More about Art Backings

On this page I thought I would show some examples of other people’s “Art” backings for quilts.

These days you can buy wide cotton fabrics that make wonderful backings for quilts without the need to piece together yardage to make a large enough piece of fabric to fit the quilt. You will find a great selection in the online store.

However there are times when the most appropriate fabric for the backing of a quilt just has to be pieced from matching yardage. When this is the case you need to make the backing bigger than the quilt top and make sure that the edges are “square” so that the grain runs straight.

This is particularly important if you are outsourcing the quilting stage to a Longarm quilter. A backing that is bigger than the quilt has an allowance for it to be used as the support base for the quilt & the batting when it is attached to the take up rollers on the machine table and helps to prevent the quilt from being stressed out of shape. You will find some handy hints for piecing yardage together to make a backing on this page:
How to prepare a quilt backing

Sometimes you don’t actually have sufficient fabric in one piece to make the backing. I describe backings where you need to add in a second fabric “Art Backings” and always recommend that you resist the temptation to simply add the extra around the edges like a border. It is very difficult to centre a quilt on a backing that has a “border” so the finished result will usually look as if you ran out of fabric! Where as, with a little more planning, and very little extra stitching you can end up with a great “Art Back” for your quilt.

I have some handy hints for piecing a simple Art Back on page one of making an “Art” quilt backing

For more inspiration to help you to create great “Art Backs” of your own design, check out these backings made by my friends. The photos show the pieced backing with the quilt top for which it was made, immediately below.

The back of Julie's quilt. The strip of leaves makes the perfect complement to the front (see below)


The front of Julie's quilt

The back of Collette's quilt. a clever way to add length to the backing


The front of Collette's quilt


Gail inserted a pieced diagonal strip into her backing fabric to make the blue fabric wider & longer

The front of Gail's quilt



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  1. […] for making an Art Backing for your next quilt or see more examples of Art Backs here If you have been following our “Welcome Quilt”  block of the month this year you will […]

  2. Can you share more about the best choices for thread color? It was not easy to see what colors were used in the examples. Great articles!

    • Hi Georgia, The thread colour will depend whether you want the stitching to be a feature or more subtle.

      Toned down, muted colours will let the thread blend and allow the quilting shadows be the feature. Using a lighter, brighter thread colour if you want the stitching to add extra features to the quilt.

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