Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.
Oh, it’s our favorite part! After spending a bunch of time piecing together a beautiful top, now you sit back and think, “Man, I am exhausted from all that piecing. I hope I have the right color, pattern, and size of fabric in my stash to use for a back for this quilt!” And… cue the sad trombone. Of course you don’t. Or, in my case, you have a piece that is about 10 inches too short to fit. Such is life. Here’s what I ended up doing with my too short piece of fabric:
It’s not a real quilt at my house until you’ve been helpered trying to make it. Here’s a better picture of the backing I created:
I had a length of this red and white flannel plaid that was about 130″ long, or 10″ too short to cut into two 70″ long pieces to sew together for the back. What I ended up doing was cutting one 70″ piece, and cutting that lengthwise so I had two 70″ x 21″ pieces. The remaining 60″ I also cut lengthwise so I ended up with two 60″ x 21″ pieces and sewed those together into one 120″ x 21″ piece, then trimmed to 70″. To make it the right height, I pieced in some 9 1/2″ widths of the banner-type print (the remaining 2/3rd yard fabric) and some leftover FQs. Sew, press, etc., and voila! A back for my quilt.
Then it’s time to layer and baste. With the aid of a Helper Cat, of course.
Note: my batting is not actually that short – I have a giant roll of 96″ wide, so I haven’t unfolded to the 96″ width yet. I am basting on my living room carpet, which is not my preferred area, but this quilt was a bit too big for my normal area in my sewing room.
Now… quilting. Yes another quandary. I knew I wanted to free-motion within the panel blocks to emphasize the various pictures, so that wasn’t a challenge. I also decided to stitch 1/4″ offset inside the sashing to stabilize it as well. Here’s how I do that with minimal starts and stops, and minimal overlap (click to embiggen on Flickr):
I start in location 1, although you could pick any strip of sashing. I stitch down the length of the center of the quilt to location 2 (amazing!), and with my needle down, turn the quilt 90 degrees. and stitch to location 3 (numbers are magic!). All of these are about 1/4″ offset from the seam joining the sashing to the block, or the width of your presser foot. When you go back up to location 4, turn the quilt again and sew over location 1 to location 5, and so on. There is a very faint yellow circle around the areas where you will end up stitching over previous stitching lines, but those are pretty small areas. After location 13, you can just follow the same pattern on the other vertical sashing strip, and then around the outside edge on until you get back to location 4, or 1, whichever you prefer. Then it’s a shorter straighter trip to stitch the other outside circuit for the outer sashing (not shown).
For the white and green solid borders, I’m against doing straight line offset quilting. For the pieced border, I will probably free motion meander and emphasize some of the designs, but I’m not quite done yet.
For the binding, I have a candy-cane stripe like fabric that I’ll stitch on so it runs diagonal and candy-cane-like. I’ll probably have it done this weekend, just in time for Thanksgiving snuggling and Grinchiness. Enjoy!