Scrappy Backs | Inside Quilters Newsletter

Two weeks ago, I talked about shopping my stash and piecing the backs of my quilts. I’ve gotten quite a few comments on the post and requests for photos, so here are a few of my quilts.



Hawaiian Roses – side 1

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Hawaiian Roses – side 2

I made this for a runway show but wanted to be able to use it when the season was over. I pieced the purple side because I had a collection of purple fabric and then realized that purple wouldn’t match my bedroom (oh-oh!) so I created the applique for the back. This quilt is totally reversible and is the quilt that made me realize the backs not only could but should be interesting.

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scrappy backs 001 1024x768 Scrappy BacksI didn’t have many pieces of the feature fabric left so I shopped my stash for greens and yellows. I sewed the scraps from the front into three pieces which then turned into the beginnings of the three horizontal rows you see here. I cut the yellows from my stash in several pieces so some of each fabric was in each row.


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Quiltmaking 101

scrappy backs 008 1024x768 Scrappy BacksThere was quite a bit of fabric left for the back, but notice the points of some triangles are chopped off. The light pink fabric is actually seersucker. I knew that I’d never use it for anything so the back of a quilt was the perfect spot. I do feel like I need to caution you here though. I remember my grandmother telling me, “Your quilt is only as good as the worst fabric in it.” She used the best part of worn-out garments as well as leftover fabric from new garment construction in her quilts. But this applies even when I am using all new fabric. If I have one piece of poor-quality fabric which wears out faster than the rest or continues to shrink each time the quilt is laundered, I’ve compromised the whole quilt.

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Victory Garden

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I don’t try to center the fancy part of the quilt back, but I’ve never liked this back because I think the pieced part is too far off center. I didn’t consider how much I’d be trimming off when the quilting was finished and I was ready to bind the quilt.

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Brownie’s Quilt

This quilt has a great story. I found this Loralie Designs dog fabric several years ago and immediately thought that would be fun to do a wall quilt for the dog’s room. We had a wonderful chocolate lab at the time. His food, water and kennel were in the enclosed back porch so we called it Brownie’s room. It’s a very small porch with no big unbroken walls so I made the quilt with a hole in the middle for the window and serged simple café curtains for the window.

scrappy backs 013 1024x768 Scrappy BacksI had to get a lot of fabric from my stash for the back. I think the back is actually more fun than the front. I’d already fussy-cut the dog fabric for the front of the quilt so the fabric for the dog blocks on the back didn’t always have enough space left around the design. As a result, feet and hats and other parts are cut off. Notice that seams don’t always match and several rows are slightly crooked. That’s okay, it’s the back.

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scrappy backs 010 1024x768 Scrappy BacksI love the back of this quilt. There was very little fabric left from the front so I used the ivory fabric. I think it has a very modern-quilt look to it. I free-motioned swirls and they show beautifully on the back. Do notice the 4th piece of fabric down on the left stripe. It is an embroidery sample and the colors were right, so why not?

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I had taken several years of Block of the Month classes using Thimbleberries fabrics by RJR when I was learning to quilt so I had tons of coordinating scraps. I just started sewing them together – big pieces, little pieces, left-over blocks, whatever. The way I did half-square triangles and flying geese at that time left me with lots of small triangles so you’ll see quite a few pinwheels and triangle strips. When I finally got all the pieces together for this back I thought it was so interesting that I couldn’t put it on the back of a quilt. I bought fabric. The back of this quilt is a typical back – two panels of matching fabric joined with a seam down the middle. Too funny, isn’t it?

On another note, if you are a fan of fusible applique or if you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, check out the latest episode on Quilters Newsletter TV: the Quilters’ Community for Patrick Lose’s favorite fusible applique technique.

I’d also encourage you to check us out on Facebook, InstagramTwitterPinterest, and YouTube. It’s interesting to check and see what is going on in the quilting world. For example, do you know what color Pantone named as the color of the year for 2013? We shared the information with our Facebook friends on Friday, when Pantone released news of their selection.

Happy quilting!


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