I get a lot of questions in regard to whats a good backing for my quilt. First I ask that the quilt backs be 4″ larger than the quilt top on each side. The easy way to calculate this is add 8″ or 10″ to the width and length of your quilt top. If your top is 62 x 84 you can do some fast math in your head by adding 10″ = 72 x 94 for your back. The reason I suggest 10″ is because the tops often are a little bit bigger when spread out on batting.
The easiest way to prepare a backing is to purchase wide backing. They come in 108″, 110″ & 116″ and you don’t have to bother sewing any seams. Just square up your piece and you’re ready to go.
There are lots of ways to piece a backing. First are the Do Not’s:
1) Please do not put a border around your backing. They are a pain to try to center and if you are just adding the requested 4″ on each side, the seam can end up in your binding area making it really thick.
2) Please do not put a lot of small piecing at the edges of the backing. They tend to pull apart when clamped.
The most important thing is that your backing is big enough and FLAT. If you piece something in the interior of the quilt make sure the piecework doesn’t droop or it is likely to pleat.
I found this great example of backing ideas at: http://victorianaquiltdesigns.com/VictorianaQuilters/Library/UsefulInfo/VQDInspiration/QuiltBackingIdeas.htm
Would you like a copy of your own? Benita is offering you a free copy of this via email by following the link above. This is a cool example to have handy when you’re ready to prepare a backing.
(Note: Idea #3, is great for laying out at home but not the best option when having your quilt Longarm quilted)
I also get a lot of great ideas that my clients come up with for using their existing fabrics for backs. Instead of adding to the edges of the back, consider slicing & placing it in the interior of the back. Panels work great in a backing. You can make good use of orphan blocks too. Maybe you may have some yardage that you have no plans for or excess from the quilt top. Try putting a few of them together to make a backing. It can be a real surprise how well they look when quilted.