MQG Use It: Quilt Back Challenge

They are lurking in sewing rooms across the world – abandoned quilt blocks, partially completed quilt tops, bits and pieces of leftover fabric. Let’s drag unfinished and leftover pieces out of the depths of our sewing spaces and put them to use. Join us for the MQG Use It: Quilt Back Challenge!

Many quilters have experienced a moment in time where they find themselves with projects that just weren’t meant to be and the resulting frustration of the projects just lying around or projects being long forgotten. No more, we say! Dig through your bins and pull out blocks, pieces of quilt tops, scraps, and partial pieces of fabric that you don’t know what to do with. Join us for this four week challenge with tips, tricks, and ideas to piece interesting, unique, and modern quilt backs.

Why quilt backs?

First, it takes away the pressure of trying to piece a quilt top that you absolutely love. There’s a reason these fabrics haven’t already made their way into a quilt top yet, so let’s remove that hurdle. 

Second, let’s use what we have before we obtain more. There’s absolutely no shame in having abandoned fabric or scraps that haven’t seen the light of day in awhile. This is about reclaiming the use of your fabric in a sustainable way. At the end of the challenge, you’ll have a usable quilt back!

Third, it gives you the opportunity to experiment with modern design! Have you wanted to try a maximalist style quilt but have been too nervous? Are you feeling timid about freely cutting fabric for an improv style quilt? This is your opportunity to play without worrying about “messing up” – just have fun!

Need some tips to get you started? Andrea Tsang Jackson, a Maritime MQG member and creator of the #PartyInTheQuiltBack tag, shares 7 Tips To Inspire You in an on-demand video in the Member Resource Library.

Ready to join the fun? Sign up November 6-10, 2023!

Did we mention there’s a prize opportunity for those who sign up and submit a photo of their backing at the end of the challenge? Each MQG staff member will pick their favorite creative use of leftover blocks, partial quilt tops, and scraps made into a modern quilt back – the eight chosen winners will receive a queen-sized package of Hobbs Batting from sponsor Hobbs Bonded Fibers! Not only do we want you to use what’s in your sewing space, we want you to finish up a project – a freshly completed quilt back and a new package of batting will help you get there!

Share your progress throughout the challenge on social media using the tag #MQGUseItQuiltBackChallenge 


  • November 6-10: Sign-ups are only open November 6-10, 2023.
  • November 13 – December 8: Four week project challenge, with weekly emails
  • December 18: Announce project challenge winners

MQG Use It: Quilt Back Challenge Rules

  1. Each active MQG member is eligible to sign up for the challenge and enter one quilt back for the MQG Use It: Quilt Back Challenge.
  2. Sign-ups for the quilt challenge are only open November 6-10, 2023. If you miss the deadline to signup you can still follow along #MQGUseItQuiltBackChallenge and make your own quilt back outside of this challenge.
  3. Once signed up, participants will receive a weekly email with information about the challenge.
  4. Participants will use leftover blocks, scraps, partially completed projects, yardage, or recycled materials from stash for this project. No newly purchased fabric may be used. 
  5. Only quilt backs made during the MQG Use It: Quilt Back Challenge are eligible. Do not submit previously made quilt backs.
  6. The quilt back must be at least 160” total perimeter. There is no maximum size constraint. 
  7. Participants may submit just the quilt back flimsy – it does not have to be a finished quilt.
  8. Participants will be provided a link at the end of the challenge via the weekly challenge email to upload one image of their quilt back. There will be no physical shipping of quilt backs.
  9. Participants will also provide the size of the quilt back and a brief statement about how they approached the challenge in the submission form.
  10. Quilt back submissions are due by Friday, December 8, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. EST.
  11. The MQG staff will each select their favorite creative use of materials to create a modern quilt backing. The eight selected winners will receive a prize.

Thank you to our sponsor!