Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Auditioning for Backings

It's 5:30 AM here and I have given up on going back to sleep.  My mind is churning with ideas for backing my quilt and I wanted to capture them so I came downstairs to blog. A minor inconvenience is that when I took my robe off the hook to put it on, I dipped one end of the tie in the cat's water dish. I squeezed it in a towel but I am still sitting here in a chilly room where the heat has not yet kicked in from the night setting on the thermostat trying to avoid that soggy end. Anyway, that is enough scene setting.

First, "How much fabric do I need?".  My Dash-in-the Box pattern quilt is 5 blocks by 6 blocks. I have just shown one of them here. They come in many colors. See my past post on this quilt.

For 10" blocks,  I need a backing 50" x 60" plus margins. I fall short of a typical width fabric. I know I have a pale sort of pink extra wide batik fabric that I bought special for a queen size quilt and then decided I did not like it for the intended quilt. (Note to self... future post on this yet unfinished quilt.) I thought this extra wide batik would go with this 50" x 60" quilt top but I cannot find it to audition it and decide. (I also bought an extra width green polka dot for backing my Grinch quilt and cannot find that either.)  Obviously I cannot remember where I stored my extra width fabric.  They are rather bulky when folded so I had to have stuffed them somewhere. Grrr.

So, OK, if I do not use extra wide fabric that I cannot locate, I fall short of the typical fabric width and have to seam.  Therefore I need at least twice the shorter width or 100 inches.  Surely I must have a length of fabric 3+ yards long in my stash.  The Cotton Patch, my quasi-local (~ 1/2 hour away) quilt shop, always has sale bins of pre-cut lengths of fabric at really cut prices, pre-bagged in extra-length gallon-size Zip locks.  Usually these lengths are 3 yards or more end-of-the-bolt kind of deals. I cannot resist these and snatch up the more unique and pretty ones, often with a larger scale print, that I reason are suitable "for backing". Since my quilt front has the mottled look of a batik, I wanted a fabric that did not have a crisp print.

This rainbow fabric has many colors and I have 4 yards of it but it is too crisp a print in my opinion.

I have 6 yards of this kind of speckled multicolor fabric.  It is a less crisp print, but I think it is still a bit too harsh. Also it is not a batik and I think putting it on the back portrays it as a batik wanna-be.

I found I have 5 and 2/3 yards of this aqua fabric that has a kind of water color look to it.  I am not sure I want something quite so uni-color, although it is a contender.

I have 3 and 1/4 yards of this batik with hearts on it. This is barely enough so I will not be able to match the seam, which I try to do on all my quilt backs.

The heart batik was originally purchased – at a non-sale price, gulp – from my in-town quilt shop as a potential backing for my granddaughter's  Little Witch Girl quilt but I liked this whimsical owl backing for that quilt much better.

Then I thought, "What if I back it with a muted strip or muted polka dot?" I came across in my stash 2 yards each of these blended stripes. I had intended to use this fabric to design some kind of quilt that just cleverly rotated the strip directions or chevroned  the stripes in the blocks, but thus far that cleverness has eluded me. Maybe I can use all four and piece a back of four or eight sections.  This would repeat the lines of the churn dash blocks on the front, especially if I rotate them. This approach also does not use up all collective 8 yards of this fabric and I could still use the rest of it in the future.  I think this idea has the most merit thus far. Of course, it is like making a second quilt for the back.

Some weeks are sewing weeks and some weeks are thinking weeks. I thought a lot this week (and hunted a lot this week), but I guess that is all part of the creative process. I plan to decide positions and assemble the blocks this coming week.  Monday is a holiday so I should have more time. Dang, it is hard being back at work. I got a lot more sewing done while recuperating from surgery! But now, for my work in progress stats...

Completed projects:  
  1. Actually none, zippo, nada
Ongoing projects:  
  1. This post's multicolored Churn-Dashish quilt
  2. Doll quilt - awaiting binding and a missed goal for last week
  3. Grinch quilt - on design wall for assembly and creative sashing solution
New projects:  
  1. Actually none, zippo, nada
Stats since last WIP 1/9/13:
     Completed  projects - 0
     New projects - 0 
     Currently in progress - 3, listing others does not mean they are in progress! 
     Those in closet - many enumerated in earlier posts and not repeated here

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WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. Hmmm. I think I like the second picture best with your blocks. Just MHO.

  2. I've been skimming your blog articles, but obviously I am not qualified to add anything of note about them in the comments field! Just dropping you a note to let you know I'm still following.

  3. what is the name or where did you get the rainbow fabric with the stars? i would like about 3 yards of it. please email me

    1. Rainbow fabric is Possibilities by Henry Glass. I also e-mailed you an image of the selvage separately.