Behind Every Great Quilt....
You probably have a favourite quilt....but do you have a favourite quilt BACK?
I do, its the back of my quilt 'Bed of Roses' ( although I don't actually have a photo of it!)
If you're anything like me, you love to read what's on the back of paintings, you lift up objects of pottery to look beneath, you turn books over in your hands to see any hidden design elements ...Or you can't help looking beneath saucers...sometimes there's a beautiful suprise there- a detail to reward you and confirm that it was worth looking...and sometimes it's just stamped: dishwasher safe. But you never know unless you look underneath.
This pictured quilt back is the back of my quilt 'Soaring'. At the time, I just thought it would be nice to have something intersting to look at on the back. I was experimenting with my own designs and just went for it.
Right from the moment it was quilted though, my daughter dismissed the top altogether and fell in love with this back. I've even promised to do a re-make just for her (it's on the list)...but that just begs the question: what will I put on the back of the Back Quilt?
The beauty of back quilts is that they allow you to be a little more creative than you would usually be...without having to think too far ahead...because (well for me anyway) if it doesnt work out, it doesnt really matter. Actually it's all for the better because each quilt becomes a journal entry of sorts...a marker of what thoughts were working themselves out.
Like most quilters, I know my quilts very well. Sometimes when they've been away for a while, I'll get them back and look over them and wonder about what I was doing when I designed- pieced- or quilted a particular quilt.
'Soaring' is nothing like it's back. But what it is, is a marker that I was stencilling rambling rose designs at that stage (when looking through my quilt
records, it doesnt indicate that I started doing that until months later (my record keeping is a bit haphazrd)...but now I know that I was actually months into it by that time.
Whilst I like using my backs as visual journals of progress, I've also thought about making a 'negative' of the quilt top on the underside - the only thing that's stopped me is time. It's such an interesting idea, and it's been my personal wish that all quilt shows would hang quilts individually suspended so that both sides can be fully appreciated.
I think quilts backs have an interesting story all of their own. What do you think?