Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh Those Backings!



I spent time this morning digging through my stash in search of yardage for backings. I shudder when I think about purchasing yardage for backing; fabric is now approx $9.50 a yard. Huge Sigh!!! In the picture there is only one fabric that was purchased for a specific quilt; the other three came from my stash. I have been known to get creative when I don't have quite enough yardage for a quilt - adding a strip, extra blocks, etc.

Would you please take a few minutes and tell me what you do about backings for your quilts. I welcome all ideas and thoughts.


I hope you've enjoyed your visit with me today - please come again soon!

In Friendship!

41 comments:

Linda said...

I don't usually buy backing fabric until the quilts finished. I've been known to make them either a lot larger or smaller. I try to find an all over print, always better if it's on sale. Otherwise I piece whatever is left from the quilt front into a backing.

Not Lucy said...

I used to buy special fabric for the backs of quilts but anymore I wait until it is done and then go through my stash to see what I can find. Sometimes I have to buy backing, especially for some 'gift' quilts but I try to make do. I have quite a few larger pieces that I have gotten over the years that come in handy.

On scrappier quilts I chose a color combination and then pull out everything I have that works with it and piece things together. I like how they end up - much more interesting that just one fabric.

♪♪Melody♪♪ and Puddin said...

I also am getting more into piecing backs. Unless it is too special but I made my sister a quilt this year and actually pieced that backing too. I have really gotten into scrappy is great!

miniaturequilter said...

I actually like how Jo-ann fabrics extrawide backing fabric feels when washed. With a 40% off coupon, it is not a bad deal! I am partial to a medium blue paisley they always carry!!

Sherri said...

I've really been making a lot of scrappy backs lately...first using extra fabric from the front of the quilt and then adding what I need to. Sometimes I'll buy a little more fabric, but I think I'm saving a lot of money!

Jodi @ SimplyThisThat and... said...

I LOVE sheets! I find such great deals at Thrift Shops on Sheets. I especially buy any good white ones I find. I've gotten many new in the package for $1.00! 100% cotton too! Some are 50/50, but I'm o.k. with that, especially if it's a cool print. I'm going to be starting one soon, I'll share with everyone on my blog. But even Twin size 100% cotton sheets can be found on clearance for a decent price. $5 or $10. And I piece too. I love when others piece a back that looks almost as good as the front. ;o)

Tammy in Ontario, Canada said...

I usually buy meters of fabric when it's on sale and i really like it. I put it aside for possible backings later. If I run short a bit, there is usually a creative way to piece it to make it enough and if that doesn't work...I add a few blocks from the top. It usually takes me quite a while to finish a quilt top so that always gives me some kind of time frame to find an appropriate backing at the right price and also gives me a rough estimate I need to purchase.

Deb said...

Unless its a really really special quilt I like piecing by backing maybe into 4 squares or more just to give a bit of interest on both sides. Saves buying in bulk also.

Quilt Nut said...

i used to buy fabric for backings once a quilt was finished but it's too expensive now. but than i struggle with pieced backings, i don't want the recipient to think i ran out of fabric for the back lol. i need to start doing backings with leftover blocks from the quilt tops; i love how that looks

Kim said...

I don't buy backing when I start a quilt... I usually have some left over blocks and even squares from fabrics I used in the top... I just piece them all together all sizes.. with randomly placing the blocks if I have them.. You can use of smaller leftover pieces of fabric that way.

Lurline said...

I either use sale fabrics or fabric from the cheaper craft store chains - works well for me!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Kathie said...

I buy fabric on sale for backings
I look for fabric that is about 4.00 or less :)
As long as the fabric looks good with the top I am happy.
I will start piecing backs if I have to.
I am not paying 9.00 a yard for backings !!!!

I have been thinking about making big stars for backings, I love stars and having a big star on a back of the quilt would allow me to use different fabrics too , scrappy back!!!!
and it would look like a quilt on the back!
Kathie

Lorraine said...

I ususally use wide fabrics for the backings and for scrappy quilts I think pieced backs are great.....

Carol said...

For special gift quilts I will usually by backing...especially the baby quilts because I don't have anything like that in my stash. For the scrappy quilts I do I usually piece them...I've done a huge log cabin on the back of a quilt...it was awesome but took forever.

Stephanie said...

I love scrappy backs but I'm also a huge fan of flannel and you can get it at JoAnns on sale for $2.49 per yard for the snuggliy ones and the "quilter's flannel" is a bit more but STILL less expensive that 9.25 per yard. The flannel washes so well and is so soft and cozy.

I had a local quilt shop charge me $3.00 per fat quarter yesterday. Sheesh!

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh yes...let me weigh in on this one! I find myself looking through stash for large enough pieces for a back when all I really need to do is piece it together randomly (strips, huge blocks, large or small chunks and maybe even extra blocks tossed in) I think I'll post a back later of one I did. Anyway, I can tell you that Bonnie of Quiltville has stacks of pre-cut 10 1/2" squares that she can calculate quickly just how many she needs to sew together for a scrappy back. It seems to work out pretty well as I've seen more and more of our guild using this system. I too wait for clearance and sale fabrics to be reduced drastically and will buy yards of that instead of the $9-$10 range. Have you heard of Stitch & Frame? They run a Thursday special and is a great source of backing stuff cheaper.

Joyce said...

I very often piece the backings. They sometimes turn out to be nicer and more interesting than the front. I try to use a fabric that connects to the front somehow and piecing makes that easier.

tami said...

This won't be much help to you, but Marden's (only found here in Maine) sells 108 width fabric. Solids are 5.99 and prints 6.99. They don't always have the same fabrics, so when I find ones I like they come home to my stash until I have a quilt to use them on.
I'm thinking with a big empty suitcase maybe Maine should be your next vacation destination.

Cathi said...

I use leftovers from the front for the back and have even been known to use leftover, random blocks on the back.

Libby said...

I love a pieced back - if there are fabrics left from piecing the top, I try to use what I can to construct the back. For me it isn't always necessary to have an exact matchy-matchy back, but I do like for it to make sense . . . does that make sense? So if I don't have 'leftovers' then I go for pieces of fabric that coordinate or are in the same color family.

Barbara said...

The only quilts that I really worry about the backing are the "special" quilts that I make. If it is just a quilt that will be well used, I don't worry about having a matching backing for it. I know I won't be entering these quilts in a quilt show or giving them to someone special, so I just use what I have. I have a hard time justifying $9.50/yd material for a back.

Wendy said...

I don't buy backing until I'm finished the quilt. Sometimes I'll take the leftover fabrics from the quilt and piece them for the back. If I don't feel like doing that I'll look for something on sale but it has to be nice, not the yucky fabric no body wants. I did recently buy a backing (not on sale) now I'm rethinking that maybe I like it so much it will become part of a quilt top...we'll see. Good post, you ask the best questions.

Elaine Adair said...

I buy them once or twice a year, during a LQS sale at $4.00/yd. 6 yards if available. That's good for one large quilt, or 2 medium quilts. I don't care if I like the fabric or no (within reason), just if they are reasonable. Since I quilt them myself, usually, on my DSM, I also look for somewhat busy prints with white in them. I don't buy junky fabric. Sometimes I buy yardage at JoAnns with the coupon. And sometimes I use pieces, although am not usually happy with the proportions -- other people's pieces always look better than mine!

ONe time I made the backing with wide strips, log cabin style, and THAT was well-received!

Patricia said...

I have started browsing the clearance section in Joanne's. I have found some great fabric back there. I also will purchase tea dyed muslin by the bolt when I have a discount coupon. If all fails, it makes a nice backing and after-all, long ago, most backs were muslin. If the quilt is white I will use white muslin, since most patterned backings may shadow to the front.

I too like to piece backings and although I try to "match" the quilt, I don't always and it doesn't seem to distract from the quilt toop.

Eileen said...

Well.. I know you are not supposed to use sheets becuase the thread count is too high and if machine quilting the threads can break easier.. but I still use sheets for hand quilting. Or I will pick up yardage on sale or sometimes I can find new big pieces at rummage sales, etc. But lots of times I end up piecing for backs.
You got a lot of good suggestions here.. it's a great question!

Carrie said...

All of the above. Some quilts get a specific backing fabric, others get something from my stash, and still others get something pieced together from leftovers and whatevers.

One of my favorite recent backings was made using about 20 - 1/4-yard cuts of fabric. The pieces were from a kit I had been given and knew I would never, ever make. I loved the fabric but I knew I wouldn't make the quilt pattern.

By the way, stopped by an lqs yesterday and the new April Cornell Spring Magic was $10.69 a yard! Yikes!

Candace said...

Darlene, I do a little of everything that has already been mentioned! I recently saw John Flynn explain how to make the most out of fabric for backing and am going to try this as well: http://www.flynnquilt.com/freepattern.html Scroll down the page a bit and it will be explained.
Cheers!

Cathy said...

I usually wait until I've finished piecing the top to buy the backing. But that can be risky because I like to have coordinating fabric on the back. When I make a queen size bed quilt I like to use the extra wide fabric specially sold for backing; it is usually a little less expensive on a square foot basis and doesn't require seaming together those long lengths.

Mary said...

I have been lucky in finding fat backs that co ordinate well with my quilts. I use that for the queen size quilts as I dislike seams on my back. The can be economical for smaller quilts also buying the width as your yardage.

Shasta said...

I rarely buy backing - I generally just put some fabric together from my stash, leftover blocks, etc and several times, people wound up liking the backing better than the front!

Dawn Heese said...

I hate to use my "good" fabric for backing unless there is a chance the back will be photographed. I almost always piece the back and I use fabric from the clearance room at my local quilt shop.4.99 a yard and good stuff.

Pam said...

I don't worry about backings as none of my large quilts ever make it to that stage!! LOL

Karen said...

I like to have the backing somehow co-ordinate with the quilt top. Sometimes, I piece together 12 inch squares of fabric from my stash. Sometimes I use strips of fabric with star blocks added in. Stars are a favorite of mine. I sometimes start with a large rectangle and use whatever width of fabric strips I can come up with to go around it log cabin style until it is large enough for the backing.
I used to stock up on backings at sale prices but end up not using many of them. I hate to pay full price for yardage for backing but I do want quality fabric.

Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Darlene,
First I wanted to say thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. It's funny about your question for quilt backings, because I had the same post on my blog. I usually use white or off white 100% cotton muslin or sheeting material. It comes in 90"-108" wide and it's cheap. If you look on my blog under the label "quilt backs", you can read comments from other bloggers too.
Have a great weekend,
~Karen~

Nan said...

I try not to buy backing fabric if I can help it. I get creative with my backings on occasion, by piecing the fabrics used in the quilt top together. I'll sew strips, squares, whatever works with the leftover fabrics I have. OR, I'll find a fabric with the colors of the quilt top in it, and use that. If the quilt is a gift, then I usually purchase fabric for the back.

Judy said...

I hit the sale corner for the 50% off or $3 yard fabrics at the LQS. then I go to 1000's of Bolts too for backing fabrics...they even have wide backings. I also am trying to add sections to extend the length and not have to use more yardage!

Judith said...

Well I was always purchasing them, but I know I have a big bag of pieces of fabric that I normally won't use on the attick and I am thinking of going to use them as backings from now on to save up on some money.

Quilter Kathy said...

If it is a small quilt, I piece a backing from leftovers.
If it is a large quilt, I go to our LQS at their "full moon store" and buy a wide backing (no piecing required!) and get one at 30% off.
I hae been known to buy a lot of one great, cheap fabric to use for lots of backings, but not very oftern.

Rose Marie said...

My backing fabrics are always from sales. I have a huge shelf jammed with just backing fabrics and are ready to be pulled whenever I need them.

Beth said...

Dear Darlene, I'm a scrappy back LOVER and a scrappy back piecer HATER (I HATE making them, but I LOVE the look!) I think actually I enjoy the process of making them, but not the THOUGHT of making one. By the time I am finished with the top, I dont' want to piece a border OR a backing, I just want to QUILT! HA! Try Maryquilts.com for a cute off center 4 patch backing. She has some great free patterns on there as well.

Blogless me said...

I am relatively new to quilting - less than 2 years of experience- and have until now bought fabrics especially for backing. My first bed-size quilt (it was also a gift for the first-born of a friend) was backed with wide backing fabric, another big one WIP has a flanel backing. A project that I am quilting at the moment has a very pretty fabric coordinated with the top since I plan to "overquilt" it and hope to be showing the back as much as the front ;-). For most of my other smaller pieces I have used IKEA 100% cotton uni fabric that retails at about 3euro/m. I am so envious when I read about the prices of fabric in the States, or Australia. Here in Belgium the average price for a decent patchwork fabric is about 14-16euro, if you are lucky 10-12. Last summer I bought some lovely fabric at a sale at 6euro/m but that was quite an exceptional offer and trust me, I profitted from it.
My patchwork teacher says she sometimes uses her husband's old shirts for backing and the advantage is that they are usually soft and lend themselves to easy quilting. By the way, we are hand quilters, so it is really important how the fabric feels when you spend such a long time caressing it.
I am, though, very fond of pieced backings and am planning to start experimenting with that. I was just wondering whether it does not make hand quilting more difficult. Anybody out there who hand quilts, please let me know.

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