Friday, October 18, 2013

The back of the quilt

My absolute least favorite part of quilting is the backing fabric.

Everyone has opinions.  Some people piece their backings from whatever they have in their stash and enjoy the random look.

I like the backing fabric to coordinate well with the fabric in the front of the quilt.

I don't buy the backing fabric until I am done with the quilt.  This means sometimes the print you want can be hard to find so you have to hunt a bit.   I also don't want to pay full price which complicates the hunt a bit more.

For my New Jersey quilt, I had used these pretty prints from Bonnie and Camille Vintage Modern.

The quilt is mainly the red and aqua with the gray as an occasional accent.  I found none of these prints in the volume I needed for the backing with a price I liked.  However, I did find another pretty gray print from the same designer so I purchased it.  At less than $6 a yard, I was happy with the price.

I had a couple of blocks leftover to make the back more interesting  including this one which I made a bit too large.  

I plugged my quilt dimensions into my iPhone app.  In order to accommodate the 4 extra inches my LAQ would need, I had to order enough to piece together 3 strips of fabric.

This is the first time I should have broken out a piece of paper and a calculator.  Based on the quilt dimensions, I barely needed that third strip of fabric really about 10 inches worth.      I had a couple of leftover blocks.and I could have creatively assembled them down the middle.  But I was in a hurry so I ordered lots of fabric.  

The second time I should have really thought this through was when the lovely fabric arrived and I thought about assembling things together.  I barely measured and just did things the brute force way.    Not thinking about how little I really needed from that third piece, I started to assemble.

The mistakes I made from there are too depressing to write down.  Kind of like a snowball rolling down a hill.  I cut fabric I shouldn't have cut.  Ended up piecing fabric where I didn't need to.

It's done.  And when quilted, I'm the only one who will know how much easier it could have gone and better it could have looked.  (You won't tell anyone will you?)

I've also got all these odd shaped bits of fabric leftover.  I will put it to good use - it is a very pretty gray. And I will use it as the binding.  But, I could have - should have - really planned this out ahead of time.


No better photos of my backing until after it is quilted.

Fingers crossed for the LAQ magic.  I drop the quilt off tomorrow.

Happy Stitching!


  1. What I usually do for the backing starts when making a quilt. I keep ALL the fabric together while making the top of the quilt, scraps, extras, whatever. Then when the top is done, I take all the leftovers and piece together the back of the quilt, if I am short I find something to fill in the gaps, but for the most part it matches the front, and I don't add to the scrap bins, and I don't end up using the same fabric over and over again in other quilt tops. It also solves all the other issues you mentioned,

  2. I too wait most of the time till I have an idea what the front of the quilt is going to be before I get the fabric for the back...and I like to co ordinate it with the front....

  3. Like you, I like the backing to coordinate with the top of the quilt... I can do the math for quilt tops very well but when it comes to the backs... what out! *lol* I end up with way too much or way too little... I have to just shake my head and laugh...

  4. I'm not a fan of assembling my quilt backs either AND I like the fronts and backs to coordinate as well!
    I know I should buy the back when I buy the front fabrics but my plans do not always work out either....oh well, life's too short to worry too much. In the end, all of our quilts are beautiful and the extra just goes into the stash pile.

    Peggy in NJ

  5. I'm with you there sister. I hate getting the backing organised! I believe it may be why I have so many flimsies.


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