Do you piece backings?

I love pieced backings but don’t have the time to spend doing them for the most part but in order to use my stash I try to piece some simple ones.

My favorite and most used is my Off Center 4 patch – which takes two coordinating fabrics but sometimes I can’t make that work with the fabric I have so another favorite is a strippie backing which I used yesterday to piece a backing for one of my tops.

In this case, I had (2) two yard pieces of backing but needed extra length so I added a stripe

  • The center panel is 2 yards by width of fabric
  • The end pieces are a 2 yard by width of fabric piece cut in half
  • The stripes are cut 4.5 inches and pieced to fit the 72 inch width of the backing

This gives me a backing that is about 88 inches long.

Another recent one I used was a log cabin or framed backing – just be sure to keep your borders seams away from the edges of the quilt. I used a floral for my center and a couple different greens for framing and it looked great. Depending on how much fabric you had, you could use 4 different ones for framing. I don’t have a photo but this EQ drawing will give you the idea.

I used a one yard piece for the center (about 32 x 40 inches) and subtracted ย that from the width and length I needed to determine how wide to cut my framing strips. I also pieced them to get the length I needed. I use different widths for the framing pieces so I don’t have to worry about centering the backing on the longarm – it’s meant to be uneven.


12 thoughts on “Do you piece backings?

  1. Kathie L.

    Great examples. I try to piece backings when I can but sometimes just don’t want to spend the time. I feel if I piece about half of my backings I am doing great and using stash in them.

  2. debrak

    This is a timely post for me. I finally have a long arm in the house, and I am needing to back lots of quilt tops. I’ve done 6 in the last month. Your 4 patch has always been my favorite, but I can definitely see where the others you’ve shown us can be very handy. Thanks, Mary!

  3. Lori-Marie

    My sis-n-I love your blog…been visiting a while!
    I am so happy for this post as I am just going to be working on a baby quilt that I have too much fabric for & was thinking…hum the back I will use these to do a nice backing! Thanks! For the ideas!
    Have a great day.
    P.S. We are neighbors in Wisconsin! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Angie

    I like pieced backings—but, I don’t like doing them. I have a “backing” collection of fabrics that I bought on sale in years past. They need to be pieced of course to make nice wide and long backings for the long arm. My goal is once they are used up, I intend to buy only 108″ wide backing fabric. I think making backings is the part of quilting I dislike the most! That’s probably why I have so many “tops” hanging in the closet waiting to be quilted. Arrrrgh! P.S.
    Mary, the math is getting harder! Especially if I comment early morning and haven’t had my coffee! :o)

  5. Jean Shute

    Very creative way to use up odds and ends when you need a backing and don’t have enough of one fabric. I think it also adds to the quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  6. PB from MN

    I sometimes do a pieced backing. The most recent one that I did used an off-set 4 patch. It was for a queen size quilt so it was a rather large 4 patch. The quilt was called 4 On The Floor, I got it from an on-line video, and the pattern was an off set 4 patch with an alternating plain square so it worked great.

    It is wonderful to have more ideas to use for the back. It is a great way to use up stash fabrics to do pieced backs. I have never understood why I enjoy piecing the front but I can procrastinate so badly to getting the backing done.

    Enjoy the Minnesota sunshine-spring has been a long time in coming this year.

  7. char

    Thanks for the ideas. I’ve been piecing backs a lot more lately because I need to use up some of some of my older fabrics.

  8. Lisa

    I most often do piece backings… even though most people may not see the backs of my quilts just feels more “fun” to me ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Cheri

    I love pieced backings, and can’t resist adding at least a little something to the back even when I don’t need to. It’s just a great finishing touch — and it’s like getting two quilts instead of just one!

  10. Dar in MO

    To too love pieced backings. Just ran across this post and was delighted to see some suggestions that are easier than what I’ve done in the past. I like your style. Thanks for sharing. I’m prone to using the left over blocks on the back, but sometimes that is not enough and then the trouble starts. I too have a long arm, and try to not have seams near the edge of the top.

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