Baby Got Back

Oh, dear. I couldn’t resist that title. But, really, I want to talk about the backs of my quilts for a moment. How do you decide what to put on the back of your quilt? A creation you have spent hours of your life on. That you have thoughtfully constructed. And it isn’t finished without a back.
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For me, I let the scraps, the leftover blocks, and what is laying around my sewing space to determine the back. I rarely (never) start a quilt knowing what the back will look like. For my Single Girl Quilt, I had three layer cake squares leftover along with some smaller scraps. So, I started piecing the smaller scraps together. And somehow, it just evolved into this checkerboard.
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And I love how it turned out. I love using the tiniest of pieces. I think my grandparents would be proud that they didn’t go to waste!
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For my Flea Market Fancy Quilt, I had a few extra blocks leftover (because I can’t count, apparently!) I pieced them together like this
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Then, I decided, if not now, when? So I cut into anything I had a WOF piece of for the line and sewed them all together. I tried to add some variety to the back by making the strips various widths. Now, some of my favorite fabrics are all in one place for me to enjoy!
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It wasn’t nearly as time intensive as the front, but I really enjoyed the process of making it, coming up with my own style.

I feel like a pieced backing is a place for me to let myself play around without the ‘pressure’ of perfection.

In a lot of cases, I like the back more than the front when I’m all done.
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I had a ton of fun using my extra nightshade blocks to construct this huge churn/dash block. And I love that Denyse Schmidt print with Nightshade. It happened to be sitting out along with that grey cathedral print. They just seemed to be the perfect fit, but not wide enough, so I added some black and came up with this.
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So, how do you create the backs of your quilts? Do you hate that part, or is it the place you let yourself just have fun?

Now, I get to go rip out some quilting so I can finish the spiderweb on this nightshade quilt. I am so excited to have a Halloween quilt for ME!

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7 Responses to Baby Got Back

  1. 1
    prsd4tim2 says:

    I love the back of your quilts, especially the FMF one. I never give any thought to the back until the front is finished, either, and sometimes I’m just lazy and slap something on there to get it done. But when I take my time and do something fun, I really like it. My “Ugly Quilt” is one of my favorites for that reason – the back is almost as fun as the front. Thanks for bringing this up. I’ll have to do a better job of planning the backs from now on. Lovely quilts, BTW.

  2. 2
    Tiara says:

    My backs always look hodge podge. I feel like being a new quilter there isn’t a lot of places to look for inspiration, most people only photograph the front of their quilts and definitely don’t show very much quilting detail. For both of these reasons I really enjoyed your post. Thank you!

  3. 3
    Natalie says:

    The title of this post had me laughing out loud– now I’m sure this is what I’ll think of every time I work on a quilt back :) I do exactly the same thing with my quilt backs, and the more I run out of steam at the end of a project, the less complex they get. The back of your FMF quilt is particularly beautiful– it could be the front of the quilt!

  4. 4

    These are all lovely! It’s nice to know that songs run through people’s life, it’s not just me. I’m the same the back has to fit. While I’m near the end of a quilt top then I allow my mind to play around with ideas. Oh course many more tops are in my life than quilts – sigh. Can’t wait to see your finished quilt!

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

    Thanks for getting the Justin Bieber song that was stuck in my head with the title of your post. ;)

    I love a pieced back {your’s are beautiful!} to a quilt but I’ll admit that I’m partial to backing quilts with vintage linens. It’s part me being lazy and part loving to up-cycle something and save my fabric stash for my quilt tops.

    Jennifer :)

  6. 6
    Alyssa says:

    These turned out awesome! I can’t wait to use my flea market fancy I have the idea picked out just need time! I am working on the backing of my patchwork prism quilt right now and I like the process. I do find myself getting frustrated, but I just walk away and wait for the ideas to come and try again. I try to take some feature from the front to repeat on the back as well.

  7. 7
    paula says:

    Like you, I let my leftover blocks and fabrics determine the design of the back of my quilt. I love having a great back so that I end up with a reversible quilt! The back of your flea market fancy quilt is wonderful – love those strips of fabric!