Tag Archives: pieced back

Easy Move from Finishng Up to Starting

My plan for the week was to make backs and sandwich five tops I’ve made recently. (I have lots more tops, but they are out of sight.) I started with this top

1 QBB front

Its beginning and pattern information are here.  Most of my backing fabric has large print designs. That just wouldn’t work with the binding I’d cut.

1 QBB binding

The first place I start looking is among stuff that is out lying around. I spotted some solids that would combine nicely and made the back.

1 QBB back.jpg

The largest piece is darker than photo, more cranberry; the narrow piece deep maroon.

As I was folding the top and back together, I remembered why the fabrics had been lying out.  They were possibilities for the stars in my Irish Star quilt (see QAL button in sidebar) that started as a leader-ender project and has been waiting for its next step. Two fabrics had tails I could make stars from; the other two had been all used up.

So I interrupted my finishing streak after one top to cut the stars so I don’t make the same mistake again. (Starting is always more fun than finishing.) As of now my plan is to cut, then return to finishing. No promises.



Filed under quilting

Two Backs and a Bunch of Blocks

My two recent orphan tops now have backs.

1 orphan back 1

This one goes with the first orphan top (here); the block is one that was unfinished–I added the orange corners–and suggested the color for the back. I don’t have enough purple for binding but there is enough excess on the back to bring the back to the front, so that is the plan.

And this one goes with the second (here).

1 orphan back 2

I had made an oversized striped square so I could play with direction, and that left some pieces that I cut into 2-inch strips. The end result is not quite what I’d pictured in my head because of the alternating directions of the stripes in the strips. But it will do. I’ll cut the binding and keep it with the top and back. I have learned how easy it is to grab fabric I’m supposed to be saving for one project and use it for another.  Early on I’d save the fabric with the top, but that puts the whole piece out of commission. So now I cut the binding. (I think this brown will make a nice star for the Irish Star quilt, so knowing what I have available is important.)

These two will now go into that black hole called “to be quilted.” At least when I am ready, they will be ready to pin.  It is quite annoying to be in the mood to quilt but to have to make a back first.

And here is a sample of the blocks in progress:

1 Mendota blocks 1

When trimmed they will be 10.5-inch blocks. Sunshine Online Guild (information currently visible at Mewe.com by searching groups) has its F2F gathering this June. People who go will assemble tops from this block; people who cannot go will send blocks to be assembled. I will miss playing with the piles of blocks this year, but I’ll be watching for the results.

I have 40 cut and ready to sew, all with light borders. We were asked to make half light borders and half dark borders, so I have to dig into my fabrics for the dark ones.  I knew I didn’t have much light-colored fabric on hands so just want shopping.

I’ll link with Em’s Scrapbag for Moving it Forward Monday and the Tuesday Colour Linky.




Filed under quilting

Still Pink

Out of one black hole and into another. Last week’s top got its back sooner than many do.  I decided to go ahead and piece it. Once I get at it, I wonder why I stall at that point so often. At any rate, it seemed wise to assemble it before losing parts or using fabric in something else by accident.

Moving from a one-yard cut to 48 x 48 makes for a very wide strip–12-15 inches. I didn’t have to see it to know it was too much solid, but here it is that way in case you need to be convinced.

before piecing back strip

Long strips would have been an option, but I thought it would eat up too much fabric in seam allowances.

Plan A had been to divide the wider strip, except I made the first cut the wrong way for that. Actually I think I like it better the way it ended up. I like errors that improve.

Back assembled

I had one other fabric I could have worked in, but decided it would distract. The middle is actually a four-patch block. I rather like the way the three colors bend into the solid–two very different looks from close or far away.

One of the things I learned in an art quilt class was to vary the widths of repeat pieces and negative space between. Well, since I was using precut pieces from the deconstructed block, that width was fixed. (I guess I could have trimmed them, but again, seams shortening the total too much.) I could vary the placement of the squares. So the sequence is not quite regular nor centered.

Now it moves to the black hole of tops waiting to be quilted. I like to have 3 or 4 ready to sandwich before rearranging my small apartment space to accommodate them.

Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday (a day late)–Button in side bar. Hit “home” after you get to the site.


Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized

The Last of the Doll Quilts for 2015

When guild meeting time came, I had 8 doll quilts finished and two to go, two that needed pieced backs. While working on them, I added two more.

map quilt

~24 x 24

First I found this scarf that I’d never decided what to do with. When I noticed it was doll quilt size, I had a plan. (I hope there is a child out there who likes bicycles or maps.)

Seems a one piece top deserves the most pieced back.

map quilt back

~24 x 24

(The dark colors blend too well with the sofa; it really is a square quilt.) The guild had been given the backing fabric for a previous project, and I’d taken the left overs.  The medium width strips are left from when I didn’t need the full width. The narrow strips are color samples that had been stapled to a card. One day I removed the staples, arranged the strips and sewed them into squares awaiting some future quilt. There are six more squares for some future use. For the quilting I followed various of the roads–sometimes creating my own. Good thing it was with stitches and not a car. That was the most detailed pieced back.

The other addition was from the Noah’s Ark panel–border prints to coordinate with the panel; however, only 18 inches wide. While I still had the coordinating scraps out, I decided to add another doll quilt.

Noah doll quilt

18 x 24

This top was narrow enough not to need piecing for the back. I tried quilting clamshell for the first time. Barely visible from the front–back shows it better.

clamshell quilting

As before, I tried it without marking. Either I decide I like the “primitive” look, or I’ll have to perfect my curves. And my estimation of width. The top row was too narrow for two, and too wide for the one row that I made.

I also practiced curves on the checkerboard centered quilt.

Checkerboard center

~24 x 24

The red and blue minkee fabrics allow bits of thread to be pulled through to the top–my thread for quilting was light gray. The quilting shows better from the back.

checkerboard back

It seemed I could either watch speed and stitch length or watch the curve, but not both at the same time. I quilted the flower as I remembered from a blog, and then went hunting for the blog. It was  Flower Power, by Lori Kennedy. (She may not appreciate being credited, since I didn’t remember it quite as she had demonstrated it.) I plan to continue practicing this flower on the next infant top that I quilt.

And last but not least, the four-patch block quilt.

4-patch front

24 x 24

As I’d may have mentioned previously, I had some 3 1/2 inch squares left over from my Urban Chickens quilt. I think this quilt got the best color matches for this print fabric. This one also got a pieced back.

back of

I did the cross hatch quilting with the walking foot, using the corners of the squares as guidelines.

I have enough minkee left to back 4-5 quilts for next year. It is nice and soft, but not really nice to work with. I’ll be glad not to be making more minkee lint on the floors (and furniture, and clothing, and and and) now that these quilts are finished.

I have a couple secret projects to work on, but am also hoping to finish one more infant quilt before meeting night (last chance for delivery this year). I have some time to work on it tonight.

Linking with Finish it up Friday and Free Motion Mavericks today and Oh Scrap! on Sunday (button in sidebar). And because the backs are improv, though minimally so–took strips the shape they came in; they were almost straight–and because I just found this new linky, linking with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters. (AHIQ)


Filed under quilting

A Back for Salt Water Taffy



Salt Water Taffy has been on the back burner since the beginning of the month. I didn’t want to put all those little pieces that I’d need for its back away loose. And I was tired of moving the pile around. Meanwhile, other projects were calling. So the only option was to get the back together.  I thought I needed six more inches than I had for backing. Actually I needed a bit more.

Sometimes I work faster than others, and this was one. The back is finished and the binding prepared as well. I used all but 3/4 inch of the darker green and all of the butterfly print. I still have some of the pink lemonade scraps left though. I think this is the last I can do something with them together. It was nice to have coordinated scraps, but they will now mingle with all the others and reorganize themselves.
Pieced backThe second, smaller strip was not planned. I measured what I had of the butterfly print, and it was a yard. So to get the needed 24 1/2 inches, I made a 6 1/2 inch pieced strip and  cut an 8 1/2-inch strip and a 10 1/2 inch strip of the darker green. However, when I straightened the butterfly fabric to get it on grain, I lost 2 inches.  Lesson learned. Straighten fabric before measuring and cutting the second fabric! At least I had enough little pieces to add 2 inches. Maybe it looks better with it anyway.

The binding will be the darker green. I’ll have to get matching thread. I should have a more limited taste in colors; then I wouldn’t need so many threads!

Not promising when I’ll get to quilting it.

Linking with Oh Scrap!  And Let’s Bee Social. And WIP Wednesday. In case you missed the top, it is here.



Filed under quilting