View Full Version : quilt backs

August 24th, 2013, 11:42 PM
Why is it no one every talks about the fabric for quilt backs? How much to use or what colors are best? I know this is probably a dumb question ,but I was just wondering. I love Missouri Star Quilt and Jenny.

August 24th, 2013, 11:45 PM
I always use muslin for my backs...usually from JoAnn's...I like their Legacy Studio muslin as it has a nice hand to it and it comes in varying widths...45", 90", 108" and 120" ....the wider it is the more it costs...I usually use a coupon to purchase mine and I purchase as much as I can afford.

August 24th, 2013, 11:50 PM
I prefer the wide backing. I have only done a pieced backing on one quilt. I just like the wide better. I usually order it from the most inexpensive source I can find in the moment. I stalk up on black and white Kona for piecing and batting but usually buy the backing as I need it. When I do a baby quilt I usually use fleece from Polortec as a backing/batting combo for a soft and fuzzy feel that is super warm.

Jean Sewing Machine
August 24th, 2013, 11:59 PM
I love wide backings also, and try to find neutral colors in the least expensive stuff. A Ben Franklin on the same square as Fons and Porter ( Winterset, Ia, where my son lives)has had $9.99 wide backing, and it has been a big bonus for me. I hate piecing backings. I use a longarm for many of my quilts and your backing needs to be perfectly square to load nicely on the long arm. I can manage to get my wide backing square, but sometimes have troubles with pieced backings.

August 25th, 2013, 12:15 AM
Thanks everyone I just thought you bought the fabric that matched something on the front.

August 25th, 2013, 12:22 AM
I have done very few quilts but like my backing to somewhat match the front. A couple I pieced the back. Not sure I will always do that but while I am still a newbie I love piecing and making them different. Craftsy has a great class on making quilt backs

Claire Hallman
August 25th, 2013, 12:25 AM
I love it when the back is as decorative as the front but I also like to use one large piece of fabric. It seems that you can usually use one of those coupons on wide backing at Joanne, they rarely go on sale so if I don't have another purpose for the coupon I try to buy several yards of a wide fabric.
I have only used muslin once and that was on a quilt that I wanted to have a very old fashioned vintage look. I just like the backs to be colorful, too.

August 25th, 2013, 12:45 AM
Thanks everyone I just thought you bought the fabric that matched something on the front.

That is the beauty of quilting. You can buy fabric to match the front. If you choose to do that. Artistic license! No wrong choice here!

August 25th, 2013, 12:52 AM
I make my quilts reversible. I put nice fabric on the backs. I have never bought wide backing or inexpensive muslin. I piece mine. For baby quilts, I try to make the top no wider than 39-40" so I don't have to piece the back. For larger quilts, I use one of the fabrics in the quilt top. It costs more that way, but one has a nicer looking quilt, in my opinion. JCY

August 25th, 2013, 12:58 AM
Check out the free mini class at Craftsy.com called Creative Quilt backs. It has interesting ideas.

August 25th, 2013, 02:09 AM
I was going to suggest the craftsy class too , it's free. I match the back to the front, but I don't make queens and kings. I like the little surprise in the back. Just a little drawing of one I did. It was a rainbow coin so I used the extra on the back. I'm so behind on pictures.


August 25th, 2013, 02:46 AM
I like for my backing to be one of the fabrics from the quilt. For instance, I made a DSLC for my DD out of the Moda Pumpkin Party Layer cake. I bordered it with the white spiderweb fabric and have ordered the black pennant fabric for the backing. I will bind it with the orange spider fabric from the same collection. When figuring how much fabric you need, it is helpful to know the repeat of the fabric for matching purposes and very few websites give you that information. When planning a lap or baby quilt, I try to keep it at 40-42" wide or under so that one length of fabric can be used. If you join two pieces together and your quilt is no more than 80" wide, multiply the length of the quilt x 2 to get the total amount of fabric needed. If you have a quilt that is 50 x 72, for example, and the pattern of the fabric allows, you can piece two 58" (50" + 8")pieces with the seam going horizontally across the back. You need extra fabric if you are sending it to be long armed to attach it to the frame. Sorry for kind of rambling, but there really are no right or wrong ways, do whatever works for you and your particular quilt.

August 25th, 2013, 03:06 AM
I'm only a beginner so I don't want to spend a lot on fabric at the moment until I really learn more about the craft. My first quilt was a small lap thing and my second which I'm currently STD quilting is a queen size (why muck around with little stuff? :) ) on a domestic machine. When I saw how much cotton fabric I would need plus joining the pieces to fit and so on, I went with the following.

I'm using a high quality 100% cotton flannel king size bed sheet which I haven't used for a long time and is in perfect condition. It fitted the back in one piece without joins. I'm really happy with the quilt so far (I'm halfway through with the quilting) and it's going to be really warm and toasty for the winters here.

Just an idea.


August 25th, 2013, 03:15 AM
I prefer wide backing fabric in a coordinating shade, or I use muslin.

I don't like piecing backs, and personally don't care for the looks of them.

August 25th, 2013, 04:17 AM
The thing I love about quilting is that everything is TOTALLY up to you! Unless it's a commissioned piece obviously, but if you're making something for yourself or a loved one then it's totally your call! I think it's awesome to have a different back so it almost becomes a two-sided quilt. Now I don't necessarily mean two pieced tops put together, that's a lot of work, but it can be a pieced top on the actual top and then the back is just slightly different and it becomes like a whole-cloth quilt (especially if it's been quilted with some pretty FMQ!) and the the binding matches both the back and the front to bring them together.

Usually with a quilt you're only looking at one side at a time anyway so who says they have to match? ;)

August 25th, 2013, 04:19 AM
I usually buy fabric for the back to match the front. I have been piecing backs horizontally. I love thequiltersroost they have over 200 end of bolts she marks down to 6 a yard, end of bolts there are 2-8 yard pieces. I usually buy fabric for backs there. I also use any extra blocks for the back. I rarely have the budget to buy so many yards of wide backing even though its cheaper in the long run.

Learner quilter
August 25th, 2013, 05:42 AM
I am new to quilting, I like the back to match the front with one of the fabrics I am using. To me it would look unfinished with anything else. As there are no quilting police we all do our own thing, that's what makes quilting appealing to me.

August 25th, 2013, 10:00 AM
I often use flat bedsheets. I've just bought a few from IKEA for 7 for a single (twin). They're 100% cotton and I wash the darker colours before I use them.

I also like IKEA's Bomull 100% unbleached fabric at 2 a metre. It's a nice natural pale cream and I often use it on the front too eg when making pinwheels which I'm doing for the first time.

Sometimes I piece bits together that are left over from the fronts. I'll photo them and put them on this thread in a bit.

August 25th, 2013, 10:19 AM
54333 these are the backs
54334 these are the fronts
54335 these are the pinwheels which are going to have the cream fabric in one piece on the back.

Learner quilter
August 25th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Very nice.. I do like Purple. How many pinwheels will you make?

August 25th, 2013, 10:47 AM
I use the wide backing but not always in a neutral, I love reds so if there is red in the top it is probably going to get a red backing, lqs carries lots of wide backings in lots of colors. I also loved the pieced ones but usually don't want to take the time to piece one.

August 25th, 2013, 11:04 AM
About half the time I use a 108" fabric made especially for backings. Sometimes I piece my backings together. It depends on the quilt top and whether I can find a wide backing to go with the front well, or if I feel like piecing the back. I always piece the backings for small quilts.

August 25th, 2013, 03:43 PM
Well for my baby quilts I have been using one of the fabrics that are on the top of the quilt; mainly because my hand quilting isn't perfect, so you can't see my mistakes on a print in the back. I like the looks of color on both sides of the quilt. I have pieced a few by necessity, have used extra blocks or strips on the back; whatever works. I have tried to match some of the backing fabrics to a few lap quilts that I've made, but have not had much luck so far with random fabrics.

August 25th, 2013, 05:46 PM
I have used color fabric with mine. I have never used muslin. I tend to use kona solids from Joann's. I wait until I have a coupon though. I am making a quilt for my kids, so I will find fabric I know they will like and use that, even if it costs more.

August 25th, 2013, 08:58 PM
For smaller quilts I try to match the back. I hate piecing so I use wide fabric for larger quilts. But to be honest its whichever I can afford at the time.

Oh ya and Jo anns has 60% a reg priced fabric with coupon right now!!!

New York Sue
August 25th, 2013, 09:04 PM
Check out the free mini class at Craftsy.com called Creative Quilt backs. It has interesting ideas.

My advice, EXACTLY!

August 25th, 2013, 09:11 PM
I have never tried wide backings. I have pieced some, used minky on some baby quilts, and used a flannel sheet once. I say make it your own and do what you want.