Starry Night Sampler | Backing

Hello, Hello My Stitching Friends!

Heather here from The Sewing Loft back for our monthly sit & sew session. Today we talk backing.  To get started you will need a few basic sewing supplies and materials. To make it easy, I have created a printable download that you can get here. These additional tools will be helpful in creating your quilt. standard sewing machine iron/ironing board rotary cuter, quilting ruler and self healing mat are helpful *Note the white fabric is mixed in throughout the quilt blocks and also used as the borders & sashing. Backing fabric is not included on the supply list. The Starry Night Quilt finishes 45″ x 54″. The first block we are creating is called a 9 patch. Not only is the 9 patch quilt block a very basic block but it can help your build your skills in so many ways. It allows you to practice your stitching lines, seam alignment and nesting. This is one of those blocks you want to master! In the Starry Night Quilt, we are taking the standard 9 patch a step further by mixing things up with an extra color stripe in each section. Let’s take a look.

By now, you have stitched together your version of the Starry Night Quilt Sampler and are ready for the finishing details.

Starry Night Sampler Quilt Layout

Last month we worked on the layout and before we get to the quilting, I wanted to take a few minutes to chat about backing our quilts.

There are 2 different schools of thought on this subject. Those that use whole cloth or fabric and those that use every last piece of leftover fabric for their backing. Let’s breakdown the reasons and determine which option is best for you.

Whole Cloth Backing-

Some quilters prefer to use whole cloth or extra wide backing for their quilts. This type of fabric can be purchased at your local quilt shop and on line.

Pros:

  • It allows them to create a single layer, non pieced backer layer for their quilts.
  • Reduces seam bulk from additional piecing.
  • Makes backing and finishing any quilt super fast.

Cons:

  • Fabric can be difficult to find.
  • Color selection can be limited.
  • This extra wide fabric can sometimes come at a premium.

Pieced Backing-

Other quilters prefer to use every last piece of leftover fabric from the design to finish their quilts. This type of backing is sure to make for interesting designs.

Pros:

  • No fabric waste.
  • Reduces costs since little additional fabric needs to be purchased.
  • Allows more surface area for creativity.

Cons:

  • Can take just as much time to create as the top quilt layer.
  • Additional seams can cause bulk. Stitcher should watch placement.

So, which camp do you fall in? For me, I like a mixture of both. I make a point to use any extra blocks I may have made along the way, larger pieces of leftovers and at least one area of full fabric.  This allows me to stay creative, keep a few pennies in my fabric budget for later projects and prevent my pile of UFO’s from piling up. Here is the back of my Starry Night Quilt.

Starry Night Quilt Back View

Now, you may be wondering why I would have extra block from the front well, I made a mistake and cut that snowflake block too small. Yes, a mistake but instead of getting upset or disappointed about it, I turned it into a creative opportunity. Sewing Motto from Heather of The Sewing LoftThis is really my motto for sewing. I see so many students get frustrated when points don’t line up just right or a seam is wonky.  Instead, I like to embrace the variations. Prime example-  I never noticed how my horizontal seam was slanted until this post.  Like freckles, these types of details add layers of character to every project. It allows your work to be unique yours.  So go ahead, embrace your inner character, I dare you!

Starry Night Quilt Back View with label

Quick Tips:

  • Make quilt backing slightly larger than the front. Don’t worry, we will trim it down to size after quilting.
  • Don’t forget to add a label. You can see I kept mine simple with a handwritten one to remind me when I made this quilt for years to come.
  • If you’re worried about your handwriting you can print a label on printable fabric. Learn how here.

 

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you are enjoying stitching with me during the Starry Night Quilt Block of the Month series. In the meantime, be sure to come find me on social media and share a few pictures of your finished block using #StarryNightQuilt as a tag, I want to see your blocks stitched together!

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3 thoughts on “Starry Night Sampler | Backing”

  1. Kathleen De Verville says:

    Good idea, I love the no waste factor.

  2. Pamela Powers says:

    Are you going to tell us anything else about this quilt.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Yes, the sandwich and binding posts will be coming over the next few weeks.

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