The back must be neat with no loose threads or unsightly thread knots, tangles or pleats.
TIP: A busy back helps to hide uneven stitches, which is handy for the novice quilter.
TIP: Avoiding unwanted knots on the back is a matter of practice through which you gain control of hands, feet, eyes and machine. I am not talking about the hidden knots you tie to secure your threads.
TIP: Loose threads must be knotted and run into the batting. I do mine every time I stop so I don't miss any.
Pleats on the back cannot be hidden so it is important to prepare your quilt carefully for quilting.
TIP: Make sure your backing is free of wrinkles and secured firmly, but not stretched, before you place your batting and quilt top on it to complete the sandwich. Do you know how to properly sandwich and baste your quilt? If not, let me know and I will post my method.
None of this is hard to learn, but does require vigilance during the quilting process.
The binding is the icing on the cake and if it is not done right it spoils the look of the whole thing. I have just discovered Sharon Schamber's method and am very pleased with the results. This link takes you to part 1, but part 2 is easy to find when you are ready.
The quilt below was in the Hoffman Challenge 2013 and the judge noted on her evaluation that there was "a problem with the binding." That's a big help! What was wrong with it? I had to wait a year to find out because it spent the year traveling with the Hoffman exhibit. Stay tuned and I will share with you next week what I think the problem was.