Though I haven’t mentioned it here on the blog, I have been busy working on this pieced back which goes to the Bright Happy Go Lucky Quilt that I blogged about a while back.
Though I used to do solid, one fabric, backings last year and I decided to try piecing a back. Though it is a bit more work than a single fabric back it’s a lot more fun and results in what is sort of a reversible quilt…a quilt two-fer. Since my quilts are donated to people who have very little, and this may be the only quilt they ever get, I like the idea of it being a two-fer.
I also find it more fun to shop for fabrics for the pieced backs. The backs provide an opportunity to use some of the fabrics left over from the front of the quilt on the back…and since I usually buy some new fabrics for the back the scraps from both the front and the back get added to my project and scrap bins to be used for other things, like crayon rolls, doll clothes, and pot holders and if there is enough left over, occasionally a little girl’s top or dress. I like the added variety in those bins as well.
Generally, when I piece a back I don’t do a lot of planning. What I do is measure the front of the quilt. Then I add 2 inches to the top and 2 inches to the bottom and 2 inches to each side. So I add 4 inches to the horizontal measurement and 4 inches to the vertical measurement. If the top measures 50 x 60 I’ll make the back 54 x 64. As I am planning the back I try to keep any design elements like leftover blocks, borders, or anything that would look off if they weren’t perfectly straight away from the edges and toward the middle since quilt edges are rarely straight…and since it’s really hard to get a quilt top exactly centered on a quilt backing, especially when the backing and the top are separated by a layer of batting.
With this quilt, I did a bit more math because I really liked the yellow flower print in the middle and I wanted to incorporate the 6″ fancy pinwheel blocks near the corners…but didn’t want them to be so close to the corners they’d be in danger of getting trimmed off or looking horrible because they weren’t square if the quilt top wasn’t lined up perfectly square. I ended up adding strips to the outside edges of the pinwheel blocks to make them measure 10″ and then added strips to the top of the top ones and the bottom of the bottom ones to create a nice buffer zone all the way around the edges. It was a bit fussier than I usually am for the backings…but I really like how it turned out. Now I just need to quilt it so that I can send it on to its new home. I can certainly imagine a little girl loving the bright happy colors.
I got the pretty bright print that makes up the center of the back as well as the mottled green, purple, and yellow in the outer strips from Thousands of Bolts. You can find a link to their site on the where to buy bargain fabrics post. I believe all of those fabrics were $4.95 a yard. The fabrics on the front of the quilt mostly came from Hancock Fabrics (not Hancock’s of Paducah) the one that went out of business. That gives you an idea how long this quilt has been in the works.
It feels really good to have it nearing completion!
Ozzie and Patch did their part and helped with the pinning of the quilt. Tig looked on from the shelves where all my project bins are. Do you see him there on the shelves? Sometimes the view around here reminds me of one of those pictures in kids color books that say something like, “Can you find all of the monkeys hiding in this picture?” Then there are monkeys hiding under the bed, in the potted plant, in between books on the bookshelves, hanging from the chandelier, and so on. It’s like that around here…except with cats. If you enjoy cat pictures be sure to check out the kitty slideshow. You can click on each picture to read the captions.