I have such trouble with the back of a quilt. The front comes from an idea or a pattern. I have fun putting it together, and it almost always works the way I’d hoped. The back is hard because I feel that it should be as good or as interesting as the flip side. It should be worthy of being seen, not ‘just the back’.
My current colours of India quilt is exciting, vibrant and bright. I was thrilled to find three fabrics for the back that I thought would be complementary. They had an Indian feel; with paisleys, swirly flowers and gold threads. I washed and pressed them and then fooled around with a layout. It was all carefully measured and well sewn/pressed. But it was awful! Almost so bad that I don’t want to share it, but here it is:
What’s wrong with it? There’s too much going on. Any one of the fabrics on their own would be fine, but not all three. The orange with gold flower would have been awesome. Also, it’s pieced that way because I didn’t buy quite enough length – because I didn’t have a plan. (This is a mistake that I’ve made before and hope not to make again.)
Here are some backs that I’m happy with:
There’s some interest, but they don’t steal the show. If the quilt ended up folded over or upside down it wouldn’t be a bad thing. The piecing is necessary because fabric isn’t usually wide enough to back anything more than 40″. Adding bits and pieces disguises the seams.
Returning to the quilt of the moment – the colours of India. I bit the bullet and went in search of all new fabric for the back. I had great help in one of the local shops. The clerk and I found the perfect fabric, but when he went to cut it, we found a flaw ran through the entire bolt. (I was shocked when the manager said that she knew it was flawed, but was prepared to sell it at full price, without flagging it as flawed. hmmmm.) I had better luck at another shop and made my purchase. It’s been washed, dried and pressed. Tomorrow I’ll piece it and then, with Blake’s help, I’ll pin the top, the batting and the backing together. Then it will go away for a bit while I decide how to quilt it.
I’ve just reread this post and feel a need to add a disclaimer of sorts. The back of this quilt won’t have different colours or fabrics. It will be all one fabric with seams that won’t be disguised with bits and pieces. What I’ve chosen just feels like the right thing, all by itself. There won’t be a third attempt.
Stay tuned for the next post, which should be the final one for this project. It could be a while. In the meantime, I’m trying to think of a name for this quilt, other than ‘Colours of India’. I like ‘Memories of India’ but President’s Choice has a line of marinades – ‘Memories of Korea, Szechuan, Tuscany, Argentina’ etc – so that won’t work. I welcome any suggestions.
Thanks for reading.