Quilt Backing BasicsA quilt's backing is the bottom portion of the quilt sandwich -- the fabric we see when we flip a quilt over to its reverse side. You might also hear that layer referred to as the the lining or the back.
Options for the Back Side of a QuiltMiniature quilt backing can usually be cut from a single width of regular quilting fabric, but fabric panels must be pieced together when we use that type of fabric to back larger quilts. However, fabric manufacturers now offer a nice selection of wide yardage made especially for use as no-seams quilt backings -- an excellent choice if you find a fabric that suits your project.
Reversible QuiltsMake a reversible quilt by using a second quilt top for its backing. Plan to quilt by machine, since lots of extra seam allowances found in two quilt tops usually create bulk that makes hand quilting more difficult. Consider pressing seam allowances open instead of to the side when making a reversible quilt.
Quilt Backing Design Ideas
- Use a backing that works with the quilt top if both will be visible during use -- in a bed quilt for instance.
- Choose a quilt backing with an interesting motif and then quilt from the back, along the fabric's printed lines, to transfer the design to the front.
- A busy backing hides less-than-perfect quilting stitches.
- Don't feel limited -- use any backing fabric that suits you.