Piecing a scrappy quilt back

We’re having another snowstorm today, and when I saw the cool snowman the boys next door made, I ran out to snap a photo. You can also see their fort in the background. They were all just too cute!

That's Ryan in the green coat and Andrew in front of him plus their two friends Arvan and Aryan.

That’s Ryan in the green coat and his younger brother Andrew in front of him plus their two friends Arnav and Aryan.

This past week, I managed to sneak a few minutes each day to piece the binding for the blue/white lawn chair quilt, using leftovers from the top. It was fun putting together my first scrappy binding, the goal being to use up as much fabric as possible and not buy anything new.

binding blue lawn chair

Here’s how I figured yardage for the backing:

First, I made a sketch on graph paper with 10 squares to the inch.

lawn chair backing diagram

The inside rectangle represents the size of the top which is 60″ x 75″. Quilting on your home sewing machine requires the addition of only two inches on each side, which brings the dimensions for the backing to 64″ x 79″. That’s the outer rectangle.

79 ÷ 36 = 2.194….round up to 2¼ yards.

Since I didn’t want to use white for the backing, I did go shopping (no arm twisting needed) for a medium to light blue batik and found this:

new blue batik for back

That takes care of the length, but only 44″ of the 64″ width. I have to make up another 20″ of width.

Instead of spending $25 to $30 on another 2¼ yards and having to store a 24″ x 81″ piece when it was all done, I dug through my stash to see if there was anything I could use to make up the difference. Here is what I found.

back with 4 fabrics on right

Even with these four pieces, I’m about 13″ short of the 79″ length. Don’t want to venture out in the snowstorm, so I returned to my stash and found this:

stash batik for back

It has some blue in it, so I declare it suitable.

back with 5 fabrics on right

Now there’s enough length for the right side of the back, but I’ll have to trim the two long pieces and build out the three short pieces a bit to get them to measure 20″.

No problem. There are still these remnants left from the top:

blue remnants

I like these:

build out1

build out2

Tomorrow I’ll talk more about scrappy backs and offer some helpful guidelines on piecing them.

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