Sizing of Yardage Quilting Fabrics

The Quilting Cowgirl

Sizing of Yardage Quilting Fabrics

Quilters often spend a great deal of time focused on their quilt top. They have to choose a quilt pattern and then select the best fabrics to execute that pattern. After making their initial choices, quilters focus on cutting, piecing, and sewing their design together. The next step is layering the quilt and adding the quilting. There is a key piece that comes before layering and quilting. Quilters have to choose a backing fabric for their quilt.


In general, there are three types of quilt backings. Widebacks are created from wide, large pieces of fabric. These fabrics measure 108” wide. This wider material is a cost effective choice. It is also easier to layer and quilt. Quilters that chose to quilt using a longarm machine may find wide backing works best. In many cases, 108” wide fabric can be a little less expensive.


Another type of quilt backing is a pieced backing. This type of backing is made by piecing smaller sized fabrics together. Depending on the size of the quilt, it can take more fabric to piece the back. Most often, quilters use 44 inch or 60 inch fabric for a pieced backing. One benefit of this type of backing is being able to utilize pieces of material that coordinate with fabrics found in the quilt top and continuing the theme. Keep in mind that the fewer seams, the easier it is to add quilting with a longarm machine. Several pieces of the same color can be sewn together to create pieced backing. Panels in this case should be sewn with half inch seams.


The final method for quilt backing is creating a scrapped backing. In this method, the leftover pieces from the top are pieced together to create the back. For quilters on a tight budget, this is the most cost-effective way to back a quilt. It is also the most time consuming. Seams must be sewn carefully to avoid bunching when the quilt is layered. Scrapping a quilt back can create a more interesting and unique product. In some cases, creating almost a double-sided quilt.


No matter which backing method a quilter decides to use, the fabric color must be a consideration. Solid colors really stand out on a quilt back. Thread color should also be chosen with care. The purpose of the quilt is another factor when deciding on a backing. Quilts that will be used and have the potential to be stained or damaged might benefit from a backing with busy prints. Stains and damage would be more easily disguised on this type of print.

No matter what type of backing you choose, The Quilted Cowgirl has a beautiful selection of materials and the expertise to advise your choice.