Making a Quilt Backing

An Easy Method to Join Fabric to Make a Large Quilt Backing 

This will not work if you are using a fabric with a directional design. In this instance, cut the fabric at the fold and turn one length around and continue with the instructions. This extra step will mean that the design will be running the same way on both lengths after they are joined.

1. Start with a length of fabric, twice the required length of the backing.

2. Fold in 1/2, right sides together so that it is now the required length.

3. Pin and sew a seam down both sides of the selvedge edges, making the seams sufficiently wide to allow the removal of the selvedge.  (You can also do this with 2 separate pieces of fabric placed right sides together)

A Handy hint: Use a very narrow open zigzag stitch to sew the seams, press to one side as usual, and you will find that the seams have a small amount of “give” so that, even though they are very long, they will sit flat without a lot of tension.

Stitch down both selvedge edges of the folded fabric

4. Cut the folded end with your rotary cutter, squaring it at the same time.

5. Now slip your cutting mat between the layers, and use your rotary cutter to cut the top layer down the centre. At this stage take care not to cut over the edge of your cutting board!

Cut the joined fabric to open out to make the backing piece

6. You now have a three piece backing with evenly spaced seams.

7. Finally “Square” up the second end to make a right angle.

Need to make the backing bigger or simply want to make it more interesting? 

Read about a simple way to make an Art Backing.



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  1. […] them to suit the size of the quilt. Visit Always Machine Quilting for clear instructions showing how to join fabric to make a quilt backing. But when the last piece of that “perfect” fabric is just a smidge too small it is […]

  2. […] quilt top. Your backing method is interesting… can you share the link? Sure, here is the link: Making a Quilt Backing | Always Quilting by Machine Reply With […]

  3. […] A simple way to join meterage to make a quilt backing […]

  4. This is fantastic. Thankyou,
    Do you on the line first before cutting if you board is not long enough. To make sure it’s straight , when you cut?

    • Hi Verona, You can either mark a cutting line first or trim square after dividing the tube if the edges are not straight.

  5. Thank you! This worked beautifully!

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