Artistic Pieced Quilt Backing Tutorial

As promised, here is a mini-tutorial on how I made my pieced backing for my Charming Chevrons quilt-along. I like to call it “Back Art.”

First, I started with a rough sketch of what I want the backing to look like. I designed it  EQ7, but paper and colored pencils work well, too. Next, I measured my finished quilt top and added three  inches around the perimeter (six inches total to the length & width)  to calculate how large the backing needed to be.  I came up with a backing measurement of 54″ x 60.”

Pieced Quilt Back Diagram

Measure Quilt Top

The thing I like about pieced quilt backs is that it’s almost like making another quilt top. I know how the pieces will fit together and it’s much easier to assemble from large scraps and chunks I have leftover in my stash.

For my backing above, I cut out three chunks of dark grey and one chunk of light grey, plus some assorted colored strips, all Kona Solids.

Light Grey Piece

Going from left to right and top to bottom, we could label these sections 1-4. In this order, the cut measurements are:

  1.  19.5″ x 31.5″ (light grey)
  2. 33.5″ x 33.5″ (dark grey)
  3. 21.5″ x 27.5″ (dark grey)
  4. 31.5″ x 25.5″ (dark grey)

I then cut out several 2 1/2″ strips of color to add a touch of whimsy to the back.

I sewed them to the two opposite corners, log cabin style on either side of a light and dark grey piece.

I was working with some leftover fat quarters so I just pieced enough partial strips to get the length I needed.

Once the light grey chunk was pieced, I added a solid dark grey chunk (#2) to the right side.

Top Half of the BackingI repeated the process for the bottom half of the quilt top also. I sewed 2 1/2″ strips of Kona colors to the left side of a dark grey chunk (#4) and then added the solid piece of grey (#3) to form  bottom half. Then I joined the two halves to complete the backing.

Pieced Quilt Back

While sewing, I made sure to press every seam open and use pins so that my pieces would line up correctly. Because I had a stripe roughly in the center of my quilt, this helped me line everything up straight when it came time to baste the quilt.

I like this technique so much I will probably sew a pieced back for every quilt I do in the future. One more idea I may try on my next quilt backing is to sew a colorful square somewhere on the back near the corner of the quit (but away from the edges). This could serve as a label ready to write on as soon as the quilt is finished!

If you were inspired to create some “back art” of your own, I’d love to see it! You can email your pictures to christa@christaquilts.com.

Yes I’m old school when it comes to technology. I don’t really use Facebook or Twitter very often and I haven’t gotten on the Flikr or Instagram bandwagon yet – sorry!!

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2 Responses to Artistic Pieced Quilt Backing Tutorial

  1. Michelle says:

    Very cool!
    I love what you’ve done with both the back and the front of the quilt!

  2. Paula says:

    I love this artistic backing, Christa! Very inspiring! I feel, too, that it’s fun to make the back of the quilt fun/interesting. It’s a great way to use up scraps or finished quilt blocks. Why not, right?

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