Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Little Improv

It's time to make a quilt back. And that means it's time for a little improv. 

I finished the top of my Hexie Quilt this week. (I'll show it to you some other time, but you can see the layout here.) I wanted to continue the delicate theme so I challenged myself to visit just one store to find some fabric. And I found it. No dithering at all. It took one minute, tops. (Does that have anything to do with the fact that my husband was with me? No! I would have found it that fast all by myself.) And I knew it was the one. But then, of course, I did have to wander the store just a bit to make sure. But I did not waver. Yea, me!
My typical way of buying backing fabric is to buy a bit more than the length of my quilt. That is never enough, because my quilts are always a little too wide to use a simple length. So I fill in a strip somewhere off-center using as much of the leftover fabrics from the front as I can. I don't spend a lot of time with measurements or planning. I just start cutting and sewing in whatever way makes the best use of the scraps. For this quilt, I had one hexagon left from the top, so that was my starting point. I filled in the corners to make a rectangle and then cut long strips from the other fabrics. That seemed to make the best use because there were a lot of longish pieces along the selvages. I cut them the widest I could, and they turned out all fairly close to each other in width even though I didn't measure. I guess it was because they all started as fat quarters with four hexies cut from each. 
I laid them out on the floor with the length of fabric I bought and then shifted them around and cut some into shorter lengths until they looked about right to me. The pieces of the backing fabric will be wider--this is just to get an idea of the look.
I've sewn everything from the hexagon up in the above picture. I trimmed rows to even them up as I joined them, and they were almost exactly (just a smidge over) the width I needed to join them to the hexie rectangle. I'm still in the process of tweaking the placement of the bottom pieces. Here's a close-up of the top section:

And on it's own:

This is as improv as I get. And I love it. I think I've said it before: backs are so fun because I just play with them. There's no "pressure" to get it right the way as I sometimes feel when I'm making a top. I have limited fabric and I just try to use it up. I really do need to try this with a quilt top sometime. 

I'm linking up this week with Ann from Fret Not Yourself for the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters linky party (it came at just the right time to share this tiny bit of improv) and with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Have a fun quilty week, improv or not. 

10 comments:

Linda said...

That fabric is perfect for the hexie front! Love where you're going with this, and I totally agree with you about how fun it is to improv the backing of a quilt - no pressure is a good way to put it. ;)

PaulaB quilts said...

It's a fun improv. I like the fact that you feel free to do anything on the back. When I took my latest quilt to show at guild, they said I made a "two fer" because of the back improv. Hope to see a great finish soon.

Ann said...

I love putting leftovers on the back and your is a great example. The width of your "leftover strip" will be harmonious. (I made one once that was much too wide. It's good to see one work as well as yours.)
Thanks for linking with AHIQ.

Janie said...

Looking good! That's what improv is, trying this and a little of that, or what if I do it this way?
'Fun at the sewing machine.'

Mystic Quilter said...

This improv piece will be perfect for your hexagon quilt, I love pieced backings.

Cathy said...

What a fun way to add to the width or length of a backing. I'll bet you would have fun if you did try it on a quilt top sometime...scraps can go on the front as well as the back...no pressure!

Kaja said...

This is so pretty and will harmonise beautifully with the hexies on the front. I too like scraps on the back. Thanks for sharing on AHIQ.

Lorna McMahon said...

You are on a roll! You did find just the most perfect fabric to make the backing for your hexi quilt - which is beautiful by the way - and your kind of improv is just my style! Looking forward to seeing how you decide to quilt this gorgeousness.

Louise said...

I'm so glad you enabled me to say that my quilt backs are improv, too! Thanks :)

Preeti Harris said...

Love what are doing with that one FQ bundle. It is coming together beautifully and I am sure it will be a lovely quilt.