When I first started quilting, I would occasionally see the term, “pieced backing,” and have no idea what it was referring to. I eventually figured it out, and now I make pieced backings for most of my quilts.
I piece my backings mainly because I love the way it looks, but also because it saves me a little money.
When I sew a quilt top, I have scraps left over about 99% of the time, so instead of throwing them in my scrap pile, I just use them in the backing which means I have to buy less fabric for my backing.
For instance, here’s one of my quilts that has a pieced backing. (It’s basted and still waiting to be quilted.)
After completing my quilt top, I had five of these quilt squares left over.
I didn’t see any point in letting them go to waste, so I decided to use them in my backing and sewed them into a strip.
My quilt top is about 60 inches wide, and my strip ended up about 50 inches wide. I needed the strip to run the entire width of the quilt, so I added 5.5 inches of my backing fabric to each end of the strip to make it 60 inches wide. (I added .5 for seam allowances.)
My finished quilt top measures about 70 x 60 inches, so I made two big pieces of backing, each measuring 30.5 x 60. (I added .5 for seam allowances.)
I sewed one piece to to the top of the strip, and the other to the bottom of the strip.
So when you add the 3 pieces together, (30 + 10 + 30 = 70) I have a piece of backing the same size as my quilt top. (All three pieces were 60 inches wide.)
I saved myself from buying about half a yard of fabric and get a quilt whose back is a little more interesting than it would have otherwise been!