Ah, quilt backs… by the time you get to the stage of making the backing, you’re almost done, right? Well, maybe…
I’ve showed you how to make a fast back from a single BIG piece of fabric. Problem is, my stash has few big pieces. I never made a habit of buying large yardages, on the off chance I could later use them as backs.
That gives me choices: 1) buy a large piece for a particular quilt when needed; 2) use three or four largish pieces from stash and sew them together; 3) piece more heavily from stash. (See this link — the blogger regularly pieces her backs from all kinds of bits and pieces!)
Though I’m getting more comfortable with pieced backs (#2 or #3), I usually opt for using one fabric. Generally I don’t enjoy cobbling together a back from other chunks. When I needed backing fabric for my latest top, I figured I needed at least 4.5 yards; with 5 yards I could make a fast back. I went to JoAnn’s and bought a toffee colored, mottled print, all that was left on the bolt. It was about 4.5 yards.
And then I decided to take a different route.
Still enjoying the colors and fabrics of the top, I chose to heavily piece strips for the back. My inspiration is Seminole style piecing. A few weeks ago, when choosing whether to keep the quilt square or make it rectangular, I had two borders left over. The first strip to include was the borders that I didn’t use in the top. I joined those two pieces with patches that were left over, and added chunks to the ends to lengthen it for the long-arm frame.
I made another strip In purples and greens, rusts and golds, to mimic the half-square triangles border on the top. Yet another is similar to the flying geese, including the bright green batik featured on the top.
I think they are all in order now and ready to be assembled. When finished, the stripped piecing will cover the majority of the back. In fact, I’ll have used very little of the toffee-colored piece I purchased.
For me, this is one more experiment. While I’ve always loved the looks of strips quilts, most of those I’ve made have been very traditional, symmetrical, and block-based. This asymmetric approach is slightly unsettling, partly because I “don’t know how” to do it and also because I’m not very good at it. But how can I learn if I don’t try it? Can’t. So try I will.
This is far from a fast back, but so far I’ve enjoyed the process. The look of it will suit the top well.
Do you make multi-fabric quilt backs? What approach do you take — big chunks or bits and pieces, big squares or another quilt?