Let's talk tutorials....




PiecedBack.jpgHere’s a great idea for piecing backs for throw sized quilts—you know, those quilts that exceed the 44” width of fabric—but aren’t really big enough to justify seaming two widths for an 88” back. You’ll save a few bucks on fabric (always good!)—you’ll save time because you won’t have to match the pattern on your seam lines—and you’ll have a nice wow on the back of your quilt!

I just pieced the back to the left for an Urban Amish quilt measuring 50’ x 60” using two of Heather Bailey’s Fresh Cut fabrics. As you can see, this back consists of three panels. The two outside panels are cut from one length of fabric with a center insert. I’m anal about centering seams so let me explain how I did this.

The length of my quilt measures 60” so I cut two yards of the green fabric—that’s 72”—which will give you an extra 6” top and bottom. Next I cut the fabric down the fold line to create the two 22” side panels.

PiecedBack3.jpgNow here’s where you have to apply a little quilt math to figure out the width of your middle insert. My quilt top measures 50” across. I want to make sure I have at least 4” of extra backing fabric on each side, so 50” + 4” + 4” = 58”. My two side panels measure 22” each so 58” minus (22” x 2) = 14”. I’m going to add 2” for seams--so I'll need a middle insert that’s 16” wide. Because this fabric is also 44” wide, I’m going to need two pieces to seam together in order to achieve my 72” length. (That's 16” x 2 = 32” or one yard of coordinating fabric for the middle insert.)

From your second fabric you’ll want to cut two 16” strips cross grain.

PiecedBack1.jpgSeam the 16” strips end-to-end using a 5/8th inch seam allowance. Press open.

Next find the center point for one of your 72” panels. Pin the insert’s center seam to this mid-point and then pin out to the edges. You’re going to have some extra middle insert fabric top and bottom—but that’s okay—you can always trim that off later. Again, sew a 5/8th seam allowance and press open. Repeat for the second panel.


PiecedBack2.jpgYou’ll want to have at least 4” of backing fabric all the way around your patchwork top. Long-arm quilters need this to grip to when they put your quilt on the big machine. If you’re quilting it yourself, you too will appreciate the extra wiggle room. In the end, you’ll clean this up after the quilt has been quilted.

Voila, there you have it! A pieced back with a little personality!

Happy sewing everybody!


Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 10:42AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment