Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How to Match Quilt Backings ++ a Tutorial

I am one of those quilters who once the quilt top is finished, want to get the backing ready as quickly as possible so that I can get to the quilting. I love wide back fabrics for this reason.

When I do need to piece a back for a quilt, typically I use all of the same fabric sewn together with as few seams as possible.  Usually the fabrics are solids or a busy print so I just stitch them and the seam is barely noticeable.  

Once in a while I use a print like in the picture above, Meteor Shower from the Birds and the Bees collection by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit where the seam would show a lot.  For these, I take the time to match the pattern on the backing so the seam is less visible.  

I took some pictures of my process for a little tutorial for you.

Step 1 - Take a look at your fabric and figure out the repeat pattern. Cut the two (or more) lengths of fabric for the backing, being sure to cut extra to allow length for moving the fabric pieces relative to each other to match the patterns.

Step 2 - Iron a crease along the length of the fabric on one of the lengths.  Line up the creased fabric on top of the other length of fabric so that the patterns match and pin in place.

Step 3 - Glue the folded part of the creased fabric to the other length of fabric lightly to hold it in place (you are just basting so use the glue sparingly). Be sure to use a water soluble glue, you can use Elmer's glue as shown or a glue stick. After adding the glue, an iron can be used to press the crease again and help the glue set.

Step 4 - Remove the pins and open the creased fabric. Sew on the crease to join the two lengths of fabric.

Step 5 - Trim the seam to about 1/2" (I just use scissors).  The seam is glued shut but if you used glue sparingly, you can easily pull the fabrics apart.  Press the seam open or to the side and you are ready to use your backing!  

Once you quilt your quilt, the seam will be almost invisible :)

I am excited to link this new tutorial up to the Tips and Tutorials Festival next week!


  1. Well written! Thanks for taking the time!

  2. When using large scale prints, I like to be match-y too. However, lately, I'm having to scrap piece backings, which I think is a whole lot more work! Love what you've shared here, and with such a beautiful print!

  3. I love seeing matched backings like this! I've never tried it, one day maybe. I tend to use solids so don't have to worry about matching! Good old glue to the rescue again!

  4. Matched backings make my heart sing. Glue makes this process so much easier - great tutorial.

  5. Glue basting for the win! This is a fabulous tutorial and I am very excited for the festival to open next week.

    1. This is a great tutorial. Thank you for linking up!

  6. Cheryl, this is so cool - I would never have thought of it. Thanks so much for posting it. I will pin for future reference. And... wow, love that fabric. I hadn't seen it before. :-)

  7. I'm glad you wrote up this tutorial :) I'm always very envious of those with perfect or darn near perfect pieced backings. I can't quite wrap my head around it. I will be sure to give this a try!

  8. A pieced back shows great attention to detail. Thanks for the tutorial!

  9. Great tutorial!!!!! I have seen other people match patterns and it has always seemed so overwhelming to me. Your tutorial makes it seem possible! Thanks!

  10. I've used this same method and it works quite well. Mostly I do the same as you and piece something quickly that doesn't need matching.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Thanks, I just used this technique to match pattern for a border.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!