More Pieced Quilt Backs

Yesterday I showed you the pieced back I made for my current project. And I also confessed, I really don’t like making pieced backs, and I often don’t like the looks of them. While it’s hard to shell out bucks for enough yardage of new fabric for a back, that decision will often make me happier than cobbling together chunks of fabric from my stash.

However, there are some pieced backs in my past, and there are even a few I like. Here are some examples. First, the Big Block Quilt for a grandson.

Isaac’s Big Block, back. 84″ x 84″. 2016. That really is part of a bandana in green.

Isaac’s Big Block, front. 84″ x 84″. 2016.

Next, The Baby’s Quilt.

Back of The Baby’s Quilt. 46″ x 46″. 2014.

Front of The Baby’s Quilt. 2014.

Here is a wedding quilt from early 2013, before I was blogging here. I’ve done backs like this for a couple of grandson’s quilts, too.

Back of The Wedding Quilt. 2013.

Front of The Wedding Quilt. 2013.

Here is Dan’s graduation quilt. The back says, “I ONLY PLAY SOCCER.” As you can imagine, there is a long story that goes with that.

Back of Dan’s graduation quilt. 2010.

Front of Dan’s graduation quilt. 2010. The shape isn’t actually warped like that. The photo made the distortion.


33 thoughts on “More Pieced Quilt Backs

  1. Lisa Yarost

    Some of my customers apologize for pieced backs. Apparently there are longarmers out there who don’t care for them. I have a reputation for quilting whatever fits under my needle, so I really don’t mind. Requests to center backs and working with non-flat pieced backs can be problematic, but not impossible.

    I do prefer to make my pieced backs intentionally off-center to avoid the accidental look. It takes less planning, too.

  2. tierneycreates

    You keep inspiring me!!! I love the pieced backs! I did one once and then did not think about doing it again. I do “piece” backs when I do not have enough of one fabric but I do not do cool designs! πŸ™‚

  3. katechiconi

    A pieced back is OK if I’m machine quilting, the machine takes the strain, but it makes things much harder if I’m hand quilting – lots of extra seams to stitch through.

  4. jmn111

    Reading about your pieced backs got me thinking about mine – all of my quilts have pieced backs. I just wrote about them: All of my quilts are modern (lap size) quilts and part of the improvisation is adding a modern backing (and the fact that I try to get away with buying just a single length of backing fabric – so I’m forced to use leftovers from the top to fill the width.

  5. Pingback: Quilt Backs | jmn

  6. Kerry

    Wow for the tractors and bandana! I wouldn’t have minded that as a front of a quilt! And lol at the “I only play soccer”!
    I have lots of “orphan” blocks from when I started years ago. Perhaps they would be put to good use eventually, when I’m confident enough.

    Thank you for showing the backs πŸ˜€

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      You’re welcome, Kerry. Yes, the grandson with the tractors uses that side up on his bed. πŸ™‚ I do believe some day he’ll be glad to have the more grown-up version, too. I think orphan blocks are useful in a lot of ways, including for backs. As mentioned in the UFO post, you can use them in any small piece, like table mats and such. Thanks.

  7. Teri Lucas Terificreations

    So when I was working at the quilt shop a few years ago, I did the math, the wide backs are actually less expensive per yard than the fabric that we typically purchase. And there are NO seams. Woot! Woot! File this under *weird stuff Teri knows and shares*


    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      YES, I’ve calculated that, too. The problem I’ve found is the quality of fabric often isn’t as good (though I have bought a couple of wide backs that were lovely, luxurious, high-quality cotton.) And I need to like it well enough to piece with it, since with the typical size of my quilts, there often is a chunk leftover! Thanks, Teri.

  8. Nann Hilyard

    What a wonderful variety! I agree about quilt backs that just don’t go. I’ve had one design published. It was chosen from a photo of the flimsy (unquilted top) and I had to get it quilted right away to meet the magazine’s deadline. I chose a backing totally unlike the front. It wasn’t a cheerful contrast; rather, it was just wrong. I eventually gave the quilt away. (Though not only was the pattern published, it was chosen in a “best of” republication, so I got paid twice!)

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      That’s fun, especially getting paid twice! I know what you mean about not liking the back. I have one huge lovely quilt with a back I don’t like, cobbled together from large chunks. Of course, many of those large chunks were things I didn’t like or otherwise was finding hard to use. And it sort of spoiled the quilt for me. Now what to do with it?? Thanks for commenting today.

  9. allisonreidnem

    I think these quilts qualify for the term ‘double-sided’ quilts. I am marvelling at how well you centred them all too ☺

  10. Jim R

    I like some of your quilt backs a lot. They forced you to be creative in use of materials and message. They are bold and expressive. Some could be quilt fronts imo.

  11. zippyquilts

    Those are some nice quilt backs! And I agree, it’s not easy to decide between making a back (takes more time) and buying a back (takes more money). Kind of like the rest of life πŸ˜‰


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