It’s interesting to note people’s reactions to the idea of piecing a quilt back with more than one fabric. After three years as a quilt shop employee informally collecting response data for the survey question
Would you consider a scrappy back?
I would say the results indicate a near three-way split, with slightly more votes going toward the first of these categories:
1. No, piecing a quilt back with scraps would shatter my life’s dreams.
2a. Can you do that?
2b. Hadn’t thought about it, but I’d consider it.
3. Yes, it gives me an excuse to buy more fabric!
Regarding number one above, one quilter’s husband indignantly remarked to me one day after I suggested his wife make up the difference in yardage for her backing with leftovers from the top, “Well, that’s cheap!” First man I’ve ever met to declare unwittingly that money was no object when it came to his wife’s hobby, but okay.
I’m firmly in the third camp, enthusiastically embracing the idea of piecing a back with leftovers from the top, fat quarters or other suitable fabrics from my stash. Considering that I’m aging at a rate now measured in dog years and because I would sooner die than stop buying fabric, culling from my stash is a must.
So here’s the second installment of piecing the back for the blue/white lawn chair quilt with some general guidelines I’ve found helpful in the past:
1. Square up your fabric pieces before sewing them together.
2. Even if you don’t like pinning, use pins for long seams. No sense fighting it.
3. Use a ½” seam allowance.
4. Elongate your stitch length just a bit to minimize puckering on those long seams.
5. After sewing two pieces together, square up once again, this time, using the seam line as your guide.
6. Press seams open.
7. To easily find the straight grain of the 2¼-yard piece, make a one-inch snip at one end of the fabric width and tear off the selvage. Press the torn edge.
8. Make sure the lengthwise grain for all fabric pieces runs in the same direction. It can run vertically or horizontally, but don’t mix.
9. Keep all selvages to the outside edge of the quilt. You don’t want a selvage trapped in the back—it creates a hard lump there, it’s difficult to quilt through and behaves poorly when washed. Keeping selvages to the outside also helps minimize raveling while quilting.
Will wrap this up tomorrow. Thanks for visiting.