How Much Fabric Do I Need For A Quilt Backing

Knowing how much fabric do I need for a quilt backing is actually a little trickier than you may first think.

My first couple of quilts didn’t go as smoothly as I planned and due to lack of research, I failed. I didn’t work out the ratio of fabric I needed or wadding etc. I ended up having to cut down my nice patchwork side of the quilt to match the backing…not good!

Soon after I started adding extra around the edges to make sure I had room to move etc. It made such a difference and now I am much more confident as making quilts.

How Much Fabric Do I Need For A Quilt Backing?

Depending on your quilt size will depend on how much fabric you will require for the backing.

How Much Fabric Do I Need For A Quilt Backing

If you are looking at all your options and doing the research before you get started you can find average measurements for quilts here to help you get started.

Whatever your size you can work it out simply by measuring your quilt top and adding a little extra to cover any movement etc.

Using this new measurement will help you determine the size of the backing required for your quilt.

Step One

Measure both the width and length of your top quilt. Write down both measurements on a piece of paper.

Tip: Remember to measure in the same units, for example, inches or in centimetres as you have done before.

That way you won’t be confused and there won’t be any discrepancies.

Step Two

Take the width measurement + 8 inches ( 20cm). This is the new measurement for your backing fabric.

Then take the length + 8 inches ( 20cm).This is the new measurement for your backing fabric.

Make sure you have 4 inches to the top and bottom and 4 inches to both sides.

Step Three

If you already have the fabric that is great, if you don’t you can make sure you are buying fabric of the correct width.

That way you can create one piece for your quilt backing from fabric. If you have created a double or king quilt you may need to create 2-3 panels sewn together to create a full backing.

Bear in mind that most fabric bolts on average are either 45 inches (110cm) or 60inches (150cm) wide.

For example:

If my finished quilt top is 54 x 67 inches.

My new backing would need to be 62 x 75 inches.

This would require me to use 2 panels of 45 inches wide to create my backing, with a seam down the middle.

You will pin your backing into place and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

You will also be using binding after cutting down the edges to create a nice edging. If you want to learn how to make bias binding, I have a tutorial on that too.

Top Tips For Quilt Backing

  • Choose high-quality quilting cotton for a sturdy and long-lasting finish.
  • Work out a quilt backing that suits your quilt, this may mean going back to the design board.
  • For larger quilts use vertical seams along with the backing, for smaller quilts use horizontal.
  • Make sure the 8 inches is even distributed to all four sides of the quilt.
  • Take your new quilt backing measurements shopping with you so you can double-check the fabric width before purchasing.

I hope you found this tutorial on how much fabric do I need for a quilt backing helpful. Each quilt is going to be unique in design and size so this is really a great way for you to adjust your quilt without having to change your design or quilt.

If you have any useful tips and tricks for me let me know in the comments below. I would love to know how you got on and what blocks you used on your quilt.

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