Choosing Quilt Backing and Binding

Many people spend a lot of time organising the fabric for the quilt top but don’t think too much about the backing or binding. Although it is not seen as much as the quilt top, it is still important!

Traditional white fabric is the most popular type of backing. A plain cotton or cotton mix will suit almost all quilts.

However, if you are after something a little different you could choose the most popular color in your quilt and use a fabric in that color. Alternatively, you might have a material that you love, however it only slightly features in your design.

It is always a good idea to keep the backing to using a simple print if not a plain color. If you choose brightly colored and designed material then it may overpower your quilt or not create the right mood when all is completed.

Choose a quilt backing that can double as a second quilt top

However, as the back of any quilt will be a true reflection of how well and neatly it has been quilted, sometimes you can use the back of the quilt as a “second quilt top”. If all the threads are tied neatly and everything has been tucked under properly, then often the back looks nearly as good as the front.

So if you have a brightly colored quilt top, perhaps choose a simple backing color such as a beautiful warm red or a soothing green and get two quilts instead of one!

The binding is the last step when quilting. It is generally around 1/2 inch thick and is the same as one of the dominant fabrics in the quilt. For example, if you have green sashing joining all the blocks up and a yellow boarder, then using the same material as the green sashing for the binding is a lovely way of tying the whole quilt together.

If you do not wish to use the same material for the binding and are unsure as to what to use it is always a good bet to use a plain colored fabric. If you quilt is dark then perhaps black and if it is light then a white will work as well.

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