Sewing Backing for a Quilt

You have purchased 10 yards of 42” fabric to use for the backing on a quilt. Now what do you

  1. You need to cut off the selvage with a rotary cutter and ruler.
  2. Cut the fabric in half so you end up with TWO (2) 5‐yard pieces of fabric.
  3. Press each 5‐yard cut, making sure the ‘fold’ is pressed out of them.
  4. With right sides together, line up the two 5 yard cuts and sew them together on EACH SIDE. Use a 5/8” seam allowance and press both seams OPEN. You will end up with a long tube.
  5. Lay your tube out so you can draw a line on the back of one of the fabrics. Draw your line in the CENTER of the 5 yard strip ‐ equal distance between the two sewn seams.
  6. CUT just the ONE fabric that you drew on, from end‐to‐end of your tube, ON the line you drew on.
  7. Your fabric is now ready for backing your quilt.

The reason for doing this is mostly for fabric strength. The most used areas (and hence, the
most damage areas after regular quilt usage) of a quilt is the binding and the backing. You do
not want a seam down the center of the backing ‐ too much stress is put on that area of a quilt
‐ think of two people laying under a quilt and one pulls it one way and the other pulls it their
way. That stresses out a center seam on the back of a quilt. You also want to press the
seam open because if you press it to one side (as you do on most quilt tops), it will be bulky in
that area. By putting your backing seams on the sides of the quilt back, the center remains

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