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Quilt Finishing: Quilt Backing
When finishing a custom quilt or a quilt top, there are several decisions you need to make in terms of quilt backing fabric, quilt batting, quilt binding and quilt fill.
Add Color To Quilt Back
Traditional quilt backing is a white cotton fabric but I've always thought that was a missed opportunity. Over the years, we've added color to our quilt backs; either a patterned fabric. complimentary fabric to the front design and, sometimes, another design like patchwork blocks.
Fabric on Quilt Back Extends Home Decor
By adding a different fabric on the back of your custom quilt, your quilt becomes easily reversible and extends the use of the quilt in your home decor. It can be as simple as a complimentary solid fabric color, or a fabric with a complimentary pattern. Our custom quilts are so well-made, you can easily reverse them.
Add Different Quilt Pattern on Quilt Back
You can also easily add a different quilt pattern on the back of your quilt to also make it reversible. If you add a pattern on the back, use an overall pattern quilting design to finish your quilt so you have both sides finished with quilting equally.
Quilt Finishing: Quilt Batting, Quilt Fill
No Bats Involved!
Selecting quilt batting can be confusing, especially since you rarely see it once the quilt is made. If you think of a quilt as an Oreo cookie, quilt batting is the white inside the two chocolate cookies on either side.
Quilt Batting Gives Quilt Warmth
Quilt batting determines how warm a quilt will be. When quilts were first made centuries ago, old clothing, feed sacks, sheets, old blankets and quilts, sometimes straw were used as batting. Quilt batting can be a variety of materials; their texture also determines the final feel of a quilt.
Polyfill Quilt Batting
The most common quilt fill is polyfill, the middle "fill" in the photo. Polyfill batting gives a quilt a light, puffy and fluffy overall look and feel; it is usually also the least expensive product.
By comparison, bamboo fillis a thin, more dense batting, giving the quilt the look and feel of a well-worn, old quilt. Bamboo fill, although currently the most expensive quilt fill on the market at $20-$25 yard retail, is also a sustainable, easily renewable product. Bamboo fill is naturally anti-microbial and ours comes from a certified organic source.
Cotton and Bamboo Quilt Fill
Cotton quilt batting has been used for quilt fill for decades. Cotton gives a quilt the look and feel of grandma's well worn quilt. Cotton is labor-intensive to grow and harvest, and requires chemicals to produce. Cotton batting is very similar to bamboo batting, only bamboo is more sustainable and renewable.
Polyfill/Cotton Quilt Fill Blend
Suppliers also offer a polyfill/cotton blend. Polyfill/cotton blends combine lightweight polyfill properties with the well-worn look of old fashioned cotton quilts.
Corn and Soy Quilt Fabric Fill
In 2011, new quilt fills entered the market, made from an easy to grow and harvest plants - corn and soybeans. They are not available without a cotton blend yet but we continue to locate renewable sustainable products to sample and try out.
Quilt Finishing: Quilt Binding, Quilt Edging
Quilts Are Bound To Be Finished
So you have the quilt pieced and quilted but you need to have it bound, or finished. Once handmade quilts are quilted, they need to have edges sewn together to keep fabrics from unraveling.
Some quilters sew binding on by machine, others by hand. Either way will secure fabrics together.
Some quilts have straight edges, others are scalloped or have additional edging. Regardless of how they are finished, extra fabric is needed to tie colors together. With light-colored quilts, select a light fabric if you want the edging to blend in. Select a contrasting fabric color if you want the edging to serve more as a picture frames.
If you don't want any edging, select the main quilt fabric,
Quilt Finishing: Quilt Labels
Add Labels to Your Quilts
Regardless of how you finish your quilt, I recommend adding a personalized quilt label. You can include the name of the person getting the quilt, the date and occasion, and name of the giver and/or quilter.
You can also just add the quilter's name and date in either embroidery, printed on fabric or in an indelible fabric writing pen.
Quilt Label Adds Value
The label helps make the quilt a nice memento of a special occasion such as a wedding, anniversary, graduation, birthday or just becaus,e and gives the quilt more value by being identified with the quilt maker.
Now you're filled in!