Each quilt back takes 3-5yds of fabric which should start to add up pretty quickly. This weekend I sewed 5 quilt backs and although I didn't see a visible reduction on the shelves, I know I probably used up 15-20yds of fabric. That's a great start!
Depending on your top and your stash, there are a ton of great ways to use up fabrics on quilt backs.
If you have 3-5 yds of a print in your stash, you can usually make an entire quilt back with just one seam. Smaller/baby quilts often just need one piece.
I really love the clean look of just one fabric, especially if the front of the quilt is very busy or has lots of seams. But, since I'm not buying new fabric, I'll soon run out of large cuts and this type of backing won't be an option.
Anything in the 1/2yd to 2yd range will make for a super fast quilt back.
Medium pieces (or variety of sizes):
Scrappy or organized, these backs take longer to piece but since there are more seams, they actually use up more fabric.
Yardage plus scraps is actually my favorite way to back a quilt. I love the simplicity of the yardage plus the fun pop of color and interest from the scraps. Here are a couple more quilt backs that I love.
Who says a quilt has to have an interesting front and a plain back? Why not make a quilt with two unique and interesting sides? Sometimes I try to use scraps from cutting the front to create a totally new quilt top, a top that I usually end up liking better than the first. So, why not pair these two quilt "tops" together? I like the challenge of using up scraps and coming up with a second quilt design with the same fabrics.
Another option would be to pair up two completely different quilt tops (color, styles, etc.) that are similarly sized. I like the idea of two totally different quilts taking up the space of just one quilt, especially since I have a very tiny house. I haven't tried this yet but I might (I like things to match so this kind of freaks me out a bit). The key, I think, would be to pick a binding that compliments both sides.
I'm going to focus on sewing up backs for all finished quilt tops and once that's done, I'll post another picture of my stash. Hopefully we'll be able to see a difference!