The first thing I did was even up the edges of all of my leftovers to make rectangles. I had run out of a few of the colors and had very little left of others, so the variety was kind of lacking. Depending on how much fabric I had left, I cut most of the pieces into two or four smaller rectangles so that I could distribute colors better. I really wanted to cut smaller pieces, but then I'd lose more fabric to seam allowance. First, I laid out the pieces on top of the quilt top to get an idea of how they might fit. My idea was to separate columns of colored blocks with narrow strips of Kona Silver (my biggest piece of leftover--15 by maybe 90 or so inches).
No matter how I laid them, I couldn't quite make it work. There wasn't quite enough of either colored blocks or the silver, even supplementing with some pieces from my stash that were close enough to blend in to with the other colors of the top.
Next, I arranged the pieces in a more horizontal fashion with the largest piece across the middle. That seemed to work better, although I wasn't sold on the wide strip.
|(This is actually after I sewed most of it together)|
Getting to this point was quite a challenge. I had to decide whether to lay pieces vertically or horizontally to have enough fabric in each direction to cover and overhang the top for quilting. I wasn't planning to line the pieces up so that the seams matched up, but that ended up being the easiest way to arrange them. I did add a bit of medium pink to the ends of the silver strip in the middle, and I like how it keeps that strip from taking over completely. This backing looks pretty planned for an improv back. If you look closely, you'll see that if you were to cut it in half diagonally, it would be two identical triangles. But I did not measure and plan the sizes of the blocks--I just let what I had left guide me to cut them into the rectangles, folding them in half or quarters to figure out where the cuts should be. When piecing I had to make more cuts to even up fabric after sewing pairs of blocks together. The sewing was a snap after I figured out the block placement. For me, the best way to distribute the fabrics was to use the grayscale photo--that was more reliable than my eye to determine what colors looked best next to each other.
Looking back, it would have been much easier to pay to buy backing fabric, but learning how to make what I had work seems to have been a worthwhile challenge--and it pretty much used up all the fabric I had pulled for the quilt plus a little more.
Here's one more picture of the quilt top, just because I love to look at it (and I hope you do , too.)
It's supposed to be really hot here the next few days. I think pressing and basting will be done in the basement where it's nice and cool. Then, on to the quilting. After that, there will be only one WIP to work on! Let's see if I get to it or give in to the idea I have for another quilt.
I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social this week, and Ad Hoc Improv Quilters next week. Keep quilting!