National Backwards Day!

Today, January 31 is National Backwards Day!  I decided to celebrate by taking a closer look at the back of some quilts and quilt tops.

The backs of quilt tops hardly ever get the glory that they deserve.  Here are some hand appliquéd circles . . .

Circle Applique back

And some machine pieced circles . . .

Stroll back

I love when the quilting transfers the design of the quilt to the back of the project.

Row by Row Back

 

Overlay Back

Franklin Park back

 

Sometimes the design isn’t completely transferred to the back of the quilt, but you can get a general idea of the quilt front.

Customer Quilt back

Pin Mini back

 

Occasionally I do simple, light quilting . . .

Simple Mini Quilt BackBut more often it’s heavy quilting that shows on the back of my quilts . . .  (these two mini quilts are the same design)

Star Block Back

 

Recently I even tried out using doubled batting, which really made the quilting design pop on the back of the quilt (as well as the front).

Secret Sewing Quilt Back

I frequently love the backs of quilts as much as the front!

 

Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilt

Every year the Modern Quilt Guild issues a Charity Quilt Challenge and the results are displayed in the hallways of QuiltCon. The MQG gives a theme and color palette, and any guild or small group of members is invited to participate.  This is the second year the Central Ohio MQG has participated in this challenge.

Charity Quilt 2018 front

This year the theme was Modern Traditionalism and this is the palette.

QC18+Palette

When our guild does a group quilt, we gather design submissions and vote to determine which one we will make.  The design for this quilt was a collaboration between Lissa of Lovingly Lissa and me.  This project is a potholder style quilt, which was a popular method for charity quilts made in New England during the Civil War era.  Each contributor would piece, quilt and bind a block.  When the volunteers would gather, all they would have to do to finish the quilt is whip stitch the blocks together.  (If you would like to see some other potholder quilts, check out these posts:  Modern Log Cabin, Petals in the Wind, and In the Garden.)

Quilt Layout (2)

For our updated version of a potholder quilt, we used Ohio Star blocks.  This is the block that I contributed to the quilt.

Charity Quilt 2018 Individual Block front

Charity Quilt 2018 Individual Block back

Each block is constructed so that the pieced block is visible on either the front or the back of the quilt.  This also creates a fully reversible quilt.  The blocks are joined with a triple zigzag stitch done on my mechanical sewing machine.

Charity Quilt 2018 back

The first side of the quilt incorporates the entire color palette and has more of a “daytime” feel.

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 3

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 2

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 1

The reverse side of the quilt is intended to appear more like the nighttime sky.

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 4

 

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 5

 

Charity Quilt 2018 detail 6

My favorite part of this quilt is that we have so many different people contributing their personal quilting style to the project.  It has a mix of straight line and free motion quilting, several thread colors and weights, and various quilting densities.  It really became a beautiful representation of our guild.

The quilt gets shipped off to QuiltCon this week!  We are all very excited to have it displayed with all of the challenge quilts from around the world.  We don’t have any members who are able to attend this year, so we are hoping to have some photos come our way!

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Two Sides of the Same Star

Size: 71″ x 89″

Techniques:  Potholder style, machine pieced, block machine zigzagged together

Quilting:  Free motion and walking foot quilted

Fabric:  Kona Cottons

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced and quilted with a variety of thread brands, colors, and weights

Binding:  Blocks were individually bound with Kona cotton bias binding, cut 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front of each block, and hand stitched to the back.

Vinyl Front Tula Pouch

For the second year, one of the sewing groups I belong to did a swap.  This swap has a twist:  Each person brings a fat quarter of a favorite fabric from their stash to put in a bag.  Then, we all take turns pulling out a piece of fabric and guess who it belongs to.  We are a small group, so we are typically pretty successful in guessing the owner of the fabric.  We each take the fabric away and come back a couple meetings later with an item made from the fabric we pulled from the bag to give back to the original person.

Tula Vinyl Pouch front

I pulled this cute Tula Pink cat print from the bag of fat quarters.  It happened to be a fabric that I love enough to own, too!  The person who brought the fabric enjoys hand applique and embroidery, so I thought she may like a bag that will keep all of her pieces flat and visible until it is their turn to be secured to the block.

I used a fairly heavy, clear vinyl for the front of the pouch. The primary fabric is the cat print, and for the back of the pouch, I chose to make a nine patch from a charm pack from the same Tula Pink fabric line.  I sandwiched and quilted the fabric layers with a piece of soft and stable to make sure the pouch would lay flat while maintaining flexibility.

Tula Vinyl Pouch back

The binding is also from that same line of prints.  I machine stitched it to the front and folded it around to the back for hand stitching.  This allowed for hand finishing on the fabric portion of the pouch.  The bag finishes a bit over 13″ square, so a lot of quilt blocks could actually lay flat in the pouch.  I wish I had made one for myself when I was in a couple of bees- it would have been perfect to transport blocks!

Scatter

The same afternoon that I made the 9 Patch Circle Quilt, I also created Scatter.  I wanted to explore the visual effect of all-over organic placement of the circles compared to the more regimented placement seen in the 9 Patch Circle Quilt.

Scatter front

This is another “sketch” quilt, so prior to quilting the circles are held in place only through the use of Wonder Under fusible web.

Scatter progress 1

The quilting plays the starring role in this mini quilt.  It is a good thing that the quilt is small- even at this side I had an hour of active stitching time!  I selected a very dark 50wt thread to define the edges of the circles.  It reminds me of dark ink on paper painted with bright dots.

Scatter progress 2

For the background quilting, I wanted to define the space with a strong organic design that would echo the primary circles without overshadowing them.  Using white thread on the white background fabric to do the same stitching technique fit this need and it catches the light nicely, not to mention it feels amazing to touch!

Scatter detail

The edges are finished with a simple facing.  I love that the back creates a neutral version of the design!

Scatter back

Quilt Stats:

Title:  Scatter

Size: 18″ x 18″

Techniques:  Fused Applique

Quilting:  Free motion quilting using an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Assorted solids on a Kona Snow background with Kona Snow backing

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Quilted with a variety of 50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Facings to match the quilt background and backing

9 Patch Circles

I love using colorful thread.  There is a good chance that you have gathered that if you have seen much of my work.  I also have a tendency to use it the most in matchstick quilting.  In the last few weeks I had been contemplating how I could infuse a quilt with colorful thread in an abstract way without using straight lines.  Ultimately the idea of circles took over.

9 Patch Circle front

This mini quilt is mostly a sketch to explore a quilting technique, so I kept the construction process as simple as possible.  Prior to quilting the circles were all held in place with Wonder Under fusible web and the small size (15″ square) made it really easy to throw on the longarm to quilt.

9 Patch Circles process

The quilting thread matches the fabrics and then infuses color into the adjoining fabric.  The color of the outermost section of the concentric circle flows out into the background through the quilting.  I stuck with 50wt thread for this because I wanted to make a lot of lines over a small area, and didn’t want too much thread build up.  I decided to emphasize the grid configuration of the circles and juxtapose the dominant curves of the circles with some straight lines.  Some simple, white matchstick quilting between the rows and columns of dots accomplishes this goal.  The quilting on this took about an hour, but most of that was thread changes :)

9 Patch Circle detail

The quilt is finished with a simple facing that matches the backing fabric.  I love using a solid backing on a quilt with lots of thread colors to show off all of that work.

9 Patch Circles back

Quilt Stats:

Title:  9 Patch Circles

Size: 15″ x 15″

Techniques:  Fused Applique

Quilting:  Free motion quilting using an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Assorted solids on a Kona Snow background with Kona Snow backing

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Thread:  Quilted with a variety of 50wt Aurifil

Binding:  Facings to match the quilt background and backing