Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My favorite quilt backing

One of the most important things I have learned from our dear Miss Bonnie is that a pieced backing is so much more interesting than a huge piece of (expensive) yardage. The back of this quilt means more to me than the front. The backing is fabric that came from my Grandmother (Mimi). She used to quilt but I don't have a quilt that she made. But like all good quilters she collected fabric. Added to the mix is that fact that my grandparents both worked for an auction house and would go in and prepare an estate for the final auction. People would often give them things from the house in exchange for all their hard work. Anyway... Two years ago my grandparents decided to move from northern Illinois up to Wisconsin to be near my uncle's family. This involved cleaning out a 22 room house, filled to the brim with stuff. We made a trip to Illinois to see them before we moved to Alabama so they could see the great grand kids again. My grandmother sent me home with 4 large black trash bags full of fabric. Before you get too excited, lots of it was junk - polyester, old sheeting that had already been cut to shreds, you get the picture. But there was still a good sized pile of usable things. This usable pile was split between me and my dear quilting friend, Nina. Nina has a knack for taking the ugliest fabric and making a beautiful quilt. She has an amazing sense of color. (Are you blushing yet?)

So these two pieces of fabric came from this pile of fabric from my grandmother. The toile was too cool to cut up but there wasn't enough to make the whole backing. So I added the yellow fabric to it.

I love the back because it reminds me of my grandmother. Chances are she just inherited the fabric from someone else, but to me, it still came from her.


Finn said...

Wonderful story Sarah..*VBS* I'm so glad you see the "interesting" vs. pretty aspect of the backs of quilts.

I love what you did with the toile and the yellow. It's a great quilt backing !

Tonya R said...

Have you considered using that "backing" as a quilt top? It looks bold and amishy to me - think it would be lovely as is.
I often find myself enjoying the backs of quilts as much, or more, than the fronts, esp on the old utility quilts.