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How to Sew a Quilt Backing

Updated on May 29, 2012
(those are pins, not buttons)
(those are pins, not buttons) | Source

Quilt Back

The long journey of the quilt making process is coming to an end. You’re at the last part of the many, many, many steps it takes to create this work of art. Now it’s up to you to choose what you’re going to do to tie the whole project together. Luckily, there are many options for your quilt backing.

When I pick out my quilt backing, I usually wait until I am finished entirely with the front piece. I just like to see what the front looks like before I choose what type of fabric I am going to finish with. Since the back is usually laid down on the bed and not often seen, a lot of people overlook the importance of a nice backing. But they are seen more than you may think, and a few inches of them are brought around to the front of the quilt many times, acting as a frame for the art of your front piece.

I usually go for a solid color; flat sheets in the size quilt you want are absolutely perfect for this. Sometimes it’s nice to go with a fabric that matches (or is already in) your quilt front as well. I also like to do two solid colors in a checkerboard pattern. It’s all in your judgment, whatever you think would best tie your project all together, because that is essentially what the back of the quilt does.

Another good option for a quilt back is to make another quilt front. This way you have a reversible quilt! But, since it takes twice as long as a regular quilt, you must be ambitious.

If you want a heavier quilt, you can make a collage of old jeans, and other heavy fabrics. I really like to put corduroy in my quilt backings because it is heavy, yet still fairly soft. Just be careful not to overdo it on the heavy front, as washing it in a washing machine could get difficult.

Something I like with quilts is using a different design for the backing than the front. If your front is patterned with things like flowers and polka dots, but the back is stripes. You can get multiple solid colors and cut them into strips the length of the size you need your backing to be, and sew them together to make stripes.

How to Quilt

Make sure you have enough. There should be at least a few inches extra (bigger than your front piece) when you begin.

Lay your fabric flat.

Iron it well.

Lay your middle piece flat on it.

Pin them together all around.

Sew along your pin line, I like to use a zig zag stitch, or any other stitch that is fun.

Lay it flat again.

Lay your front piece on top.

Fold up the sides of the backing piece over the front piece and start pinning all around.

Sew along your pin line again; it’s fun to use a different stitch this time.


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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Depending on my quilt top and what I am going to use it for, I will use big scraps to piece a backing. Interesting.

    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Great job, Cheds! I may not be ambitious enough to do this myself, but I a great 'how to' if I do! :) Up and useful!


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