How Do I Piece the Backing and How Much Fabric Do I Need?

I do a lot of things in quilting a certain way because I’m either lazy or to cheap to do it another way. That’s not a bad thing because who doesn’t like saving time or money if the results are great? When I’m piecing quilt backing, I use one piece of fabric because I look for fabric on clearance for my backings. See my article, What To Do With Lots of Yardage in the Learning Center. So, my article on Piecing the Backing is based on using one fabric for the backing, not using pieces of different fabric to construct the backing.

Choosing a Backing Fabric

The first thing I consider when choosing a backing fabric is the color and design and if it will look good with the thread used for quilting the layers together. Often, my backing fabric has nothing to do with the quilt top. I like busy patterns because the quilting thread and quilting stitches get lost in the backing fabric design.

Here are a few pictures to show what I mean.

The first quilt is Fiesta Compass.

piecing quilt backing
Fiesta Compass

Here is the backing, which is a large print that hides the thread color and the stitches of the quilting. I like doing this because I can choose whatever quilting design and whatever thread color I want and the backing will still look good.

piecing quilt backing
Backing using Signature Cotton “Melon” in the bobbin.

The next quilt is a Jelly Roll race quilt made completely from scraps.

piecing quilt backing

I had this fabric that looks almost solid from a distance. I chose it for this quilt because the quilting thread color blended with it.

piecing quilt backing

The last quilt is from the pattern, No Bake Jolly Bar  from  Fat Quarter Shop.

piecing quilt backing

I chose a navy thread for the quilting. It gets lost in the red and white, busy print of the backing.

piecing quilt backing

Favorite Fabric for Piecing Quilt Backing

My favorite backing fabric is black and white busy prints. Best tool for piecing backings is the 120″ measuring tape.

quilters 120 inch measuring tape

Once you choose your backing fabric, or before, check out Piecing the Backing to find three videos and two handy calculators for determining yardage requirements, learn about directional fabrics and piece that backing.

How do you choose fabric for piecing quilt backing? Let us know.

Until next time,


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