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Matching Backings

I must admit, the first few years of quilting I didn’t bother or even consider matching a backing. But once I gave it a try, I realized it’s not actually that hard and the pay off is totally worth it. Here’s how I match my backings for quilts.


First I assess the pattern of the backing. Some patterns are so intricate it would hardly be noticeable if you matched it or not. With those patterns, I say save yourself some time and just sew it together. Typically a medium to larger print will look absolutely fantastic matched up, and a little more than askew if not.


Some folks might not feel the need to do this step and that is ok! I prefer to trim the selvedge from the sides that will be connecting together. I like to do this for a few reasons: it lets me know which side of fabric to use, since the other side will still have the selvedge attached. As well as I can save a cool selvedge for later!

Hot tip! Make sure the two sides are facing the same direction before trimming.


I’ll assume that your backing fabric has already been pressed, but now we need to make a clean edge for our match. To do this I take one of the backing halves and place the trimmed edge, wrong side up. Next I use my handy dandy Clover Hot ruler (you can press it without it melting), and measure the trimmed edge to half an inch and press. Continue all along the trimmed edge until it is neatly folded over a half of an inch.

Matchy Matchy

Remove the backing piece with your folded edge, and lie the other piece on your ironing board with the trimmed edge shown. Take your folded edge backing piece and match the pattern as close to the trimmed edge as possible. Most likely you will need to move it an inch or so from the end of the fabric so it aligns properly. Once you have your pattern aligned, use Roxanne glue (I’m a big fan of Roxanne glue, but you can use whatever you prefer with a fine tip applicator), and glue along the folded edge. Press to secure as you go along down the length of fabric. Glue, press, repeat!

Sewing it together

Now that your backing is matched it needs to be sewn together. Simply sew along the folded line, and that is it! It’s up to you if you trim the seam allowance or if you leave it, but it’s that easy! Just a few extra steps for a big pay off! 

I do want to point out that this is how I do it and if you do it another way that is great! I’d be interested in hearing about your method in the comments. I hope you’ve found this helpful, and until next time friends-

Keep it Quilty!


PS: This awesome cool fabric I’m using is from Lysa Flower’s Driving Down Nine collection!

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