When machine quilting an extra-large quilt that’s big enough to use on an extra-large bed, getting the backing done can be a little tricky.

The backing must be pieced together to be later sewn with the quilt top on a quilting machine, since fabric is generally sold in standard widths that aren’t wide enough to span the entire quilt.

Whether you want to use a plain backing or a patterned fabric, you’re going to have to turn smaller pieces into one bigger one that fits.

The good news is that it’s not that hard to do, especially when working with a versatile machine like the computerized Janome 4120QDC-T sewing and quilting combo.

Follow these easy directions for piece quilting a large quilt back so you can finish off any quilt of any size with ease!

Plan It All Out

Regardless of what type of fabric you decide to use for the back of an oversized quilt project, the first critical step is to plan the approach to use:

  • Horizontal or Vertical Piecing - Decide based on the size of the quilt how many pieces you want to use to make the backing knowing that on most machine quilting projects, the goal is to do it with as few as two large horizontal pieces that get sewn together across the middle of the quilt, three equal-sized pieces cut either vertically or horizontally depending on the length and width of the quilt, or even more pieces.
  • Strip or Block Piecing - Cut a long strip to add just a little more width to a quilt back, or even make the entire back in multiple longer, thinner strips arranged either horizontally or vertically which also be done with blocks instead of strips.
  • Scrap Piecing - Make a scrap quilt backing with small pieces of the same fabric& or even different patterns that are all complementary to the top quilt. This method might look especially nice on a single-color or very simple top quilt.

Plan your layout carefully, as a lack of planning before buying and cutting the fabric could result in wasted money if it doesn’t quite fit together.

Buy Enough Fabric

While planning out how to piece together the backing to be stitched as the quilt sandwich with your quilting machine, there are two important details to take into account to be certain that enough fabric is purchased:

  • Remember the Grain - All the pieces should be stitched together with matching grainlines, so anticipate this when planning those pieces and how much fabric will be needed to arrange them properly.
  • Don’t Forget About Overages - When trying to make things fit, it’s easy to forget about seam allowances and making the backing 4” larger on all sides than the whole quilt. Add those into the final required dimensions so you don’t get caught short.

Sew It All Together

Once all the planning is complete and fabric purchased, lay the pieces out and pin together before sitting at your Janome 4120QDC-T to sew as a last check to ensure there’s enough fabric even with the overages, then sew it all together just like the quilt top.

When the back is finished, press the allowances then go on to assembling the quilt sandwich for the final machine quilting as you normally would.

Don’t Let Quilt Backing Restrict Your Quilt

Although it’s not quite as easy as laying out a single piece of fabric to use as the backing on your quilting project, piecing the backing for a larger quilt is not hard at all.

The most important thing to remember before making the quilt sandwich and start stitching it on your quilting machine is planning out a workable idea that takes fabric grain and overages into consideration.

With some imagination and a helpful machine like the Janome 4120QDC-T, you can turn an ordinary backing into something more unique.

Don’t let standard fabric sizes keep you from making that quilt as big and impressive as you’d like!