Patchwork can be attached to a backing fabric, but for smaller pieces this is often not necessary. The choice will depend on the nature of your project. Projects that will receive a lot of stress, such clothing items, should be backed.
Muslin, cotton sheeting, and broadcloth make excellent backing fabrics for patchwork. Muslin is most commonly used because it is sturdy, durable, and very economical. Muslin is a woven cotton fabric which is available in bleached and unbleached varieties. It is easy to work with and comes in various widths. The 45″ and 48″ widths are great for smaller projects like accessories, while the 125″ width is great for traditional patchwork projects, such as quilts and bedspreads.
Broadcloth is a good choice if you are using the patchwork in a project in which the backing will show. Broadcloth comes in a variety of colors and it is also good to use for the patchwork pieces.
A good quality all purpose thread such as Coats & Clark Dual Duty should be used for both piecing patchwork together and attaching it to the background fabric. Coats & Clark Dual Duty is made of 100% polyester and can tackle most of your sewing needs, including sewing your patchwork purses, totes, garments, and accessories together.