Thursday, October 13, 2011


I had a load of fabric left over from my Henrietta quilt and I wanted to make a "matching" backing.

The first thing I did was measure the quilt top.  This particular wallhanging is 48" x 55" or darn close to it.
Because I knew I would take awhile to make this top I wrote the measurements on my little blackboard.

I am going to quilt this one myself as I know exactly what I want.  Lots of acorns, oak leaves and squirrels, perhaps a bird or two.  As I'm doing it,  I don't need it as wide or as long as I would if it was going to a long arm quilter.  An extra 2" all around will be fine.  (Those are the first final measurements.)  If going to a long arm you have to add 4" to each side.  They need that for clipping the quilt to the machine. 

For this quilt I need a backing that measures 52" x 59".  I pressed the fabrics first.  I then decided to cut each one 17 1/2" wide and get whatever length I could get from each piece of fabric.  I sewed my blocks together using a wider seam allowance than you would normally use, about 3/8".  After they were sewn together I pressed the seams open something else you don't normally do.
The reason I press them open is to avoid bulk.  If you ever had the seams on the front and the back match you would have a lot of fabric to quilt through.

Once I had a few blocks together I measured to see what size it was.  I had to add some widths to make it up to the 52" width I needed.  I made two lengths and then I made the final one.  All done and all measured out to 59 1/2".  Now it was time to sew them all together.
Once again I used the same seam allowance and I mustn't forget to mention I shortened up my stitch length to 2.0.  I don't want this quilt coming apart at the seams because in my humble opinion this is the weakest part of a quilt.  Find the centre of each length, finger press and then place a pin on the exact spot.  Then pin from one end towards that pin.  You may need 25 pins to do it, but that's okay.  Do the same from the other end and then sew the seam together. 

It's done.  It's a bit wild isn't it.  But look at all that fabric I used up.  (You should see what I've got left!!)

I will have to make a sleeve for this and I hope I have enough fabric left over so that it matches.  We'll see how I make out.
Making sleeves is for another day.  I can't believe how difficult some people make this simple process.

Lesson is:  when you are making a backing measure the front of the quilt in both directions.  If you are joining pieces together make all the pieces the same length and then sew them.  Measure, measure and measure some more.  In the end you will have a backing that is square and ready to sandwich.

Tomorrow................the unveiling of Henrietta and Sophie.

For those that live in the area, this is the week-end for the Halton Hills Quilt Show...........Twenty Pieceful Years.  Friday and Saturday only ~~ outside the village of Norval.

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