September 8, 2020


    Isn't it wonderful that the fabric manufactures make the 108-110" wide fabric for quilt backs. It eliminates the time it takes to piece chunks of fabric together. Instead you just cut off a length and it's ready. My problem is now I have all these little scraps or chunks of fabric on the shelf or in a bin waiting to be displayed in a quilt. And we all know that most of the time it doesn't happen because we've bought the next latest and greatest fabric. 

As you know, just over a year ago the great clean up and organization began at the now home studio. OM goodness! I knew there was a lot of fabric, BUT, wow. Everywhere I turned and everywhere I looked there was more and more and more. It took 6+ months to get all done. It's both good and bad that Covid happened a while later, because a lot of fabric went to those making bags and masks. As much a I said oh yeah I will use this later, we all know that that was not going to happen. Enough of the rant.

Because of the quilt store organization of fabric I am now able to find chunks of fabric in the same colour family as the quilt tops that have also been sitting on a shelf for a long time. I'm a topper, and proud of it. It was fabulous being able to use up the fabric. Granted, sometimes it took a long time to make the back, but the fabric is gone. 

The following are some of the ways to create backs. I used to just put any old piece of fabric on the back, never muslin, instead a floral on the back of a kids quilt or a geometric fabric front. After my friends gave me heck and explained that since I've gone to all this work on the front I should be making the back just a wonderful as the front.  

You want to lay out all the pieces overlapping each other by one inch, square them up and piece together. Then square on the ends like you would on a regular length of fabric.

Purple: Summer: My pattern for a setting of twelve 12" blocks or a single scrappy quilt. The back uses three purples in the same colour family as the front fabric and a cream. I use the cream as a label and write on the fabric using a pigma ink pen (found at craft stores). Do not use a sharpie because over time it can cause a grease type stain on the quilt. The small white square on the bottom of the back is a piece of tape with the letter T for top. This way the quilter knows which way to load the back. I also mark a T in felt pen on the batting so that the quilter knows which way to load the batting.

Multi colour: The back for this quilt uses three fabrics in the yellow green family. Again, similar to the front fabrics. Instead of just piecing the two longer lengths together and the third put straight across, I choose to cut the smaller into two pieces and put one piece on each end. The two larger pieces could have been two different lengths and the smaller, yellow green, piece would have been cut accordingly to make each side equal in length. Because I do not have any more of the black for binding, and that the backing is way bigger than the front, I'm going to cut my binding from the back pieces that will be trimmed off.

Red: Created from scraps from the 150 Canadian Women quilt. The back is made from two reds and a small piece of white because I needed more length. The narrower red was cut into half on the lengthwise grain with the white inserted in between. It will also be used as a label.

Red also: Created from one piece of red. The white diagonal piece is the label. The corner was cut off at an angle and the white piece was then sewn to the corner. The red cut off piece was sewn back on. Then the fabric was squared off on the bottom.

Scientist: see My pattern for kids or even bigger kids, ie adults, that are into science. The back consists of four pieces of fabric that are cut in half lengthwise and pieced together. I think it makes the back a little more interesting than having them in four corners. Again, I'm going to cut the binding from the backing.

Twirl: see My pattern using fat quarters from light to dark: The remaining fat quarters from the bundle, a small strip of coordinating green and leftover pieces from the fat quarters make up the back. The larger pieces are on the outside of the back so that when you trim the quilt you are not working with a skinny piece on the outside. Putting a narrow row or column on the outside is a waste.

All of the above is also posted on the NextStepDesignsQuiltnasium facebook page.

   Winter is almost back and we haven't had fall yet. My dad farmed east of Calgary. Being a farmer, he used to journal the weather for each day over the years. He told me many many many moons ago, that it snows around September 5 and then warms back up. Over the years it may not have snowed but it has been cold around this date. Well this year was not any different. There was snow all around Calgary and very cold in Calgary. The mountains are already talking about early skiing. They've got a good base. Some crazy people were even cross country skiing in them there mountains. And already, my hockey buddy is talking about where we are going to watch the World Junior Hockey at Christmas time. Ugh and Burr. 

Until next week stay warm. 

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