each month if you bring in a completed quilt top. I had suggested they do this as another shop I go to up north does that. I have bought twice at these sales. I got the best quality fabric for much less than usual. I will continue to do this for the special quilts but I have used muslin, sheets, and extra fabric for many quilts. I am doing a string quilt now with fleece backing that I got from the remnant bin at JoAnn. It will be a "cuddle" quilt.

    judee

  13. #13
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    No batiks, UNLESS it is the 108" wide specifically made for machine quilting.
    Ahh, that explains it! For the first time I just ordered 108" wide quilt back from Thousands of Bolts. The website indicated it was a batik. When the squishy arrived I didn't think the quality of the fabric was batik quality, it felt looser. This must be why.

    For backs on wall hangings I often use muslin or whatever I happen to have in my stash. I got on a flannel kick for a while but what b**ch it was to handquilt! Mostly because it is so hard to get small even stitches with that added bulk. Works fine for machine quilting or tying and oh what a nice soft snuggly warm quilt a flannel back makes.

    Like many of you have posted, I am now buying fabric for my stash destined to be backs from my LQS when I get the good sales.

  14. #14
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    I use muslin for the backs of almost all my quilts. Very inexpensive at Joanns and I've never had any trouble with it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    I just looked at the Hancock fabrics flyer and they are having quilt backings 90" and 120" on sale for $5.99 and up starting Sept. 24th.

    judee

  16. #16
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    Well...I can answer this one as I just this morning bought backing fabric for 2 quilts that I am taking to the long-arm quilt lady on Monday. I bought at my LQS and paid $13.99 ayard for 108" fabric. I was very disappointed in the selection available, also. I guess I just nearly choked on that price for such ugly fabric...and, yes, it was ugly! However, I imagine it will look fine once it is on the back of my quilts. :) If I had planned ahead, I could have purchased it when it was on sale a little while back. Unfortunately, as usual, I am running behind. In the future I will probably look around a little bit...but these are the first quilts I have finished and this is a brand-new experience for me.

  17. #17
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    Quilt in a Day also in the past has had 108" backs 3 yds for $12.00. Said they had small flaws, I can't find 'em. Nixiechicks.com also has some 108" fabric for around $8.00 yd. Just placed my order :D

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I always wait til my fabric store runs their wide quilt backing fabric on sale at 40-50% off and then I stock up. And I will be stocking up starting Sept 24th because Hancocks is just around the corner from me.

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I piece my backing using this method. I seldom buy wide backing fabric, I seldom see a wide backing fabric that's has a pretty design.

    http://www.reddawn.net/quilt/backings.htm


  20. #20
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam B
    Well...I can answer this one as I just this morning bought backing fabric for 2 quilts that I am taking to the long-arm quilt lady on Monday. I bought at my LQS and paid $13.99 ayard for 108" fabric. I was very disappointed in the selection available, also. I guess I just nearly choked on that price for such ugly fabric...and, yes, it was ugly! However, I imagine it will look fine once it is on the back of my quilts. :) If I had planned ahead, I could have purchased it when it was on sale a little while back. Unfortunately, as usual, I am running behind. In the future I will probably look around a little bit...but these are the first quilts I have finished and this is a brand-new experience for me.
    The price is not as bad as you might think. To get 108" wide, you'd have to buy 2.7 yards of fabric AND piece it. That 13.99 per yard works out to 5.18/per yard for 40" wide fabric.

  21. #21
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    I piece my backing using this method. I seldom buy wide backing fabric, I seldom see a wide backing fabric that's has a pretty design.

    http://www.reddawn.net/quilt/backings.htm
    Thanks Bella - that's a great link! :D

    I have bought extra wide backings for special quilts but there's not a lot of choice that I can find (online from the UK mostly); I mostly use good quality plain cotton - which is ONE fabric that I can find pretty cheap here in France - when I see it, I stock up. A few months ago I paid around 5 euros (around 7 dollars) a yard for 108" wide plain unbleached cotton. I HAVE used bed sheets before but not to hand quilt. For smaller projects, I use fabric from my stash that tones with the front or a solid. I've also recently started piecing or appliqueing left over blocks on the back. :D

  22. #22
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    I still like to use a good quality fabric on the back but only use fabrics that have been on sale (as compared to 'for sale', LOL)...I am super frugal. I won't pay full price for backing fabric.

    Someone here on the board mentioned that they use Connecting Threads fabric that is discounted/on sale for under $3.00 yd, great idea. Means you have to keep your eyes open on the sight quite often to get that kind of deal, but worth the few extra minutes And then buy yards of it.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  23. #23
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mytwopals
    On the back of my last quilt, I found some 108" fabric at JoAnn's for $8 or $9 a yard. I think, I bought 2 1/2 yards of it for a queen quilt. And I had quite a bit left over for my scrap pile.
    i've gotten that backing. it's not the best, but it's pretty okay. it normally costs $9.99/yd. when i have a 50% coupon, i buy a bolt. it comes in different colors and prints. it shrinks a lot, so be advised.

    also Sauder's in amish country in pa, has a once-a- year bolt sale, where the fabric averages $2-3/yd if you buy the entire bolt. that makes it worth
    piecing. it's all brand-name goods. i don't know if they have a website.

  24. #24
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Since I do mostly handquilting I prefer solid colors and or muslin. If I can get it at a reasonable price I buy the wide stuff so I don't have to piece. I always judge by the feel of the fabric as I will have to handle it constantly. I like a plain back because it shows off my handquilting. I often check it to be sure I have quilted all of the parts of the top. It is harder to see the quilting because of the pattern or patterns on the top. I always shop for cotton fabrics in at least six yard cuts when Joann's has their 50% of discontinued fabrics etc. I have several tubs of various fabrics for backings in my stash. Each selection is at least 6 yards. As a handquilter I don't need quite as much fabric for the back as someone who will be using a longarm machine.

  25. #25
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Sauder's Fabrics

    Category: Fabric Stores
    681 S Muddy Creek Rd
    Denver, PA 17517
    (717) 336-2664

    THIS IS THE INFO FOR SAUDER'S. THEY HAVE THEIR BOLT SALES 4X EACH YEAR. THE NEXT ONE WILL BE AFTER XMAS - DATE STILL UNKNOWN. ANYONE WHO LIVES NEAR ENOUGH TO ATTEND THEIR SALES SHOULD GO. THEIR BOLTS ARE SOOOO INEXPENSIVE THEY ARE PRICED WONDERFULLY FOR BACKINGS. THEY ALSO HAVE WONDERFUL - QUALITY MUSLINS IN A VARIETY OF WIDTHS. IF YOU CALL THEM, THEY WILL PUT YOU ON THEIR EMAIL LIST FOR A HEADS-UP.

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