I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dithering in Quilt Land


Hi! The snow storm was a fizzle, but the high winds mostly kept me indoors the past two days. Tonight I made meatloaf, roasted brussel sprouts with chestnuts, and a new apricot/ oatmeal bar cooky recipe. The house smells delicious and is toasty warm.

On the quilting front, there is confusion if not storm clouds. I finished the America Hurrah quilt top last weekend....I like it. Not exactly what I planned but okay. That's what happens with free-style piecing, I suppose.

So anyway my new issue is...what should the back be? I think I spend as much time choosing quilt backings as I do planning the entire front. It is after all the largest single fabric purchase and the largest amount of fabric I will use and later be seeing. My friend Mel pointed out to me that choosing a special fabric is NOT in keeping with the make-do aspect of quilting tradition. She recalls her mother re-using sheets and outgrown clothes. Whatever she had available. And I love that feeling of utility, of re-purpose and reuse. Mel said:"Not much went to waste in our house when I was growing up..."

On the other hand, most of the large yardage pieces of antique fabrics that I own are recycled backings of worn out quilts. And when I am buying a quilt, an attractive backing is a huge plus, not just to me, but to the collectible value. Years ago, when I first moved to NYC, my friend M got me interested in quilts because she owned and treasured a beautiful 1930s quilt that was appliqued tulips in the unusual colors of lavender, pale blue, Nile green...but what she especially loved was that the backing was a tiny sprigged calico with teeny tiny tulips in the same shades. Obviously this quilter put a lot of thought and effort into her design! [or it was a kit?].

I was so sure I had purchased fabric for the America Hurrah quilt! The piece I found, still in its shipping baggie, was only a half yard, though. Either I never went back and got the 6 yards I needed or, worse!--- it will turn up someday in a ''special'' spot. So now what?

I used to order a few sets of 6 yard backings, to audition...but the price of cotton fabric has skyrocketed recently along with the prices of raw cotton. So I have to decide and just order one. [oh okay, maybe two?] Or find something in my closet?

I found 10 yards of tiny red and khaki stars. Sort of vintage, as it has been in my closet for at least 10 years. [And maybe it is for  the sashings and back of the intermittently worked on lighthouse quilt? I forget.]

I wanted to incorporate these modern funky wonky stars that my mom gave me. And that does work nicely into the red. But...hmmm. Maybe it is just TOO MUCH?

Here's other options [no wonky stars] :

I love this indigo large scale print. Restful, right?

And for a whole week I loved this inappropriate Nantucket preppy whales print. It does go with the ships...but is c. 1985? and looks like awful golf pants. But I do love it.

Other ideas;  a nice Americana eagles prints?

Double pink?
Advice, ideas are appreciated!


gone to the beach...