A quilt backing is the bottom layer of a quilt. It is also known as the quilt lining or quilt back. When you turn the quilt around, this is the layer that you see. A quilt back should be larger than the top by several inches. This is often the last layer of the quilt sandwich that a quilter makes. It is quite stressful to make, although, it doesn’t have to be.
How To Piece Backing For A Quilt?
You can piece quilt backing for your quilt with all your leftover fabric pieces of different sizes and colors. Or you can piece together several pieces of the same fabric, to make sure that it is big enough to hold the other layers of your quilt perfectly.
For many quilters, pieced backings are stressful to make. They are, however, handy in saving the cost of the cost and time involved in making the quilt. Pieced backings make for colorful quilts.
Steps To Piece Backing For A Quilt
- Measure the length of the quilt top to help determine how large your quilt backing should be. Normally, quilt backings are about 4-6inches longer on all sides than the top part of the quilt.
- Select fabrics to piece together to make the quilt backing. You can choose similar or different fabrics depending on what you want to achieve. If you want matching layers, choose fabrics that are consistent with the top layers. To create contrast, choose different fabrics.
- Remove the selvages. This will help to reduce puckering and help to have straight fabrics to piece together.
- Sew the pieces together to make your best quilt backing.
How To Sew Quilt Backing Panels Together
- Determine the yardage of the quilt back that you need. Remember that the quilt back is about 4-6 inches longer than the top quilt layers on all sides. If you can buy the extra wide fabric for quilt backing it will save you lots of time and energy.
- Without the extra wide fabric, you will have to use fabric panels to make your quilt backing. You will have to piece together these panels.
- Design your backing so that you won’t have to make a single seam. Rather, you will have one full width of fabric and add to it two narrower panels on each side.
- Make sure that the yardage of these panels is 4-6 inches longer than the layers of the quilt top.
- Sew the fabric panels together. Make ½ inch seam allowance.
- Press the backing before use.
Factors To Consider When Piecing Quilt Backing
- When piecing quilt backing, make sure you pieced together fabrics will measure 4-6 inches longer than the top part of the quilt. If your smaller pieces fabric can’t, you will have to buy a larger fabric and piece panels to it. Consider what you want to be the length and width of the quilt when you are making the quilt back.
- Consider the fabric grain of the fabrics you piece together to make the quilt backing. Fabric grains are most stable along the length of the fabric. With this in mind, make sure that you align the fabric grains of the fabrics you piece together. Therefore, piece fabrics length to length to ensure that the fabric grains are aligned. Mixing this up means you will have a shoddy quilt backing.
- Careful and accurate measuring is an important part of piecing quilt backing. Measure all the pieces of the fabrics that you will be using to make the quilt back. Whether you are using panels of pieces of fabric, make sure to measure all the pieces of fabric according to the identified measurements.
- Make small stitches when sewing. This allows you to create enough room for the seam allowance. Small stitches are also not visible on the pieced fabrics or the seam when it is pressed open.
- Make sure you have all the necessary tools for quilting. This includes a proper quilting sewing machine and threads, a rotary cutter, quilting fabric, a self-healing measuring mat, and a quilting ruler. With these tools, you will measure and cut accurately, and eventually, make quilt backing suitable for the rest of the quilt sandwich easily.
- Make sure that when you have sewed your pieces together, that your quilt back is flat. You can do this by making sure that you press your pieces as you sew. Also, make sure that you work on a flat surface.
Benefits Of Piecing Quilt Backing
Little Fabric Waste
When you decide to make your quilt backing by piecing together pieces of fabric, you help to make sure that there is little waste. You can use any leftover fabrics and piece them together to make sure that there is no fabric waste.
Also, if you use panels, you will use up all the fabric you bought. You will buy two different pieces of fabric. You will use up one full fabric as the main panel and fix the other fabric on either side of the main panel. This ensures that there is little fabric wasted if any.
Make A Beautiful Quilt
When you piece backing for a quilt, you can make a beautiful and creative quilt. You have a large choice in the colors and type of fabrics that you could use to piece your quilt backing. In the end, you will have a colorful and beautiful quilt. You can give it as a gift, or as a decoration in your home depending on the size.
Piecing quilt backing also saves you money. You don’t have to buy any new fabrics when you have leftover fabrics you can piece together to make the back.
Common Quilt Backing Problems And Solutions
When The Pieced Backing Is Not Straight
One of the most common problems when you piece quilt backing is that it may not appear straight. This is in comparison to the top layers of the quilt.
To overcome this problem, make sure that you have the right measurements at all times in the piecing process. When you take your measurements, confirm the measurement of the top layer of the quilt against those of the backing. This will help to align the top layer of the quilt while sewing it together.
Perfectly Center The Top On Your Backing
Many quilters find it hard to perfectly center the top of the quilt on the backing.
Beyond having the perfect measurements, this will require extensive experience in quilting. It will also require you to have the right tools for quilting. You will need basting to keep everything in place when sewing the quilt.
Backing Fabrics Getting Caught
When you piece quilt backing, your fabrics may get caught in the quilting.
To make sure you don’t have this problem, start with your measurements. Make sure you have proper measurements. Cut off any excess fabric, pieces, and threads that may get caught in the quilting.
While sewing, ensure that your quilting is well secured with basting. Basting helps to keep the fabrics in place.
Creative Ideas For Your Quilt Backing Fabrics
Matching The Top
When it comes to quilt-backing fabrics, you are free to match or contrast with the top layer of the quilt. To match with the top, you can mix leftover fabric blocks or pieces from the top layer of the quilt. You will not have to think too much about the colors you are using. Making it easy to make your decision and fast to implement.
You can select a patterned fabric to make your quilt backing. Make sure that you align the direction of the print on your backing to that of the top layer of the quilt.
Using Fabric Scraps
Piece together any fabric waste that you may have to make your quilt backing. It will be an eye-catching back due to the range of colors and fabrics used to make it.