Two Tip Tuesday – Quilt Backings

I’m in the process of finishing up a quilt and needed a backing. The fabric I want to use is not quite wide enough. I remember discussions on making one width of fabric wider by adding a diagonal seam. As many of us do, I did a search for information on how to do this. I came across written instructions by John Flynn. You can find his Diagonal Pieced Back HERE. He even has a Diagonal Pieced Back Calculator on the page!!! It took me a couple of trials to work out how large I could go with 2 yards of fabric. I wanted a Backing 50″ x 60″ and my fabric is 43″ wide. I needed exactly 72″, perfect my 2 yards of fabric worked.

I folded the fabric diagonally from opposite corners as shown in the photo below. I have a cordless iron so I could press the fold right on my design wall. I cut along the fold line, off set (shifted the two halves) to get the width I wanted. Then from the off-set points, put right sides together along the diagonal center and sewed a 1/2″ seam. It came out great.

Below is a close up of the off-set and part of the diagonal seam. I’m happy with the result.

I have pieced many a quilt back with adding sections of fabric to traditional yardage. I always love how a pieced backing looks. The Diagonal Pieced Back certainly has its place as an option. In my case today I was able to use only the one fabric to get the size I needed.

Have you ever pieced a quilt back? I do it a LOT. I’m happy to use up fabric and not waste a 110″ wide back on a “smaller” quilt. I save the wide backs for large quilts.

#1 – Piece your quilt backs! It uses up fabric that might be leftover from the front. Or it doesn’t even have to be the same fabric, similar is good!

#2 – Try a Diagonal Pieced Back! It worked for me.

in quilting,


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