Thursday, April 28, 2011

Backings, Backings, Backings!

Dig dig dig! Pull fabric off the shelves, audition, discard for one reason or the other, and dig dig dig some more!

This is the usual process of picking borders, binding, sashing, setting triangles, and BACKING fabrics for any quilt that comes my way. You should see the DISCARD pile! ((And yes, much to my dismay, I have much to refold it all and put it away all over again~~))

Well, Let’s see what we can get RID of shall we? Because…some of these fabrics have been around long before the millennium fabric we have been laughing about was even a pre-conceived notion!

Here’s a pic of the backing I just threw together! and I think it turned out pretty whacky fun! What better for a scrap quilt backing than something scrappy?

backings 003

Now this doesn’t look too bad from far away….And it’s not really laying here straight, but you get the idea. Remember when aqua and peach were the “in” thing back in the late 80’s to mid 90s?? Oh yes…I remember wall paper borders that looked much like the fabric on the left! Want a close up??!

backings 005

Kind of an art deco thing….almost celtic too? I can’t decide, but I do know that it needed to GO somewhere…

I don’t know WHEN this piece entered my stash and I have no idea if it is aqua cow spots? or aqua giraffe spots! Or paint blotches? Which one sounds more sophisticated?!

backings 004

Now THIS one…is hilarious, and some how I ended up with like 3 yards of it? All I can think is it must have been either

  1. Gifted! ((With no return address of course!))
  2. Cheap!
  3. Too ugly to pass up!

The only thing I regret about using this fabric is that I didn’t use it ALL until it was GONE! I’m afraid, it will show up again in something else down the road…should I be ashamed?!

I used the gifted “Hopscotch” blocks to add some interest, and to get them out of the orphan box as well. There were not enough to make a quilt, they were all different sizes from each other because they were made by many people, and I would have had to make more to make anything out of them…so this way…..it’s a happy weird combo that makes me smile~~ Maybe simply because I am getting away with something I shouldn’t, but mostly because it definitely breaks rules, guidelines and boundaries…..FUN!

Wanna join me in the whacky-backing making? I dare you...dig into the stash, the orphan blocks, the old, the outdated, the ugly...let me know what you come up with!


  1. Ha! I'm joining you in that challenge today! Piecing a backing is on my agenda today! I will see what I can come up with when it comes to ugly! LOL...I have some blocks from a block swap, maybe I could throw those in.....
    Thanks for the Challenge Bonnie!!

  2. Ha ha - just remember, fabrics can always be dyed.

  3. OH!!! I was so surprised to see the Hopscotch blocks used on the backing. Hooray!!! The block brought back good memeories of when I gave them to you in Newark, OH.
    One of my blocks is the second from the bottom next to the 30 repro one. Thanks for finding a use for them.

  4. TEE HEE... I used to do same thing! THEN last fall I thought I had just better give up quilting - SOLD ALMOST ALL of my stash...kept some goodies I just could NOT PART WITH. THANKFULLY, with some hand treatments am doing some quilting again. LOVE IT and today it is what makes me laugh or HAVE FUN. YOU go gal..love using old sale fabrics for backings, far more fun than MUSLIN.

  5. Ha! Funny, but they both took great! I'm going to join your challenge! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I've never seen an aqua giraffe.
    I never hope to see one.
    But I can tell you anyhow
    I'd rather SEE than BE one!

  7. How funny. I have the same process. I love your pieced back.

  8. So...if we have orphan blocks that we don't want...can we send them to you to use? I'm seriously considering it, haha...

  9. That is my method for backing scrap quilts. It is amazing what actually goes together when you pull it out! A great way to use up those fabrics you loved but really didn't work in any quilt you have ever made! I really should remember to start using some of those orphan blocks I have too.

  10. Anonymous11:02 AM EDT

    It's too much work to make a beautiful quilt and then back it with ugly fabric. I want it beautiful on both sides.

  11. How fun to have so much fabric to choose from. As a fairly new quilter, I have not accumulated any pieces large enough to use for backing. I can only be envious, in a good way.

  12. With my charity quilts we have lots of extra fabric pieces and we use all of our fabrics so this works for me. Some of our sewers make quilts larger then the required size so I have quite a few of these excess fabric. Backs for me are the most difficult so this is a great solution and I love the look of it.

  13. Love it~! I piece backings when ever possible. I think it gives a richer dimension to the quilt.

  14. Your aqua and white would make a nice background fabric for a bright quilt.Take a peek at what Kim Mcclean is doing. That might inspire you.

  15. I do whacky backs all the time, I think they are perfect for scrap quilts, which are my favorites.I love that aqua spot fabric, the more outlandish the print the better I like it. In my book there are no ugly fabrics

  16. I just had to laugh when I came across your post this morining!! Believe it or not - I have met 3 women who have never had the honour of coming to this site and 'meeting' you! Well, believe me, I have introduced them to you and told them all about your Scrap Using system - which I am working on right now! I am so tired of the mess of peices just laying around, they are being made useable!!!
    When I was talking, one lady asked about fabrics that don't go together - well, I set her straigh on that one!! And I told her that "Bonnie says, if you have a fabric you think is ugly, cut it smaller!! It's just not small enough!!" They laughed and kept asking me to repeat your name!
    I am sure they have come to check you out by now. Even if they haven't - we are getting together tomorrow and I am bringing them things to show them!
    They had never heard of 'leader/enders'!! WHAT!!! Boy, they will be so glad to have met me by the end of tomorrow!! ;-)
    (or, ahem.....not....!! lol!!)

    I love this backing!!!! And I think it's giraffe material! 3 yards!! Has to be!!!

    Have a super fantastic day, and just think - you are almost done!!!!! YEAH!!

  17. I think the green splotches are amoebas in a petri dish...LOL! I just ripped a 1 yard piece off a ghastly peach print to send off to my partner in an "UGLY Fabric swap - she will make something pretty--- or try to and then mail it back to me. I'm going to write a post about it today.

  18. "but mostly because it definitely breaks rules, guidelines and boundaries"..........I'm of the belief that most rules are meant to be bent if not completely broken!!! There are just too many rules in life and it feels so good to trash a few every now & then.

  19. I have NEVER seen a cow on our farm that has that kinda spots.

  20. When you piece the backing you get 2 quilts because when you are bored with the front, you can flip it over to the back. Besides using sheets, pieced backings are the way to go!

  21. Anonymous3:39 PM EDT

    No dares...... it is dig dig dig, that makes mess mess mess of the room.....

    now a double dare....... maybe....

  22. I HATE making backs! They are so BORING! So I pretend I'm making another top instead! I do a free-form/go-for-it/wacky/slap-it-together kinda thing. I use funky fabrics - scraps from the top - orphan blocks - whatever kinda "goes" with the top. Makes it somewhat reversible and I don't have to worry if the top gets folded back and some of the backing shows. And it USES that stash!! Gotta luv it!!

  23. LOL! I love it! I especially love that you are having fun! Isn't that what what quilting should be? I'm wondering where I could get an Aqua spotted cow? Might add some color to our otherwise bland bovine herd!

  24. Ha you call it a 'back', I would pass it off as a quilt top--lol be sure to label it 'original design by BH' Looks great! cw

  25. Funny.......oh do I have some old ugly stuff too to get rid of ( ha... I "gifted" that millennium stuff on you :0).)......but first I have to finish something before I can get to the back!

    Happy Sewing.......now back to my sewing room

  26. My idea of finding a good fabric for the backing is to look in my stash for almost any fabric that's the right size for the quilt top, or sometimes I can combine two fabrics and that's about it--except I don't put a cute pink on a quilt for a man--

  27. SEE.... http://lifeforus.blogspot.com/2011/04/i-was-good-girl.html My Peachy fabric would match yours!

  28. I used to think quilt backs needed to be one piece, but I've seen the light!! Pieced backs are so much more interesting!

  29. When I make wall quilts, I always use the uglies, lol.
    I figure no one is going to see the back, at least I hope not;)


  30. I love the "2 for 1" way of backing a quilt. I sometimes have my quilts quilted professionally, so a pieced backing makes me feel more justified in spending the hard-earned. I learned this method from Bonnie K Hunter, she has a FAB website and blog.

  31. I have been piecing my backs like you showed us we could in most of the last quilts I have made. Sometimes using the rest of the material from the front. Or extra blocks . Thanks for giving us the right to make backings like this. Love it.


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