The big blue quilt’s back

I wanted my big blue quilt to have a large-scale blue floral fabric on the back. I often take the time to match up large patterns on the back of my quilts, but this one did not go smoothly.

I usually pin, machine tack (baste), machine tack some more, unpick some of my tacking and finally machine sew the lengths of fabric together. This time, although I used my usually successful method, it kept shifting out of alignment, perhaps because of the weight of such a large backing. In frustration, I ended up unpicking all of my rows of machine tacking (basting) and sewing the seams by hand using a ladder stitch. Hand sewing took time, but I got the effect I wanted.

Pattern matching Vintage Verona by Emily Taylor, a Riley Blake design

Not perfect, but neat enough!

The backing fabric is Vintage Verona by Emily Taylor, a Riley Blake design. Unable to find enough of something I wanted locally, I ordered it online from Hawthorne Threads (very helpful), hoping it would be what I was after. It is a more muted blue than the front, which has very vivid shades, but I chose it because the dark blue accents should tie in nicely with the dark blue binding I have in mind.

I made an error in my backing calculations (yet again!) and would have ordered a bit more fabric if I had spotted the glitch in my Excel spreadsheet in time, but I managed to just scrape through with enough and still match the pattern as I wanted. My backing calculator spreadsheet is now fixed.

Quilt back made from three lengths of Vintage Verona by Emily Taylor, a Riley Blake design

Can you see the joins?

It took me quite a few episodes of Dr Who, Sherlock and Downton Abbey to finish all this hand sewing.

Do you like to match your backing fabric patterns? Do you have a foolproof method?

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18 thoughts on “The big blue quilt’s back

  1. Oh my Lord, someone who’s even more anal than I am… No, I can’t see the joins. And I can’t see them on the big picture either if I squint just the tiniest bit. You’ve done a really good job. And got some quality viewing in at the same time. I do find, however, that hand work goes a bit more slowly when I’m watching Sherlock…

    • Ha ha! I like to deny that I am a perfectionist, but I don’t think I fool anyone.
      Yes, sewing with TV is slower than without, but watching TV without some sewing or knitting in my hands just feels weird.

  2. What a great job you did of matching the fabric! I can’t see where the joins are at all! I love a big floral like that for backing! I have been looking for something for my Museum Medallion for ages, but no one seems to make a pretty pink and yellow floral!

  3. I haven’t thought of using a large print fabric for backing but now I have seen your latest quilt I will certainly look for a large print fabric for my next quilt backing.

  4. Holy cow that is a lot of work! I often use a “joining” strip when I have to piece my back; bring a 2nd fabric into the backing; and make a nice “stripe” …and when I am finished, it looks like I have a secondary design on the back. 🙂 You do beautiful work.

  5. I did a similar type of join on a quilt back for my garden lattice quilt – like yours it was a fairly big pattern. Wouldn’t even consider hand sewing the pieces together though – I just wouldn’t trust that it would hold together.

  6. Pingback: Two finishes | Granny Maud's Girl

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