Saturday, June 1, 2013

Quiet Expectation or Bright Surprise?

When you look at the front of a "quiet" quilt do you expect the back to match?  Or do you anticipate the possibility of a surprise?

I'm sometimes indecisive about quilt backs:  should they "match" the feeling of the front or should they be a surprise -- almost a second quilt?  Is it better to have two options with one quilt or better to have unity between front and back?   (High Five for Brenna is so bright and colorful that I suggested a calm fabric for the back.  I thought if she got tired of the bright front she could turn it over and have a calm quilt.)

The front of this quilt, below, (which I'm calling Center Light for now) is laid out behind the red-flowered and the creamy fabrics.  Are the fabrics in front too bright for a back to this quilt?  Too surprising?

The two fabrics on the left, below, are options for the back along with the fabric with red flowers.  The cream on the lower left almost matches the cream flowers in the fabric on the right except for its olive green leaves, which don't go with the 1940s green of the leaves on the fabric at the right.  If I ignore the olive green, the fabrics would work together.  Hmmm.  Can I ignore that olive green?
The cream fabric on the upper left is just a tad brighter than the cream in the red-flowered fabric.  I have enough of that to use with the red flowers -- about a third cream and two thirds flowers.

I thought about using just cream for the back but I don't have enough of any one fabric (and maybe not enough of several fabrics together) and I was hoping to be able to use fabric from my stash.

All of this brings me to a question:  does it do justice to a quilt to make do, possibly using less than the best (perfect?) choice of fabric in order to use up stash, in order not to spend more money on fabric?  (One of these days I'm going to die and there will be all this fabric left.  I'm trying to use it up!)

These are things I'm thinking about as I consider fabric for the back of this quilt.  I welcome any thoughts you have.

I hope you're having a great weekend.



  1. From the picture, it looks like all of it would match just great. I love the flowers! I think scrappy backs are fun!

  2. Scrappy backs make the quilt much more quilt like. I am all for using what you have.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Clair. I appreciate it.

  3. I do love a pieced back. I just pieced a back for a baby quilt. I used two different fabrics because one wasn't wide enough. I sewed a strip up the middle. I really wanted to use my stash as well. A quilt shop owner might not agree though. : )

  4. Finish it like Children's Garden. Use the cream and roses! I do a lot of scrappy backs! I love the front and I think the back will be fine with whatever your choice! Be unique!

  5. I say use what you have. I like pieced backs on quilts makes them all unique

  6. I LOVE a suprise backing. We are so lucky to have choices these days! I say go for it and call it a designer backing.

  7. I am all for using what you've got! A pieced backing always adds a unique feel to the quilt

  8. I'm anxious to see what you choose. I've done pieced backs usually because the fabric I like doesn't come wide enough. It's so much a matter of taste with no "right" decision. Sometimes I think the decision making part of quilting is the hardest!


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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