Love Your Longarmer
What do you like on your back?A surprise? Pieced? Leftover blocks?
The possibilities for backing choices are as endless as the creativity used in making your quilt top!
Discuss with your long armer what they like to see from your backing.
Here are a few guidelines to get started:
BACKING FABRIC SIZE
Yes, size matters!
Your backing fabric should be approximately 4 inches larger on all sides than your quilt top!
(Quilt Length + 8 in= backing length required
Quilt Width + 8 inches= backing width required)
If you have a bad memory or the math gods are not always on your side lay out your backing fabric and lay your flimsy on top of it... if you have a healthy hand width on all sides you are good to go!
Long armers need this room to attach the backing to the frame and keep any side clamps on the long arm machine away from the wheels.
We have a huge selection of widebacks available click here.
When you are piecing a backing think about what way the seams will lay when loaded on the frame. Do you need the backing to be directional? Are you the thinking your quilting design will be directional? Is your quilt top directional?
Your long armer can work with any of the above scenarios, however, it does help your long armer if you have an idea what way you want the backing when you drop it off.
Be sure that any piecing is square and does not have fullness. Fullness in a pieced backing will almost always require a small tuck yo fix it or be prepared for a pucker here and there.
Wide backs are fantastic! Be sure to lay the fabric out and that the wide back is cut or ripped as straight as possible, so that it is not larger at one end or the other. The amount of fabrics folded on the bolt makes it difficult for manufacturers to guarantee that it has been rolled on the bolt straight.
They are a fantastic option as you have no seams to worry about, no piecing required and often have long strips left over for your stash.
PS: Wide back strips make great binding with very few seams to worry about!
THREAD COLOUR CHOICE
Think about the front of your top and how you want your thread to look on it, also consider that many longarmers will use the same colour choice of thread on the bottom.
Will that thread colour go with the backing fabric?
Do you like your thread to blend on both the front and back of your top? Or are you okay if the thread colour stands out on the backing and create a secondary design.
There is no right or wrong answer.... just personal preference and preparation for the choice to be made.
May your bobbin stay full and your 1/4 inch true! -Happy Quilting