Quilt Backs, Quilt Basting, & Quilt Alongs


This year I experimented a little with different quilt backs & basting methods.  My go to for backings has always been one solid or semi solid backing, but I wanted to try some new things.  I also have, almost always, used large safety pins for basting the “quilt sandwich”.  In this post you will find out about the different backs & basting methods I used & what I thought about them.  I’m also giving links to some awesome QALs going on this year.  Even though I’m saying “NO” to most QALs this year, maybe ya’ll need a new one to follow!

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Quilt Backs & Basting

For me, the back of the quilt was always an afterthought.  After all, it’s not the side most people look at!  I’ve had a chance to see so many wonderful quilt backs this year all over the interwebs.  It made me think that maybe I should put more thought into my quilt backs!

In October I sewed up the Merry Moosemas quilt from Four Peaches Fabric.  The kit came with all the fabric for the front & binding.  I realized after I sewed it up – I still needed a back!  This was the first time I did a pieced backing & I really love it.  It’s pretty on the front & back!

I also used spray basting to hold my quilt sandwich together & hold down the binding.

When my son came home for Christmas, I was still in the process of finishing his quilt.  I’d started a pieced backing & realized at the last minute I didn’t have enough fabric to finish it!  After searching through my fabric stash, I found 2 yards of light weight jersey knit.  It was the only thing large enough that was the right color!

It was also about 6″ too short.  Bleh!  I added a row of cotton fabric at first, but that created a wavy mess.  Eventually, I settled on overlapping a piece of black fleece to make up the difference.  The quilting went better than expected, but I did have some wrinkles.  The back is super soft!

You can also see my first attempt at thread basting.  I used this only in the center image because it was 2″ squares set on point.  The thread is a heavier hand quilting thread.

The hand basting went fairly quickly & was easy to remove.  I did have some areas that the quilting pierced the thread & made it a little harder to remove the thread.

The second Tri-Force quilt, which I showed in my yearly roundup, was backed with fleece.  I didn’t use any batting for this because the fleece really acted as both batting & backing.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of the backing!  : )

In conclusion, I think backing will be part of my quilt plans from the beginning from now on!  It’s another opportunity to add more to the design.  I’ll be testing out different fabrics to back my quilts with this year.  I think I’ll even try out some minky!

There’s a lady named Billie Veerkamp that uses minky to make quilt tops & they are awesome!  She shared a pic of her recent quilt finish in a Facebook group & I just fell in love with it.  She even has a book which you can check out right here.  : D

As for basting, it depends on the quilt!  I still prefer the safety pins for large quilts & spray basting for smaller quilts & projects.  The hand basting may be okay for something smaller as well.

If you’re looking for a non-pieced option for backing, check out the wide back fabrics from Needle & Foot.  They are 108″ wide & I have a yard of both options.  Love!

Quilt Alongs 2018

Anna from Sew Good Sew Far is hosting a log cabin QAL on Instagram.  I’m joining in because this one will help use up scraps!  Use #logcabinQAL2018 share your progress!

100 Days 100 Blocks 2018 {Tula Pink} ~> I have the book & I’m collecting Tula Pink fabrics, so I’ll will be ready!

Starry Bright Sky QAL {Alida (TweLoQ) Designs} ~> I technically signed up for this last year!  Since it’s a learning type QAL, I may still do it.  Learning more quilting techniques is on my “to do” list for 2018!  ; )

  • 22 unique star blocks
  • 11 different techniques to learn
  • Must post picture of current month block to receive next month’s block


Clementine QAL {Fat Quarter Shop}~>

  • Fabric requirements post January 15th
  • First block releases January 25th
  • Runs through July 25th
  • Benefits St. Jude Research Hospital
  • Pattern is free
  • Kit available here.

Christmas Figs BOM {Fat Quarter Shop}~>

  • Runs from July 2018 to June 2019
  • $19.98 + shipping per month
  • Features Ella & Ollie Christmas Figs fabric from Fig Tree Quilts

Let’s Bake Sew Along {Lori Holt}~>

  • Lori Holt’s newest design & it’s so cute!
  • Starts January 22nd
  • Pattern is free
  • Fat quarter bundle available at Four Peaches Fabrics & shipping is free to the US!
  • Templates available here.

Sarah’s Star Quilt Top {Miss Marker’s Quilts}~>

  • Blocks released on 15th
  • Runs January thru September
  • Quilt kit available on website

It’s a “Wild” Life BOM {Sew Incredibly Crazy} ~>

  • Runs February 2018 to January 2019
  • Blocks free for month posted
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Wonderland QAL {Quilting Mod} ~>  This one started in October 2017, but it’s still going on & I really like the pattern!  Block patterns are free.

Three’s Company BOM {Patchwork Posse} ~> Looks like a good scrap buster!

  • Materials list posted today
  • New blocks on the last Wednesday of the month







Machine Quilting Party 2018 {Leah Day} ~>

  • Videos & quilts to learn more about using the walking foot for quilting.
  • Uses the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day
  • 3 different quilt patterns

I hope y’all find something fun to follow!  Don’t forget to check out my new Facebook group “Teadoddles Makers“.  It’s a place to share, learn, & connect with makers using all types of mediums.  Happy New Year!


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  1. Skye B says:

    A really interesting read and another you could follow up with. I love piecing my quilt backs, I just keep adding till it’s big enough lolz, I like using the fabrics that aren’t the best but they’ll get a use out of them….i do have full sized backs that I haven’t actually used yet lolz. I’m yet to try the basting spray on an actual.quilt, a little worried with stickiness actually. I love to use big bent quilting safety pins the most with wonderclips for binding or edges, unless it needs less weight, then it’s the pins. When I moved over from sewing clothes I realised the mix up with words, basting to me was the hand-sewn basting you mentioned, not with pins, it has more use with clothing. Same with the term stippling, with drawing it means dots, not squiggly lines hehe.

    • Kristie Cook says:

      Basting spray is so much easier for smaller things to me! It can get messy, if it’s too small, but I feel everything stays together better. It washes out in the wash. It’s funny how words can mean different things depending on what you’re doing! 🙂

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