Thursday, November 9, 2017

Not Quick and Simple

I wanted a quick, simple back for this quilt.  Nothing fancy because, after all, it is a scrap quilt.

I had a piece of fabric that was wide enough for the quilt itself but didn't have four extra inches on the sides.  I added a strip of fabric to make it wider, layered it, and pin basted it.  Then I started to quilt it.  Ugh.  The fabric looked like it should be easy to quilt but it wasn't.  This style of plaid/homespun has been around for a good while and I've always loved it but I'll never try it for quilting again.

Back to the drawing board, but I knew it would not be a simple, easy, quick back.  I didn't want to shop for fabric or buy fabric (time, money) and I didn't have any other red piece large enough.  So I pulled some fabrics I thought would work together.   

Yes, pieces of shirts.  In retrospect it would have taken less time to go buy fabric if I could have found fabric I thought would work for the quilt.

After a few hours I came up with this.

Now the quilt will be scrappy, both front and back.  I layered and pin basted it today and have already started quilting it.

It's hard to describe how satisfying it is to sit and hand quilt for a while each day, and how unsatisfying it is not to have a quilt ready after finishing one.  I rarely have a next one ready but I think it should become one of my goals for next year.

We visited our somewhat local historical farm, Slate Run, last week.  They had this quilt in the frame.  I thought it an interesting pattern.

All of those blue/grey squares are set in, not sewn as triangles.  I was in awe.

The farm is set in the 1890s and they try to keep thing accurate to that time period.  I don't know if they succeeded with these fabrics but even if they didn't, this will be a great quilt.

Happy sewing, quilting, or whatever you're doing.



  1. Your quilt top is lovely! Impressed you are handwuilting it! What pattern of quilting are you using? I tried to zoom in on the homespun to see what kind it was so I wouldn’t try to use that kind, but I couldn’t get a better view of it (to see the weave of it). Is it loosely woven? And how was it not right? Was it slippery or too thick or what? Just curious!

    1. Hi, Sally --
      Thank you. Most of the quilt will be outline quilting a 1/4" from the edge, but not all. I debated about using Baptist Fan but decided against it.
      The handspun seemed loosely woven, not thick, not thin, but it "grabbed" the needle as I was trying to quilt. It is similar to a coarse muslin but not the same. I wish I knew the maker but, sadly, I don't.

  2. I tried again and was able to supersize it and it was very clear! Is it the kind of homespun that is like a course muslin?

  3. What a super fun back!! I love using scraps...and I have enjoyed watching your creation come into, love!!

    1. Thank you, Julie. Scrappy backs are like putting puzzles together and are sometimes a challenge but I usually end up loving them. This one, included.

  4. Interesting post about backings. I don't give them enough thought...usually sew together older fabrics for the backs of quilts. I think it is smart to reuse where we can like you did.

    1. I like that approach to backs, too, Jocelyn, and is usually how I choose backing fabric. Older, comfortable, soft fabrics, and also reused/upcycled. I think we think alike on this!

  5. Can you tell us why the homespun didn't work? Would it have been okay for machine quilting? I love your pieced back!

    1. Hi, Lizzie --
      The homespun seemed to be somewhat loosely woven but it "grabbed" the needle or maybe I could say the needled got stuck/was hard to pull through. I've never machine quilted so I can't really answer that. I will say that I machine-stitched a strip of that back to another piece of fabric and didn't notice any problems but that was only 2 pieces of fabric, not 2 plus a layer of batting.



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