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    Choosing backing fabric

    I'd enjoy hearing folks approach to choosing quilt back fabric. I'm a confident beginner and always leave backing fabric to the end when I'm sure my project works. Then I tear my hair out trying to figure out what is "right" for the quilt. I use a long arm gal to quilt. More times than not I feel like I just missed when its bound and done.

    What are your key considerations? Please and thank you.

    #2
    My main one is what fabric then color..i like cordnating fabric. Alot of quilters will say it doesnt matter butbi like it to go with the quilt. What I mean by what fabric is minky is a popular choice right now. Many solids go with quilts.

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      #3
      I also like to try and coordinate. What I haven't done yet is a solid color backing. I still prefer a backing with a pattern so it can hide my quilting wobbles. I still just do straight line quilting with a walking foot, but ........ lets just say it doesn't always come out as straight as I would like the lines to be. With pattern fabric on back you would never even I wobbled at all.

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        #4
        I like the backing fabric to relate to the other fabrics in the quilt. I will usually purchase the backing fabric with the others. Yes, I'm that matchy-matchy. There is always extra fabric calculated for shrinkage during pre-washing and matching the design across the pieces.

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        • Debbie Watters
          Debbie Watters commented
          Editing a comment
          I tend to use Grunge for the majority of my backings. If there are left over blocks - or a block that I really liked - I will incorporate that along with the left over fabric from the front. Needless to say, I like pieced backings!

        • srgreene
          srgreene commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm matchy matchy some too. It helps with my doubts about color and design selection. I also bargain shop and it can be very tough finding lines that were put out two years of more ago. 😉 Thanks for your thoughts

        #5
        I like my backing to be as pretty as the front and also like to use a print to disguise my less than perfect quilting. I usually wait until the top is made since I never know how big the quilt will be. Some end up pretty small if I am not liking the way things look. Sometimes I like it so much I make them bigger.
        I do haunt the bargain fabric sections of shops when looking for a back.

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          #6
          To me tha big thing is color coordination. I try to pick a color that is on the front. However, when I designed my Lincoln quilt I wanted something that represented a color, but also could look good on its own, which is why I chose the Larissa backing from Windham. I think the front and the back will look great together.

          Rob
          There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
          --Ken Burns

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            #7
            I, too, consider the colors in the quilt top and get a backing that will go with that. I do like fabric that has a pattern of sorts because as others say it hides the quilting imperfections. I do like the batiks for backing too. I have not tried incorporating blocks leftover from the quilt on the back but have considered it. Just not there yet in my confidence. One of these days though.....
            Carlie

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              #8
              I consider the color but also the mood of the quilt. If I make a modern geometric quilt top I look for something that echoes that style. If it’s one of my French flavor quilts, I love florals or scrolls in similar colors as the top. I very seldom use a solid backing but I have used fabrics that read solid if you step away from them. I love 108” backings so I don’t have to piece the back.
              sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


              Scottie Mom Barb

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              • srgreene
                srgreene commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks. I'm using reproduction fabrics now and I want to incorporate the mood into the back too.

                Scottie moms rock. I'm owned by a little brindle boy.

              #9
              I take my quilt with me to shop for backings. I was lucky for so many years, living close to Backside Fabrics. I could just call for an appointment and drive over. We'd play with her stock, and find the backing that just fit the quilt. I usually start with the color I think would look best with the front, then get down to the pattern of the fabric.

              I totally agree with using a patterned back, it hides a multitude of wobbles. I also putting a pill free fleece on the back hides a lot, too.

              lol, I guess that wasn't much help.
              Katrina
              “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou

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                #10
                I am a matchy kind of person, too. I like the backing to blend with the quilt top fabrics or actually be one of the fabrics included in the top. I make many crib size quilts. I make the top just under 40" wide (maybe 36-39") to avoid having to piece the backing; that way I can use the length of the fabric. I don't always buy the backing at the same time as the fabrics for the top. It depends on the quilt. I have a large stash & sometimes have fabrics on hand. Sometimes I have leftover blocks or fabric, so I'll make a strip to insert in the backing. I have never purchased 108" wide backing. But it's handy for a large quilt. I'll insert some pics of quilt backs I've pieced.

                Finished Bloom Bouquet Panel Quilt - 8-24-2018 005.JPG
                Baby Jungle Panel Quilt - May, 2017 006.JPG
                Wildlife Rail Fence Quilt - March, 2018 009.JPGThe 3rd quilt was pieced out of necessity. The middle large section actually is pieced towards the bottom. If you enlarge the pic you can see the seam. It blends in & hardly shows. I added the two side pieces to make it wide enough.

                I agree that a patterned fabric on the back is more forgiving with the FMQ than a plain fabric.

                You might check out Karen Brown's videos, Just Get It Done, on YT. She often uses up scraps from making the quilt top to make all kinds of varied blocks for the backing. As often is said, there are no quilt police. It's your quilt to make like you want it to be. Don't get stressed out about it. Just enjoy the journey.



                Last edited by JCY; September 14, 2020, 02:34 PM.

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                • srgreene
                  srgreene commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Love Karen Brown. Thanks for your ideas. Like the pieces strips in your backing.

                #11
                I also like to coordinate the back of the quilt with the front. If I want a cotton backing, I’ll try to use one of the fabrics on the front or one that goes well with it (preferably a print and, if I’m really lucky, a wide backing). If I’m using Minky or Fireside​​​​​, I’ll pick a colour to coordinate with the front.
                Maria

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                  #12
                  Joy...your quilt backs look like they should be fronts! Well done. I just discovered Karen Brown. She's great.

                  For bed quilts (not that I've made any yet) and gifts I wouse nice fabric. For my own wallhangings and projects where I can't see the back...whatever I have that is good quality. I agree...a print hides a lot!
                  Rainy days are for quilting. Thank goodness I live in a rainforest! 😁

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                    #13
                    Tone-on-tone is what I use most of the time. I have used prints, too, if the quilt calls for it. That's mostly with baby quilts. If I'm planning on a dense custom quilting, especially if using different colors of thread, I'll use a light-colored tone-on-tone. But I always use a fabric to match the quilt top.
                    ~ Carol from PA

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