Quilt Backing

I have a regular patchwork and quilting group that normally meet on a Friday afternoon but since we are in ‘interesting times’ at the moment we aren’t meeting up. Luckily we are in touch via various social media groups but that still doesn’t help when they have reached a particular stage in quilt making and need some tuition. So the next couple of blogs are for them, and anyone else that needs a bit of help.

A quick talk about quilt backing today. Once you have finished piecing the top of your quilt you need to layer it up with your particular wadding (or batting) and the backing fabric. This can be decoratively pieced making it a double sided quilt but more often people use a single fabric. When working out the backing fabric meterage you need to measure across the width and length of your quilt.

The standard width of quilting fabric is a workable amount of 106cm (42″). This allows for the removal of the selvedge. It is worth checking your chosen fabric for this measurement. You then need to calculate how many ‘drops’ of fabric you will need to cover the back of the quilt, in a similar way to calculating curtain fabric. Unless you are making a lap or smaller sized quilt you will need to join the fabric either lengthwise or across the width. Use a ½” seam and press open.

It is advisable to not run a join or seam down the middle of the backing. This may weaken over time, as quilts inevitably get folded in half, so it can be worth offsetting the seam or cutting down one of the ‘drops’ down the middle and joining it either side of a central ‘drop’ giving two offset seams. If you wish to pattern match you will need more fabric to allow for the pattern repeats of your particular fabric.

There are wider fabrics which can be more economical to use, look for 100% cotton.

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