Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hodgepodge Patchwork Tuesday - A Pieced Backing for My "Think Outside the BLOCK Quilt"

What do you do with all the scraps leftover from a quilt? 
If you are going to stitch them together to create a cool backing fabric, you need to keep a few things in mind as you assemble it.

  • Tight stitches as your backing fabric will be rolled onto rollers and stretched by your long arm quilter.
  • It will be stretched and pulled, so there may be some wavy seams that you weren't expecting on the back of your quilt. I'm OK with them, because I know why they are there.
  • Your backing fabric for a long arm quilter is at least 10 inches larger and wider, so put the pieces you want on your back in the center sections of the quilt - not all the way out to the edges.
  • Try not to have too many bias seams, as those will stretch and get wavy on the back side of your quilt.
  • If you are having special quilting on your quilt it might look really weird on the back of your quilt, if you have completely different design blocks on the back.  I would suggest an overall quilting if you do a pieced backing.  That will look best on both sides.
  • Ask yourself will my pieced backing enhance or distract from the beautiful front of the quilt?  This is important as you have put a lot of work into your quilt top and you want to be happy with the finished quilt.
You have several options when creating a pieced back out of your leftover scraps. 

  • Make more blocks.
  • Sew the pieces together in a new block design.
  • Sew the pieces together in rows.
  • Add another solid color. Use it to border the leftover pieces and partial blocks.
I chose to sew mine together in rows with the solid strips of blue in between each of the pieces.
Then I added long blue strips in between the rows and added some to the ends of the short rows.
Then auditioned fabrics to attach to the sides. I liked this one best.

I added a large long strip to each side. The wider strip on the right to off center the rows.

I started quilting it today and hope to finish it by tomorrow.  I will post photos later in the week of the completed quilt.  I am taking this quilt with me for show and tell, this weekend, to a quilt retreat in Belmont, Wisconsin.  I started the mystery quilt at that retreat 2 or 3 years ago. The quilt Retreat is hosted by Quilts by Barb
Previous posts about my Think outside the BLOCK Quilt.
I had fun sewing the pieces together to create a backing, but on most of my quilts I use the Extra wide backing fabrics.
I carry 30 backing fabrics in stock and they can be ordered through my online store.  On weekdays, I ship out your fabric within 24 hours. You can order a sample package of all 30 fabrics (5 inch squares) for matching your colors. 


Back to quilting...
Marcia


Linked with:
 Think Outside the BLOCK Quilt - Oct. 30, 2011
 Extra Wide Fabrics
 Today's Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On - Nov. 8, 2011
 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia: Tuesday's Treasures - Nov. 8, 2011
 Life in Pieces: 15 Minute Challenge - Nov. 8, 2011
 Freshly Pieced: WIP Wednesday - Nov. 9, 2011
 Savvy Southern Style: Wow Us Wednesday - Nov. 9, 2011
Somewhat Simple: Strut Your Stuff - Nov. 10, 2011
The Thrifty Groove: Thrifty Things Firday - Nov. 11, 2011
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I get a Whoop Whoop? - Nov. 11, 2011
Roca and Company: You ROCK #9 - Nov. 11, 2011
My Repurposed Life: Catch as Catch Can #52 - Nov. 11, 2011
Quilting in My Pyjamas: Favourite Things Friday - Nov. 11, 2011
2805 Potpourri Party #11 - Nov. 11, 2011
Stuff and Nonsense: fridays unfolded #41 - Nov. 11, 2011
Homemaker in heels: Weekend Craft Soiree - Nov. 11, 2011
So Many Ways: Sew Darn Crafty Party Week 40 - Nov. 14, 2011
Sew Happy Geek: Manic Mondays Linky Party - Nov. 14, 2011
Sew Chatty: Made with Love #51 - Nov. 14, 2011
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday - Nov. 15, 2011

36 comments:

Karen said...

I really like seeing pieced backings. I always think of the lovely surprise someone will have when they turn a quilt over and find something extra on the back.
Your backing looks great and i am looking forward to seeing the quilting you have done.

beaquilter said...

very cool!! I like the wide backing too, but I don't mind pieced backings either, they are bulkier on my long arm, but i've really only done it on my own, so I don't mind.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

I've always been scared to piece the backing...and to get it lined up with the front. I guess if I sent them to you...it would be your problem. :0)

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Front and back look great

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for sharing your information. I love to piece backs, but sometimes a quilt calls for a 1-piece back, too. I prefer to get the extra wide instead of having a seam.

Linda said...

Great pics! I loved pieced backs. I love how this quilt looks, front and back :)

Heather said...

This is turning out very nice! The pieced back is a great idea! :)

Mary@QuiltGenius said...

Thanks for the excellent advice!

Mary
http://www.quiltgenius.com

Heather D. said...

Love the pieced back! I most often do a plain backing because usually by that stage in a project, I just want to get it done!

Shay said...

Very cute. I often do pieced backs out of scraps but nothing as elaborate as yours !

Julie said...

Yes, thank you for the advice. I've never sent a quilt to a longarmer but have been curious because I like to piece my backings. This is great advice and I really love that quilt!

Jennifer said...

absolutely stunning!! the pieced backings are fabulous, i love when people can't decide which one they want to be the top! haha keeps the quilt fun

Maggie said...

I loved seeing how this came together. It looks great!

Foolish Feathers said...

thanks for such great tips, some of which I had never considered! I love seeing how everything came together on the back even before i got a good look at the front!

Leanne said...

Interesting, thanks for all the insights. I think you back is lovely.

Christie, Describe Happy said...

All great tips and I really like the look of your backing!!

KristyLou said...

Good advice if I ever have my quilts long-arm quilted :)

Kirsten N said...

Love the colours in your quilt. I prefer to use wide backing for my quilt too.

Elizabeth D. said...

Have a great time at your quilt retreat! I definitely enjoy pieced quilt backs as well!

Debbie said...

what a beautiful quilt AND quilt back! Nice!

Michelle Ridgway said...

I agree with Debbie lovely quilt and lovely back...

Sara said...

How fun are those colors and I really like the pieced backing--isn't it great to utilize scraps!!

Marsha C said...

I won't ever have the chance to machine quilt but your advice sure makes good sense. The quilt is gorgeous too!

Sarah Craig said...

That's a lovely backing, Marcia! I really like pieced backings when I have time to make them - and they're great for keeping the scrap stash down! Whoop whoop!!

P. said...

Your quilt, both front and back, turned out beautifully. Thanks for the tips on pieced backings.

Karen said...

The pieced backing is a nice addition to the backing. Very pretty quilt.

Cille said...

It's such a stunning, classical quilt. I love it. And thanks for the tips doing backs. It's a very useful checklist...

FabricsNQuilts said...

Lucky you, off to Barb's retreat! Give Kim & Barb a big PQ hug for me!

Whoop whoop, what a fun time you'll have!~

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Nice!

Rachel said...

I'm always a sucker for blue quilts. Yours is beautiful.

Katy Cameron said...

Great long arm advice, thank you :o)

Leila said...

I love how you used the scraps. Brilliant.

Allegory said...

I normally am not the biggest fan of all blue quilts but that one is just beautiful!

Sel's Quilting Blog said...

Love the back and the strong blues and the rows of blocks - very stunning!

Marci Girl said...

Very helpful tips, thank you!

501 Quilt Blocks said...

I like to do pieced backings on lap quilts but I don't bother so much with bed quilts. Love your backing. It would make a stunning quilt on its own.