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Wrong material was quilted on the back. Can it be taken off?

by Cathy Mila

My daughter made a t-shirt quilt out of her favorite t-shirts from her years of growing up. She did all the sewing of the front putting the t-shirts together.

I then paid a professional quilter with a machine to quilt the back material on. I had taken her 2 quilts to be done and each was in a separate bag with the material to be put on the back.

Well, the professional switched the material and put the wrong material on my daughters quilt. The edging has not been put on yet.

My question is can all this stitching be taken out and the correct backing be put on or will it ruin the front and we will see the stitches.

Also, is there a way to put a different backing on over the one that was put on? I am dealing with a very upset teenager and am trying to remedy the situation.

I will never use this quilter again for she stated it was not her fault and that she put the back on that I put with this quilt.

I know that this is not the case, for my sister made the other quilt and it was for a contest that required the quilt to be only black and white and the quilter knew this and still put the black material on my daughters and the blue material on my sisters.

Can this be corrected?


First Cathy, I am so sorry that I'm seeing your question this late. There was a problem with my hosting company and a whole slew of questions 'magically' appeared in my dashboard. Unfortunately, yours was one of them. But I'll reply, even at this late date, in hopes that your situation will help others and that some good may come out of it.

I totally agree with you on not using this quilter again. While you didn't mention it, I suspect that the quilts were different sizes, too, which would mean the backings were also different sizes. I am so sorry this happened to you. I can't even begin to imagine your frustration.

As for taking out all of the stitching. Two things occur to me.

If the t-shirt blocks are stabilized with a fusible interfacing AND the interior of these blocks are quilted, I'd be concerned that the quilting stitches would leave holes that won't close (because of the fusible). If areas of the t-shirts are painted, the quilting stitches will not close because of the paint. There will be nothing you can do to fix that if you remove the quilting.

The other thing is I know if it was me doing the ripping, I would be pissed...I mean...really...pissed. My aggravation would probably make me more prone to mis-ripping...meaning accidentally slicing the quilt top. Not good, especially with a teenaged daughter watching over your shoulder as you do it.

I have a 14 year old daughter, and if it was her quilt, I would choose to do the ripping for her. I would want to minimize the pain ij hopes that she would want to continue sewing and quilting. So...

I would opt to add a second backing to the quilt.

I saw this technique done by Shirley Botsford many, many years ago when I first started quilting. Shirley has written a quilting book, 'Daddy's Ties' (and probably others) and has been a quilting designer for one of the pattern companies...Simplicity, if memory serves correct. So adding another back has been done by others.

Since the quilt is already quilted it would be very stable. You'd layer and baste it like any other quilt sandwich.

Then stitch in the ditch in all the seams that you could in order to hold the layers together. If it is too 'puffy' because there isn't enough quilting, then add free motion quilting to the individual blocks as needed.

I'm assuming that because this is a t-shirt quilt, you are intending that it will be used a lot by your daughter. You'll want enough quilting so that it wears and launders well.

Again, I am so sorry this happened. And even sorrier that it's taken so long to get a response back to you.

Readers, what would you do in a situation like this? Please share your thoughts using the link below. Thank you.


Julie Baird

Comments for Wrong material was quilted on the back. Can it be taken off?

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Wrong material on back
by: Marsha

I'd never use the quilter again,just like you.

And I think putting an extra backing on as described would be my choice, too, because no matter how careful you would be, that is a LOT of ripping, and it's so easy to slip. Besides, it would just make me madder. I'd much rather try to quilt on a new back.

What a horrible experience!

The longarmers I've been around require you to prepare everything according to their specs or they charge extra . . . backing has to be so much bigger than the quilt, batting has to be bigger but not as big as the backing, etc. One thing is sure, if you put it together yourself you would NOT have the wrong backing; just a suggestion for next time.

Wrong Backing
by: Roberta

I agree that the most reasonable approach would be to add a 2nd backing. The time it would take to remove the stitching would be my biggest problem. The wrong back will just add a little extra warmth.

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