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How to Make Quilt Backing From Any Fabric

Quilt backing is underneath layer of the quilt sandwich, a three-layer packet made up of the quilt top, batting, and backing. The backing is the layer we see whenever we flip a quilt to have a peek at its reverse side. You can make quilt backing, and the backing layer can be produced from either regular quilting cotton or wide panels of fabric made specifically for the task.

You could also hear quilt backing referred to as the quilt lining or simply the 108″ Quilt Backing.

Quilt backing and quilt batting (the center layer of the sandwich) are cut slightly larger than the quilt top to permit for the distortions and “shrinkage” that take place through the quilting process and give somewhat of extra leeway for squaring up the whole quilt sandwich when quilting is complete.

Most quilters concur that it’s best to have at least three to four extra inches of backing and batting extending beyond all sides of the quilt. Which means your backing should be at least 6″ to 8″ wider and taller than your quilt top, more if you like (and much more backing) to fold it and take it to leading of the quilt to make a self-binding. That kind of binding is much less durable as double-fold binding but can be an option for quilts that wont receive heavy use.

Fabric panels must be pieced together to create a backing for large quilts, even though some fabric manufacturers give a nice selection of wide backing fabrics that allow us to have a seamless back.

Utilize the quilter’s requirements for backing size if you plan to send the project to another person for quilting.

Miniature Quilts
Miniature quilt backing can usually be cut from an individual width of regular quilting fabric.

Reversible Quilt Options
Make a reversible quilt by by using a second quilt top because of its backing. Plan to​ quilt by machine, since lots of extra seam allowances within two quilt tops usually create bulk which makes hand quilting more difficult.

Consider pressing seam allowances open ​instead of pressing aside when coming up with a reversible quilt.

02 Make use of a backing that coordinates with the quilt top if both will be obvious during use.
Select a quilt backing with a fascinating motif and then quilt from the trunk over the fabric’s printed lines, to transfer the design to leading.
A busy backing hides less-than-perfect quilting stitches on the trunk of the quilt.
Don’t feel limited-use any backing fabric that suits your needs.
Steps to make Quilting Fabric from Typical Fabrics
Take away the selvages: Fabric selvages can often create little puckers along their length and really should be removed before using fabric as backing. Determine how much width will stay after removing selvages.
Cut a single panel backing: Regular quilting fabric is well suited for quilts up to about 35″ wide. Not absolutely all fabrics are the same width-remember the 4″ excess guideline. There’s usually no need to remove selvages whenever a single panel of fabric is employed since they is going to be trimmed away after the quilting is completed.
Calculate yardage for an individual panel: Gauge the height of the quilt and add 4″ to 6″ (or chosen excess). Divide the figure by 36″ to calculate required yardage. Add somewhat extra to permit for shrinkage.
Larger Projects
Most quilters stay away from two equally-sized bits of fabric to make quilt backing because that technique puts the seam that links the panels together across the quilt’s midpoint, where quilts are often folded. Constant folding might weaken the seam over time.

It’s debatable if it’s true, or whether it’s just another viewpoint we’ve come to regard as fact. We shouldn’t store quilts in the same folded position for just about any amount of time because doing that can create long term folds that are difficult to smooth away.

A favorite appearance of your quilt backing is one which is manufactured with a broad center panel flanked by two narrower panels, as shown in the illustration, but there are times when that arrangement may not be the best choice.

Design What Ifs
When your quilt is 45″ wide, you’ll desire a backing that measures about 49″ across. Suppose your center panel measures 39″ after removing the selvages. You’ll only need 6″ more, and sewing 3″ wide panels on either side of the guts will make the backing look out of proportion.

One solution might be to work with two fabric panels, one narrow panel sewn to a full-width panel.

How to Sew Quilt Backing Panels Together
Determine yardage length as instructed above. Measure the width of your quilt and add 4″ to 6″ (or chosen excess).
Design a backing to equal that width, adding 1/2″ to each panel for each and every seam you’ll use to sew it to a neighboring panel.
Cut panels to the length of your quilt plus 4″ to 6″ (or chosen excess).
Sew panels as well as a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press seams available to reduce bulk.
Press backing before use.
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Other Options
Quilt Backing Instructions
Janet Wickell / The Spruce
Quilt backings needn’t be oriented vertically on the back of any quilt, so when vertical panels are being used, they could be different widths. Avoid placing an extremely narrow strip of fabric alongside a broad panel (mostly for balance), but an imbalance in some fabrics wouldn’t be noticed, as many fabrics blend nicely along seam lines.

You might want to avoid a horizontal arrangement of panels for heavy quilts that will be displayed on the wall. For the reason that kind of layout, the crosswise grain of fabrics would run laterally. Over time, the excess stretch of the crosswise grain might trigger a little of drooping in the quilt. We doubt that drooping would occur in heavily quilted pieces, but maybe it’s an issue in projects with reduced quilting.

Once the backing is complete, it is time to sandwich it with the quilt top and batting before basting the layers to keep them from shifting. Machine quilters practically always use safety pins to baste a quilt, but adhesive products and the original approach to basting with long handsewn stitches are both popular methods.