New Quilt for Me – Part II

Happy Passover to those of you who celebrate!  I’m in a celebratory mood myself.  This is going up a day early because on Monday night I will be at my friend A’s house for the seder and I won’t have time to write my post for Tuesday morning.  Then next Sunday is Easter!  I am ready for Lent to be over.  At Palm Sunday mass this weekend I felt joyful and uplifted, ready for Easter to come.

Moving on: This week I’m going to talk about the backing and putting my new quilt together.

I have this amazing fabric that my friend K brought back from Nigeria.  I wanted to use it as the back of my quilt.  It’s a really cool geometric print in black, white, and neon green.    However, it’s too small.  (As I mentioned, I didn’t do a lot of planning when I put the quilt top together and I wasn’t sure what size it would come out to be.)  I went through my stash – which is quite extensive – looking for something that coordinated with it, but it’s a rather difficult print to match.  I don’t own a lot of solid fabrics or any neon green.  I had some blues that looked nice with it but nothing was large enough, even to make a series of borders.  Finally I decided to go to Michael’s for a couple of yards of something solid.  I thought I wanted something teal or some royal blue.  At Michael’s I got a couple of yards of something like royal blue and a couple of yards of teal, and then I picked up a pink/red/navy/teal print just because I thought it was cute (even though I’m not supposed to be buying fabric that’s not for specific projects).

I got home and decided that what I had wanted was aqua, not teal.  Or maybe what I brought home just wasn’t the right shade of teal.  I decided to use the royal blue with the Nigerian fabric, but the more I looked at the pink/red/navy/teal print the more I loved it, and it matched the teal perfectly, so I decided to piece my back out of that and the teal instead.  (I apologize that I don’t have a picture of the Nigerian fabric, but once I decided not to use it I put it back in my stash and it’s buried somewhere in the bottom.  I don’t feel like digging it out for you, but I’m sure I’ll use it in some future project and you’ll see it then.  It’s really an awesome print.  I almost wonder if I should make a whole cloth quilt, which I’ve never done, just because the print by itself is so good – but I should probably challenge myself to make it work with other fabrics.)

Anyway, here are the fabrics I ended up using for the back:

I am really in love with this print.  My roommate J agrees that it’s very “me.”  I want to make curtains out of it and drape it everywhere in the apartment.  I can’t do that so I’ll have to settle for the quilt back instead.  (I have a little bit leftover, but not much.)  From afar and in pictures the rows of navy/teal and pink/red flowers are very clear, but in person they look far less like orderly rows, and I like that better.  I pieced a back using two large bands of teal and a band of the flowers.

How cool does that look?  I love it.  (This is obviously far too big for the quilt back – I didn’t bother to trim it down until I put my quilt sandwich together.)  Here’s a reminder of what the quilt top looks like:

I photographed these at my parents’ house before I put the sandwich together.  Note the runner I made for them on the coffee table.  Their house is so much better for photographing quilts than mine is.

I had brought large pieces of leftover batting from my apartment, which I basted by hand to use as the batting.  Since it’s a quilt for me, I didn’t care, and I wanted to use them up.  (I didn’t know you could use a large zigzag and do it by machine – next time I’ll do that.)

I read on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog ( that she likes to lay out her batting, lay her quilt top on top of it, and roll the two layers up from the edges into the center.  Then she lays out her quilt back and puts her rolled up top and batting over it – centered – and unrolls them.  I decided to try it:

I trimmed it first – I just didn’t take a picture of that.

I was VERY pressed for time because Mom and I were leaving for a quilt retreat later that day, so instead of basting I safety pinned it, and it went a lot faster.  I used straight pins to turn the edges under.  Here’s a picture I took after I’d safety pinned and when I was in the process of doing the edges.

I sewed the edges down with navy thread.

Next week (Easter!!) I’ll either post more about the Hunter’s Star quilt or about the quilting on this quilt.  This quilt is now done and I’ve been able to use it a little bit, despite the fact that the heat has still been on in my apartment building.  (I think now that we’ve had two days of 70-degree weather they’ve finally turned it off.)  The Hunter’s Star quilt is still in progress but I’ve actually made some small progress this weekend and I’ll have made more progress by next week – my deadline for myself is to have it done before I go home for Easter so I can put it together on the ping pong table.  (I’ve got a busy week ahead of me getting ready for Easter, but sewing projects are high on my to-do list.)  Work that is in-progress feels more interesting to me than completed projects, and therefore more post-worthy.   On the other hand, I like to do one project at a time in a series of consecutive posts.  So I don’t know how I’ll feel when it comes time to write next week’s post, but it’ll be either the final post about this quilt or the next post about the Hunter’s Star.

Enjoy Passover and/or Holy Week and/or just a plain old week in April!



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