Diagonally Piecing Quilt Backing Tutorial

Are you familiar with diagonally piecing quilt backing fabric?

It can save fabric or allow you to use the fabric you want for backing even though it appears there might not be enough!

I first learned about this from Rosemary at one of her Thimbleberry Club meetings (back in the good old days…)

It’s actually John Flynn’s technique.

First look at John’s formula.

You’ll need to go there to calculate how much fabric to use.

All you need to know is the size you want the backing to be & the width of your backing fabric.

Once you know that, cut your fabric to that length then:

Press out the center crease with starch.


Fold fabric diagonally.


Doing this on a tile floor will help you keep the fold straight.

Next, press this fold.


You don’t want it to stray…

Then, cut on the fold.


Since I press this nice & flat, I’m confident enough to do this with my rotary cutter & slice off about 1/4″.

Now remember how big you wanted your backing to be & adjust the two halves to get that measurement.


Then pin in place.


 Keep in mind you’re working with bias edges that stretch!

Sew that seam.

I use 1/4″, John recommends 1/2″. Whatever!

Press the seam flat, as sewn, AS ALWAYS!


Then press it to one side.


John says open… You say tomato…


Don’t you dare trim those triangles off without measuring in BOTH directions!

Now trim.


It’s like magic, sort of.

Very little waste & it only used 10″ more backing fabric, not twice as much which it would have taken for two lengths of backing.


So, I’ve done this for 3 quilts this morning.

What have you been up to?

Just keep sewing!


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