Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Which I Cut Out The Back

Back to the Dresden plate project.

So, my sources tell me that after you finish stitching down an applique piece, you should cut out the backing fabric behind it to reduce bulk.  Following the "rules," I dutifully cut out the backing fabric behind my Dresden plate block.

Cutting very carefully!  This is what the back of the block looks like after the back fabric has been cut away:

Ready to add the center circle.  I folded the circle in half, then half again, marking with pins, then lined up the pins with the seams to get the circle centered in the middle of the Dresden plate. 

Here's what it looks like after sewing down the center circle.  Pretty good, I think!

Now, my question:  Do you think it is really necessary to cut away the backing fabric?  I can understand the need to reduce bulk back in the days of hand quilting, and I would definitely do it if I was going to hand quilt this baby.  But it is a queen size quilt and I want to get it finished before 2027, so I will be sending it to a long-armer.  I wonder if keeping the fabric in place might make the block more stable.  What do you think?


  1. I'm there right with you. I can't see why remove the back if you are sending it to be machine quilted. I have seen the back removed when doing other other applique work and using freezer paper templates. You need to remove the freezer paper so the back is compromised. But with a project of this nature... Nope. My back is staying put.

  2. I don't think it is really necessary to remove the back. When you need to remove the paper for paper piecing yes but not for this quilt

  3. I don't cut out the back... and I don't do hand quilting so I think you are just fine to not go through that step.

  4. I have my grandmother's thirties Dresden Plate quilt complete with bubblegum pink background. It was not cut away. This was hand appliqued and tied, with wool and horsehair batting. I mended some of the applique and the quilt edge which was simply turned under and stitched by hand. My grandmother raised seven farm children and lived to be ninety three. Sorry to go on an on. :P Your quilt is going to be beautiful. I especially like the center fabric you chose. Kathy

  5. I think it is ok to leave the fabric behind the applique as long as you are okay with the weight of the quilt. I especially notice the added weight on my quilts string pieced to foundations. I think this is different.


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