Quilting Tip #22: Back It Up

Back it up:  Quilting is the only art form that judges the back of a work, so pay attention! Here are some tips for dealing with the quilt back:

Make your backing seams 5/8″  and press them open.  This makes the seams more secure and will allow them to lie flat during quilting.  Be sure your quilt back is square:  90* angles and straight sides when longarming.  Backing that is on the straight or lengthwise grain is best for quilts that will hang on a wall.

Be sure to arrange the quilt top on the backing so that the back seams are NOT centered.  We know that quilts are usually folded in the center with the back out.  This means the seam (the weakest part of the back) is on an outside fold, and we want to avoid that if possible.  It will wear quicker on a fold line.

Avoid heavily pieced backs.  It is difficult to center the backing exactly in relation to the top, and biases can lead to pleats on the back.

When you load your quilt on the longarm, your long backing seams should be parallel to your rollers if possible.  This will prevent sagging of the backing between the seams if seams are perpendicular to the rollers.

I’ve got your back.  Do you have any tips for backing your quilt?

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