Friday, September 6, 2013

Quilt backs

Today, I faced a problem many quilters have, and have had for decades about what to do with quilt backs. Early quilters used what they had, I am sure. This IS a consumer era and we forget to shop in our own closets.

When I got into this fabric art form, other quilters here in town had been doing this for as many as 30 years. So I did what they did. They bought lovely large prints for the backs that matched the top.

However, fabric was less expensive back in the day. I've spent a lot of time and money putting together many of my quilt projects now and most of them are done quite traditionally.  

Well today I did something new. I have been whining about my growing list of finished tops sitting in the UFO container because I didn't have handy money to complete the backs. Thing is, I also have been saying how much fabric I do have here.

Last night, while browsing some magazines, I came across someone who made her quilt backs from the leftovers from the front. That spurred me to look online for more ideas. 

This morning, I found my bag of 'orphan' blocks and pieces. These are the things made for earlier quilts that didn't fit. Sometimes the pattern asks you to make 14 blocks, and you only need 13 so there is an orphan. Its all put together and simply doesn't fit. 

I have a piece that would work perfectly for this quilt back. Its long enough, just about 12-14' not wide enough. Digging out all the leftovers and scraps of fabric, I started to just piece them, trim and join them into a long 16" wide strip. 

I plan to cut the purple/black check in half the long way, add the strip and then add a top and bottom border of the purple/black. Its busy as heck, and so is the front. These are all Halloween fabrics with some solids here and there. I think it will work.

It works better than whining, better than waiting, better than buying more material when, in fact, there is enough here.

I also plan to do more research on quilt backs and start making more of them to use up all these wonderful gifts from my wonderful friends.  Today was a good day, a successful day, a triumphant day. And if I let it happen, there will be many more like it.