Keepsake Quilting supplies you with tips to figure out just how much fabric you need to back  your quilt.

Click here to go to their website for backing fabric.

While it can be confusing, figuring out what type or size of quilt backing you need isn't as hard as it might seem. Just follow these simple tips:

  • If you're planning to send your quilt to a longarmer, you will typically need a backing that is 6" longer than your quilt top on each side so that it can properly be loaded onto the quilt frame. For example, if your quilt is a 74" square, your backing must measure 86" square. Follow any other backing preparations from your longarmer, such as the direction of your seams if you're piecing your back together. If you're in the market for a longarmer, did you know Keepsake Quilting offers finishing services?
  • For the home quilter planning to sew their quilt top on their domestic machine, it's recommended that your quilt backing measure between 3" and 4" longer than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt top measure 72" x 80", your quilt backing would measure around 78" x 86" for a 3" allowance around your quilt.
  • Quilt backings from Keepsake Quilting and other quilt shops will typically measure 44" wide. While this might be fine for some throw quilts or baby quilts, any quilt larger than that will require an additional length of fabric. For this reason, many quilters are used to piecing together two lengths of backing fabric for larger quilts like those for a queen sized, king or even twin bed.
  • If your quilt is longer than 37" (remember: you want to leave between 3" - 4" on each side of your quilt backing!) and don't enjoy piecing together the long seams that two pieces of backing fabric requires, look for extra wide quilt backings fabrics that measure 108". The same rules apply here as with 44" wide quilt backing: 6" longer on each side if you're sending the quilt to a longarmer and 3" to 4" longer on each side for the home quilter.

#2 Karon 2017-01-06 16:30
I'm a longarm quilter and ask for not less than 3" extra per side, ideally 4" extra per side, what you recommend for home quilters. The industry standard seems to be 4" extra per side. Your diagram says 3" extra per side. I find that 6" per side will flop around because there is no quilt in that area, causing me to pin them.
#1 Januari Rhodes 2017-01-06 04:49
Thank you so very much for writing that if you are sending your quilt to a longarmer add six inches to all sides of your quilt top when calculating your backing fabric. As a longarmer I really need the extra fabric in order to keep the tension and still freely move the machine across the quilt. Nothing worse than hitting the clamp and causing wasted time having to un-stitch.
Add comment

Top 10 Reasons to Join the Quilt Show!

(Click on the box next to the YouTube logo to enlarge the screen.)

Learn about
Apliquick appliqué tools!

Watch Show 1912
with Rosa Rojas (free!)

Apliquick Rods


Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors


Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers