Choosing Backing Fabric For a T-Shirt Quilt or Memory Quilt

July 18, 2016

Backing Fabric for A T-Shirt Quilt

You have been collecting tshirts for as long as you can remember.  You have them from the hospital where you were born, grade school and high school.  The sports teams or clubs you were in during high school.  You get to college and you have concert and sorority shirts.   What do you do?

The obvious answer is t-shirt quilt made by T-Shirt Quilts of Texas!

Backing Material

The backing material is the fabric that is seen on the bottom side of a quilt.  At T-Shirt Quilts of Texas we have over 800 bolts of fabric in stock to select that perfect fabric for your quilt.  We don't use solid color fabrics as they have a horrible tendency to show lint,  pet hair and just everyday use.    We use fabrics commonly referred to as 'tone-on-tone'.   These are fabrics that add a visual  'texture'  and 'depth' to a quilt without adding the more cluttered look of a multi-color print or the FLAT color of a solid fabric.  The professional quilting shows up beautifully on both the front and the back of the quilt.

Well, one of the important elements of a GOOD QUALITY t-shirt quilt is the material used for the backside of the quilt.  PLEASE do your research before selecting a quilter.  The old adage about getting what you pay for is true.  

Listed below are some of the options you will see offered.

Backing options:

Ask your quilt maker.  

The term tone on tone refers to a printed fabric that is made by combining different shades and tones of the same color. Tone on tone fabrics often appear to be solid when viewed from a distance, but their printed motifs become recognizable on closer inspection.  Tone on tone fabrics  add subtle, visual texture to a quilt without the busyness of a multi-color print.

Personally, tone-on tone fabrics do not appear as 'flat' as solids. Black is the exception, we do use a deep, dark saturated black as an accent border.

binding on a quiltThe binding is the fabric that is sewn around the outside of a T-shirt quilt. You see about ½" of the binding from the top, side and back of a quilt. Bindings are used to enclose the raw edges of the 3 layers of the quilt (quilt top, batting and backing materials). Generally, the binding fabric used is the same fabric as used on the back and/or border of the quilt.

Note: We do not use white for binding because it is difficult to keep clean while we are working with it and it will show all the dirt as you use it. White will quickly become  dirty or grungy looking.

At T-Shirt Quilts of Texas we only use the highest quality quilt shop fabrics.  We are quilt-makers and quality of YOUR finished quilt is very important to us.