When quilting give pieced backings a chance

A gathering of possible fabrics for the pieced backing of the Cafe Comforts Cozy throw.

I had been thinking about this as the Birthday Blocks started arriving in the mail. Should I be looking for some wide back fabric or should I be making a pieced backing? These are the questions that roam around my head.

In the end, I decided to make a pieced backing. I like the notion that the back of the quilt can be as colorful as the front.

I selected a range of fabrics in the red, white, cream and white color families — and included a funky blue polka dot one just because I like it so much. I’d love to claim I planned the design of the backing, but I just started cutting and sewing until I liked how it looked. Sometimes, things work out that way.

Once the back was done, everything needed a good press. A few months ago I got the best piece of sewing equipment ever, The Studio Collection Hobby and Design Table. It has transformed by quilting and creating life. Folded out to its full length, I can easily see how a design will work, and now, with a pressing/ironing cover, I can also press a quilt top in one pass. This saves time, and prevents wrinkles, or those awkward creases we can all live without. I’m also looking forward to pressing the holiday table linens in one pass.

I like to have a fairly soft pressing surface, so I first covered the table with a fitted flannel bed sheet then the pressing/ironing cover attaches to the table with a drawstring and toggle system.

The pieced back pressed and ready for the creation of the quilt sandwich.

The quilt sandwich basted together with spray adhesive– the better to free motion quilt the neutral spaces.

I quilted around the square blocks, and did free motion quilting in a very random meandering manner through the neutral spaces.

The quilting! I can’t lie. I was not easy quilting the Cafe Comforts Cozy Throw on my machine.

Since I didn’t want to mess around with the blocks too much, I quilted around the outside of each block with my machine’s quilting foot. That done, I switched the set up for Free Motion Quilting. And took a deep breath — several really — it was quite a workout, even as I employed series of clips and strategic rolls in order to feed everything through the machine.

Never let it be said I’m a quitter. Here’s the stats involved in getting the Cafe Comfort Cozy Throw quilted:

Bobbin changes: 4

Needles changed: 2

Somewhat bad words : too numerous to count.

Giving pieced backing a chance however, turned out to look beautiful. Tomorrow, I discover the binding that ties this lovely project to its comfortable, cozy conclusion.

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