WIP Wednesday 32

Holy cow this week is flying by!

First up, a quick winner announcement of last week’s “win some Kona” drawing.


The winner is Hayley with comment #89.


The other winner was the color brown, with the most votes for “least likely to use that color.”


In sewing news, I’ve been making a bit of progress. After tackling curves last week, I was able to finish up the top for my next alien flora design, Lunabelle.


The top is 36″ x 36″, and quite a bit bigger than the Morsafada design. I hadn’t quite realized HOW much bigger until it was done. (It turns out a foot in each direction is noticeable. Who knew?)


Not that it necessarily matters. It’s not like I know what I’m doing with these anyway. πŸ™‚


I also had to get a head shot for a talk I’m giving next month. Eli was nice enough to take some photos of me. This is how I normally look in front of the camera.


I like this photo the best, but we went with a differentΒ one for the actual talk.

Wow this post is disjointed! It’s been that kind of week. So in regards to nothing above, I’ve finally hit my limit of making quilt tops. I’m starting to feel a very strong pull towards finishing a bunch of them that I have sitting around. So hopefully I’ll start having some finishes soon. But that requires making quilt backs, which is definitely not my favorite part of quilting!

Do you have any handy tricks you use for designing and making quilt backs? Please feel free to share!



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I love comments, and respond to each one!

32 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday

  • jodydeschenes

    lunabelle is beautiful and so are you! p.s. i purposefully use brown to drive people crazy and so it doesn’t feel bad. (;

    • anne Post author

      HAhahaha I believe that you’d use brown just to be difficult. πŸ˜‰ I actually love brown as an accent color, and cream is really just a light brown and I use that all the time. I’m hoping to write up a brown post, maybe next week!
      And thank you for the compliments. πŸ˜€

  • pennydog

    I like brown too!

    On the quilt backs thing I have one in progress myself but the easiest thing I find is to buy bedsheets and duvet covers on eBay, cut them open and flat and usually that’s a whole lot wider than quilting cotton so it doesn’t need piecing and it’s a lot lot cheaper too.

    • anne Post author

      Brown was pretty popular a few years ago, it’ll come back I’m sure. πŸ™‚
      I hadn’t considered checking ebay for bedsheets. That’s a fantastic idea!

    • anne Post author

      I’m starting to get the impression that I’ve been putting way too much work into my quilt backs. LOL It just seemed like a lot of work for something people wouldn’t really see!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Vera! πŸ˜€ I’ve been trying to get better about matching points. πŸ™‚
      It’s so warm around here, polar fleece is hard to find! I think it’s more popular to use voile here, but it doesn’t work with basting spray, which means I’m less inclined to use it!

    • anne Post author

      I’m so glad I’m not alone on the quilt back hate! The excitement of finishing the top is there and you feel almost done and then it’s like “oh.. right, I need to make a back so that I can get to my least favorite step…basting.” Hard to get excited about it.

  • Elizabeth White

    Definitely wild prints on the backs — prints that I can never imagine using in designs on the fronts. So after carefully piecing bits of my stash, pinching those pennies, and begging scraps from friends to get just the right stuff for the front design, I will splurge and get a wild print that I really like for the back. Makes no sense — but then I see no fun in doing it any other way.

    • anne Post author

      Hahahaha I love that method! I don’t ever buy focal fabrics because I never use them in quilt tops. But maybe I should start consider getting some for the backs!

  • Karen @capitolaquilter

    Disjointed isn’t always a bad thing – I followed along just fine which is probably more a reflection on me than you. Glad you’re using the headshot that I voted for and that you have these two adorable ones to share. Tips for backs: don’t use voile, either make it a “second front” , use one piece of fabric if it’s small (like my two lazy MM finishes) or just sew some chunks of fabric together and call it done. My floor is your floor when it’s time to baste.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! I may have to move in for a few days to get all these things basted!! I was counting back and I think I have 5 quilt tops that need backs + basting? OOOF. And I still haven’t touched my F+F blocks to make that top. I should do that. And finish my workshop quilt. And and and.
      My hobby isn’t supposed to be causing me this much stress and guilt, right? LOL

  • jennie @jennie's threads

    I never ‘design’ quilt backs. I only piece them if what I’ve bought turns out not to be big enough! I tend to do what kerry does and buy good quality sheets or ikea fabric as both are wider than quilting cotton. There are also more and more modern extra wide cottons available. Love the new flower!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Jennie! I never really considered using sheets, that seems like a smart idea. πŸ™‚ I guess I just assumed everyone did fancy things on the back! I like to use up any leftover blocks I might have, but I have a few without leftovers and I was feeling a bit lost. Now I know. Don’t worry about getting fancy, just get done!

    • anne Post author

      I am definitely realizing that I was overthinking this whole quilt back thing. πŸ™‚ For some reason I was feeling that the back needed to have some design that incorporated the front, but just doing straight yardage sounds so much easier!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ The names are almost all just using other languages and words that are inspired by the photo or quilt designed and then I munge them together. For instance, Morsafada (the last one) is walrus and something close to fairy in Spanish I think? Luna = moon, belle = beauty.
      They’re all like that. πŸ™‚ Google translate is my friend!

    • anne Post author

      Man, it is so relieving to hear I’m not alone on this quilt back thing. I find it really daunting. Design something that looks nice but I don’t want it to take too long because no one is going to see it really. I’m not sure why I’ve never just used a single fabric. That sounds so much easier! lol

  • Linda H.

    I sure like Lunabelle! That design is so gracious. Very nice! A tip I learned to make a backing is one I don’t use anymore because I’m over Log Cabin blocks, but it works. Start with a large square or rectangle of fabric, like a fat quarter. Then add giant logs to it, working your way around the center like you would to make a Log Cabin block. One big block as a quilt back is a good way to use up an assortment of fabric hunks. Sew with a walking foot to make sure it all lays flat. Hope this is useful info.

    • anne Post author

      Wow, that’s awesome advice! Thank you! I love the idea of being able to use up big chunks of fabric, too. πŸ™‚ I usually only buy fat quarters of things, so I think the other thing keeping me from making quilt backs is realizing I have to go buy MORE fabric which feels awfully wasteful. πŸ™‚ This log cabin trick sounds like it could work to use up some of those fat quarters and yardage I’ve got laying around and I’m not using!

  • Am L

    I have generally used one fabric for my quilt backs, but I’ve decided I’m bored with that approach. I just finished my MM challenge, and for the back, took all the remaining pieces of fabric, measured to see how much I had left vs what size I needed, and improved. I really love how it turned out, and it was pretty fast.

    • anne Post author

      I do try to incorporate my leftovers into the back of the quilt, especially if I have leftover blocks. I should use up all those blocks I cut up and sewed poorly on the back. “Lunabelle v2.0” *flip* “Lunabelle v0.5”
      I guess I could try doing some improv. I could use the practice. πŸ™‚

  • Rachel

    Love the hair. That second picture of you is really pretty! For quilt backs I usually get yardage, cut the fabric into long pieces, and sew them back together length-wise. However, if the quilt is large (or I’m feeling particularly unmotivated πŸ˜‰ ) I go and buy a piece of wide back. There are pros and cons to both ways… for example trying to deal with keeping an 80 inch seam straight vs. trying to wrangle a piece of 108” by 108” across my little ironing board… But it can actually be cheaper to get a piece of wide back than 9 yards of regular yardage.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ I keep forgetting there are nicer options for wide yardage these days. I should take a look at those. πŸ™‚ And I’m not making anything that big these days anyway. But big enough that piecing is required. Well not on the alien flora, but on the other quilt tops I have pieced but have not done anything with.

  • kelly o!

    Wow!! Lunabelle is quite striking. I *love* that design!

    Backings are “easy” — I generally use up no-longer-fave fabrics that are not to contrasty to the front. I do like to play a little on the backings, too. Sometimes just an off-set strip of solid is enough to make it a little more interesting.

    I’ve been considering a bit of change though….maybe free piecing my name (in quilts I’ll keep) or the quilt’s name, or the recipient’s name, into the backing. But that hasn’t happened yet, because I hate piecing…#mydirtylittlesecret πŸ˜‰

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Kelly! πŸ™‚

      It’s funny the more I look at quilting, I wonder why I have stuck with it given how many steps of it I don’t actually like. I like to play on the backs but by the time I get to that step I just want to be DONE. And then there’s basting (least favorite), quilting (which I endure), binding (I like the hand sewing the binding on the back, but my wrists are starting to dislike it) and then being done (my FAVORITE step.) So once I get to the back it’s like “oh yeah, long string of things to do that I tolerate.” So it’s hard to feel motivated to play on the back. πŸ™‚

      Good idea to use up no-longer-fave fabrics! I need to start doing that more instead of letting them languish. πŸ˜€