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    Question about fabric used for backgrounds

    I wanted to see how others looked at background fabrics. I find that ill see a quilt then look at the pattern and get discouraged when I see the pattern due to the amount of background fabric needed. My most common four are white, black, gray and moda muslin. Knowing I use the most from those four colors, do others buy a bolt of each? For solids I don't buy precuts due to the price compared to the price per yard. Solids are cheaper by the yard. I'm finding even when I buy 4 yards at a time it goes fast....I think too because I have it on hand I sew like crazy because I'm not restricted. I love Moda fabric so I usually buy the marbles...my favorite!!

    So how do you handle the background fabric? Do you buy for each pattern? Have mass on hand for that purpose?

    Thanks!

    #2
    Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

    My favorite is Kona snow and I buy several yards at a time. I usually buy the two yard bundles of bone/snow/beige whenever it is a dd. It does disappear quickly.

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      #3
      Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

      I do a lot of charity quilting.. so when i see a bargain on a solid... i buy a big bunch... i'm not as fussy as most.. i just need a color to help me use up the HUGE collection of pre cuts i've managed to collect
      "Each day well-lived and Happy;
      that's all there is to Life!"

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        #4
        Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

        Grey and white I have purchased entire bolts of. My LQS will give me a discount on a bolt, so it's worth it as I use them often. Any other color I buy the amount needed for a particular quilt.

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          #5
          Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

          I buy a lot of Snow, Bright white and black. I will buy in bulk. I bought 10 yards of black a month or so ago, and a bolt of Bright white last year sometime. I still have a little of that left.

          I love using black background with batiks.
          Katrina


          “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
          ― Maya Angelou

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            #6
            Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

            I too have a huge collection of precuts....I got gastric bypass and replaced food with daily deals! Daniel, who I live with put a stop to that lol he buys me fabric that I need not everything I want...which is everything

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              #7
              Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

              I sometimes buy bolts of white & black solids. I also like Kona Snow, grays and small tone on tone prints for backgrounds. I have used backings and cut up as yardage for background if there's a good deal. Some of the patterns I have used, called for up to 6 metres of background, so I stock a lot of blenders.

              Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

              Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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                #8
                Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                I like white on white background fabric, or cream colored. I'm not fond of gray, & I don't use black that much. It really depends on the other fabrics in the quilt top. I like to use a coordinating fabric. If one finds a good sale, it's an opportunity to stock up for future projects. Sometimes I buy specifically for a certain project. The fabric could be a light colored small print that has touches of color. I also like the Grunge fabrics. Depending on the pattern, the background could be pre-cut charms or 10" squares. Use your imagination to come up with your own color scheme. The only times I purchased an entire bolt was from Walmart--a fabric I was using in several quilts, & a bolt from my LQS; it was a color that was to be discontinued. I also look for sales at my LQS on close-outs of bolts she wants to move out. She sells that yardage at 50% off, so sometimes I buy 3 yds. Most of my quilts are crib size or lap size. I try to keep them <39" wide so I don't have the piece the backing. Three yds. is plenty for backing & binding on a crib quilt.

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                  #9
                  Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                  I keep a lot of Kona Snow, Black, and White on hand. If I see a neutral-ish fabric on sale that I like, I try to get 5-6 yards so I'm covered for most patterns.

                  I recently took a notion to try out low volume prints as backgrounds, and splurged on some fat quarter sets and half yard cuts during Black Friday sales. I think they'll look great in a pineapple quilt.

                  Like some others on here, I don't keep a lot of solid gray. It could go cool gray or warm gray, too dark or too light for the project. I did collect some yarn-dyed grays since they have a mix of tones.

                  It can be a lot of fun to use something other than black/white/gray/cream for a background. Blues are an easy place to start: a soft blue or a dramatic navy can make the prints in a quilt really sing. I also love using speckled and textured solids in backgrounds.

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                    #10
                    Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                    I have bought entire bolts of Kona white and off white at Joann's when I have a 60% off coupon. And, before someone else says it's not the same, yes, it is! A letter from the president of Kaufmann fabrics stated they only make one quality of Kona and it is sold at both LQS and at Joann. I have also purchased the 110" Legacy Muslin for the charity quilts and have been pleased with the quality - it also comes in white and off white.
                    Donna

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                      #11
                      Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                      I usually buy 2 yard pieces of Kona white for my
                      machine embroidery, a bright white for great contrast.
                      I usually buy 2 yard pieces of Kona snow for piecing,
                      it isn’t as white and I think it works better with
                      prints for piecing. For awhile white on white was popular
                      and I bought 1 yard pieces of 6-8 different fabrics.
                      I don’t know if white on white for background fabric
                      isn’t popular anymore or not. (?) I haven’t used any in awhile.
                      I think the amount you buy would depend on how much
                      piecing you do and the size of the quilts.
                      I mainly piece crib/lap quilts so I don’t use
                      a lot of background fabric. I prefer to make
                      quilts with more colored prints.
                      I also don’t have a lot of storage for large
                      amounts of fabric, which is another consideration
                      on how much background fabric to purchase.

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                        #12
                        Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                        I'm here sheepishly. I have never before thought to stock up on bolts of background fabrics. This is a brilliant idea! I have such a huge stash of M* precuts and I always get discouraged when I see a tutorial that needs a background fabric. Thank you, MOM5, for starting this thread! You have opened new horizons for me!
                        Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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                          #13
                          Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                          I never have background fabrics in quantity. So I purchased a cheapo bolt of muslin. Having a bolt of a favorite neutral on hand is excellent for me and productivity. I always have enough, even when I mess up in-cutting. I find lately in going scrappy, every time I am in store in search of a particular color, I always pick up some neutral print that I like. I have been gravitating to loud neutrals with obnoxious print and color. It makes for more interest for me in the quilt.
                          Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

                          https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

                          https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

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                            #14
                            Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                            I usually buy 5-6 yards at a time at Walmart. Only the 100% cotton, which is
                            not a bad quality. All my quilts go to charity so it has to be cost efficient.
                            I almost always buy white or off white, so there is never a piece left over that
                            I can't use. I tend to make bright color quilts so I like white.

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                              #15
                              Re: Question about fabric used for backgrounds

                              I am not a white/bright white fan (only because my family are pigs and eat where they shouldn't) and cleaning is a priority. I love the French Vanilla, Snow, Ecru, etc. Black is a must for me because it really does pop colour something fierce. I don't normally keep yardage but have been buying neutrals in like 5 to 10 yard chunks when I can. I would really love to play with other colours as a background but I am not confident about it not ending up looking strange. (hehe) Some people are great coordinating colour, I just don't think I am one of them. lol
                              Sandy B.
                              "A heart that gives will never be empty."

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