Saturday, May 30, 2015

Got My Back

Once the front of my orange and grey zig zag quilt was done, it was time to turn my attention to the back. It had been a while since I cut out the pieces, so I had no idea what fabrics I had left over or if there would be enough for the back. I was quite certain I didn't have any fabric in the stash that would match this quilt.

So after a few days break, I pulled out the fabrics and was happy to find that I had pieces 7" wide by the width of the fabric (42"-44") from all the fabrics that I had purchased a half yard of. And there were a few fabrics I purchased more, either because I liked it, it was cheap, or it was the end of the bolt.

Next I figured what width of stripe I would need to get the full length of the quilt and came up with 4". I cut a matching piece from each fabric and lined them up in the same order as on the front of the quilt. Here is a sample:
That got me a strip of fabric that would cover one half of the back of the quilt. What to do with the other half?

I looked at what I had left of most pieces (3") and figured what I would need of the other fabrics to make the full length. I had enough to cut wider stripes of those and made up a striped piece to cover half of the back.

Since all fabrics are slightly different widths, I just made sure to match the selvage edge on one side consistently.
Once both halves were sewn and all seams were pressed open, I matched the even edges of the two pieces and sewed them together with a wide 1" seam. Once sewn, I cut the seam allowance to 3/8". That cut off all of the selvage edges, which are more tightly woven than the fabric and don't lie the same. Leaving them in would have likely caused puckers and folds in the final quilt.
And now I have a finished back for my orange and grey zig zag quilt made from the same fabrics:
I realized after I was done that I could have just cut all my 7" pieces in half lengthwise and sewed them short end to short end so they would cover the full width of the quilt and then made wider stripes from the fabric I had more of. Then there would have been one simple stripe pattern the full width of the quilt. But oh well, I did not think of that. If nothing else, I have a more "interesting" back now! ;)

The quilting I'm planning to do is perfectly suited to being done on a long arm quilting machine, so I tried to look up the shop in Kalamazoo that rents out time on their machine (after appropriate lessons). I had always thought that would be a great alternative to owning a machine. But it looks like they don't do it anymore. If you happen to know of a place near me that does, please let me know.

Otherwise, I'll be able to do it pretty easily on my home machine as well.

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