How to Make Reversible Quilts

Written by althea debrule
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How to Make Reversible Quilts
Express your creativity when making reversible quilts. (quilts image by Christopher Martin from

Quilt backs are traditionally made with basic lightweight muslin or other lining fabric, especially for quilted wall-hangings, placemats and other home accessories. Reversible quilts, however, are usually made with fabric that is similar in type and style and complements the quilt top. It may be designed to be a second quilt top and not a backing at all. Decorative prints and art designs on fabric can be used to express your creativity and make the quilt reversible as well.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 Quilt tops
  • Quilting template
  • Quilt or fabric marker
  • Large flat surface
  • Masking tape
  • Cotton batting
  • T-pins
  • White cotton
  • Sewing machine with quilting or walking foot
  • Invisible nylon thread
  • Steam iron

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  1. 1

    Make two quilt tops, one of which will be used as backing fabric. If one top is made of patchwork or printed fabric, the other should be made of plain fabric in one of the colour shades in the blocks or print. The combination of patchwork or printed fabric on one side with plain fabric on the other will accentuate the stitching and result in an attractive reversible quilt.

  2. 2

    Choose a quilting template that will work for both quilt tops. Patchwork quilt tops are limited to stitching the outlines of each pieced design, but plain or subtle printed tops can be quilted using fancy patterns and templates.

  3. 3

    Mark a scrap piece of the quilt top fabric and wash it to make sure the fabric marker does not bleed but washes out. If necessary, change markers. Place the quilting template on the main quilt top and trace the pattern over the entire surface.

  4. 4

    Place the quilt top used for the backing face down on a large, flat surface. Smooth out the fabric and place tape on all four corners and in several places on the top and sides. Put the batting on top and smooth from the centre to the sides. Lay the main quilt top right side up and smooth and pin together all layers about every 12 inches and in the centre with T-pins.

  5. 5

    Baste from the centre outward to each side and diagonally to each corner. Make long running stitches by hand or machine baste with white cotton and the longest straight stitch setting.

  6. 6

    Thread the machine needle and bobbin with invisible nylon thread, change the stitch length to normal setting and attach a walking or quilting foot. Stitch over pattern lines from the centre of the quilt outward. Remove all basting pins and threads as you quilt.

  7. 7

    Turn under 1/4 inch of fabric on all four edges of both the top and bottom quilted pieces and press with a steam iron. Trim away the batting on all sides and slip-stitch the quilt top and bottom together, being careful not to catch any of the batting in the stitches.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that both quilt tops are made with the same high quality fabric.
  • Pre-shrink all fabric before making both quilt tops.

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