Sunday, June 5, 2011

Quilt Back Done!

I finished the backing piece for my first real quilt. I finished it about 10 days ago but it's been so darn windy here that I haven't been able to hang it on the clothes line for a photo. Today was better so at last here it is.

In my last post I mentioned that I used a fabric that had the look and colors I originally wanted for the top. It doesn't show quite true in these photos but there is more of an overall aqua tone to this fabric. If you had a can of light turquoise paint, to get the color I'm talking about I'd tell you to add just a touch more pale green to it. That's aqua. And it was nowhere to be found when I shopped for the many different fabrics I needed for the top. There were only true turquoises and teals, and most of the purples were dark. I used what was available and, though I do love it, I ended up with a much more vibrant and contrasting quilt top than I originally intended. I hadn't intended it to be so, shall we say, loud as it is. I had a much more subtle look in mind.

Since the quilt top was nearly finished when I found this fabric,  I knew I had to make it my backing fabric. Since I loved it so much I decided to do a little something special on the back as well. So I pieced a frame around it with some purple fabrics, just to add a little interest.

In the photo below, if you look carefully, you can see where I had to piece together the solid inner piece as well. Look along the top edge of the photo about 1/3 way across from the left and you'll see a sudden change from a plain turquoise section to a purple flower. Overall, you can hardly notice.

The frame on the back (two 1-inch strips) is supposed to line up with the frame on the front (one 2-inch strip).  The outer border on this backing is larger now than it will be in the end. You're supposed to make the backing bigger than the top for the final quilting project. When finished it will look more like this:

The darker purple strip is the same fabric I've decided to use for the binding. The binding creates a nice folded edging all around the quilt.

The reason for making the quilt bottom larger than the top during the quilting process is probably to allow for creeping...something that I can't have happen now that I've designed it so the frames need to line up. I want my quilting pattern, which is designed for the front, to also work for the back. 

I already know that it's not going to be perfect. I did a test layout on the floor and was disappointed to find I am a smidge off. I will have to be very careful when laying it out. And very diligent with basting it together so it will withstand the amount of handling it will experience while I do the actual quilting over the next, several months. (At least I hope it's only going to be months, rather than years!) With great care I'm hoping my circle quilting from the front will not spill over into the framing on the back. But I think it will.

I'll just have to be OK with that.

By then I will simply be amazed and pleased to have completed a full-blown, honest to goodness, bona fide quilt!  Yea!

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