Monday, June 13, 2011

Back Art

Most of my quilts have one fabric backs, but there are a few that there just wasn't enough fabric in my stash to make the whole back from one piece of yardage so I put simple stripes of a coordinating fabric either lenthwise or widthwise which ever was short.  Sometimes both would be necessary.  On the other hand, my friend Joyce has been putting back art on her quilts for many years.  The last couple of quilts I've made, I've done the same for a couple of reasons.

  • It makes a more interesting back.
  • The closest fabric or quilt shop is about 30 miles away.  This probably should be number 1!
  • I have a LOT of stash fabaric that needs to be used not necessarily on the front of a quilt.

This is the back of Blue Skies and Sunshine from the last post.

Here are a couple of close up views of the pieces inserted in the back.  These are left over units from the front of Blue Skies and Sunshine.

Once in a while -- well once so far -- a fabric just doesn't work in the back.  While making the back art for Jeff's quilt, I noticed one of the seams lucked "puckery" which really bothered me.  It needed to be taken apart and resewn taking care not to stretch either of the fabrics.  Muck to my surprise, the solid black fabric tore as easily as tissue paper.  Unfortunately, I had jused a LOT of the solid black as it had been left from making 34 capes several years ago for a local high school.  Apparently, it wasn't the best fabric or it was just plain old so ALL the black had to be removed from the sections I already had sewn.

See all the other black that has yet to be removed?  It's in the upper left and right corners as well as in the lower left corner and a few places in the middle.  Unsewing is my least favorite thing to do!

There were lots of smaller pieces to be removed too.  Here is a detail of that.  Did I mention that I hate to unsew fabric?

At last all the old was removed.  Remember the 30 miles to a fabric store?  Buying more wasn't an option, so it was back to the stash drawers to see if I had any fabric that would work.  Fortunately, there was a large piece of polished apple black so a trip to the store was not necessary.

Here is most of the back art.  It is too long for the design wall so the bottom is laying on the floor.  It is also as wide as the design board and I cannot get far enough away to photograph the entire back, but you get the idea.  Part of the right side is sort of missing in this photo.

The fabrics used on the back were a lot of fun.  Here are a few detail shots of the fabrics.

Don't you just love these faces?

How about a sea horse or two?

I absolutely love the wolves.  I only had this small strip. I think I bought it to use the fur for applique hair.  I also love the "menswear" tweed looking fabric above it.  Oh, stash backs can be so much fun to design using those "oddball" pieces.

So, that's the back art story on two quilts.  Do you do back art?  Next quilt you do, try it.  It's a lot of fun.  I think the back of Jeff's quilt takes on a decidedly oriental feel even with all the fun fabrics.  He may even like the back better than the front.

Next time I show you Jeff's quilt, it will be quilted.

I'm off to the National Quilting Association show tomorrow.  Hope I'll see you there!

Until next time,


Lorinda said...

Jeff's quilt back came out nice despite the hassle. Seems like the one drawback to back art is the time. It is like piecing a whole new top. I love back art. Usually I use up leftover fabrics from the front and any pieces I've cut and not used. Seems like I usually over cut quilts so I always have something to use. I hate putting pieces smaller than a FQ back in my stash so back art also helps get rid of those. For kids wedding quilt I not only had enough leftovers for the back but also a smaller quilt which I haven't had a chance to finish yet.

Lois Arnold said...

Yes, it is much like making a second quilt top when you do back art depending on how big the pieces are. I used leftover pieces from the front for both Jeff's and the Blue Skies quilt. I still have pieces left over from the Blue Skies that I could have used, but I had almost enough of the yellow and blue on the back that were left over from other quilt backs, I think. I love the back art, just sometimes I'm in a hurry to get to the quilting so use the plain yardage to get the back done in a quickly. There is often a deadline looming and time doesn't allow for the creative back I'd like to make.