Quilt Backs Part I

I always have trouble figuring out how to back my quilts.  I hate the idea of just a single fabric back.  To put so much work into the front and the stitching and the binding, just to take the easy way out on the back seems silly to me.  That being said, for either really busy quilts, or conversely, really simple quilts, maybe a simple back is what’s needed.  Or maybe I just haven’t found the perfect backing fabric yet.

I often wind up doing something in between a single fabric back and a fully pieced back.  Yes, there is a lot of room in that middle!  I try to use similar motifs to the front.  Here’s looking back on what I’ve done, and some comments on each:

 

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In the beginning, I did start with solid backs- a blue flannel with gold specs on my daughter’s cheerleading quilt (just peeking out in the lower right corner), and a pretty floral on this baby quilt.

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The next baby quilt was this bricks one and for the back I went with a “strip and flip” pattern.  I think this complemented the front nicely and came together quickly and easily, as a back should.

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For my queen sized churn dash quilt, I did do a single fabric back again, but where the two cuts were pieced together (a few inches off the center), I added a strip of fabrics from the front.  Love how this turned out.  Went together easily and since the sides are all a single piece, I didn’t have to worry about lining it up perfectly (which proved to be a problem with the strip and flip where the back wound up on a smidge of a diagonal!)  This added some simplicity and a modern kick to a traditional and busy front.

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The patriotic quilt received a scrappy back.  Not loving this one at all!  Actually, the scrappy part looks kind of cute, but just doesn’t work next to the red pin dots that make up over 2/3 of the back.  In the future, need to come up with more creative solutions when running out of fabric!

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Disappearing nine patch?  I thought that would be easy.  Disappearing nine patch is so easy, I thought I would do the back in the same pattern, in just more subdued colors and less variety.  Another bad idea.  Of course, the blocks don’t line up, so the quilting doesn’t line up on the back.  Choosing quilting to go with a quilt is going to be a whole ‘nother post- one that I will have to do a lot of research for!  So, disappearing nine patch is great for a back, if you are not using any sort of block based front.

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This one worked really well-  a Simply Woven back to a simple half square triangle front.  Nothing to line up, no worries about the quilting.  The downside, of course, was that the back took longer to make than the front!  But I would do this one again!

 

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Next up?  The rainbow stripes front with the black and grey striped back.  I just pieced together the center and used big strips of two different grey patterns for the borders.  Two problems with this one-

1. the strips in the front don’t line up with the strips in the back (though they are the same width)

2. the centers somehow didn’t seem to line up either, leaving the pieced part about 3/5 of the way down the back.

Since this one isn’t quilted yet, just basted, I may take it apart and try it again (the basting I mean, not the quilt back).  So while I like the design, it was easy to do and really does make the quilt two sided, you have to be super super careful with the basting, which I’m not good at anyway.

 

And finally, my antique heart quilt, backed with a patchwork pattern:

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I like this one a lot.  The huge blocks in back were really easy to put together and I didn’t have to worry about them lining up with anything in the front.

Next quilt back post- some more ideas for backs that are stolen from the web, along with some “rules” for me to remember!

Allison

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