Backing from Typical Quilting Fabrics
Remove the SelvagesSelvages create little puckers along their length and should be removed before using fabric as backing. Determine how much width will remain after removing selvages. (See Understanding Fabric Grain)
Quilt Backing DimensionsBoth backing and batting are cut slightly larger than the quilt top to allow for distortions that can take place during the quilting process, and to give some extra leeway for squaring up the entire sandwich when quilting is complete.
Recommendations for the amount of excess batting and backing vary, but most quilters agree that it's best to have at least 2-3" excess extending past each side of the quilt. That means your backing should be at least 4-6" wider and taller than your quilt top, more if you prefer (and even more backing if you plan to fold it and bring it to the front of the quilt to create a bound edge. That type of binding is not as durable as doublefold binding.
Cut Single Panel BackingRegular quilting fabric is suitable for quilts up to about 35" wide. Not all fabrics are the same width -- remember the 4" excess guideline and keep in mind that you will remove selvages.
Calculate yardage for a single panel:
- Measure the height of the quilt and add 4" (or chosen excess).
- Divide the figure by 36" to calculate required yardage. Add a bit extra to allow for shrinkage. (Decimal Conversion Chart)
Minimize stretch in wallhangings by arranging the fabric's sturdy lengthwise grain to run from top to bottom as the quilt hangs.