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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

Filtering by Category: choosing backing

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Linda Beth

As many of you know, I am not always on top of the blogging and often come late to the party.

Last spring some time I checked in on my blog feed and noticed a whole bunch of the blogs that I follow had posts titled "Blogger's Quilt Festival" followed by some beautiful stories written about even more beautiful quilts they had done recently.

But this time, I'm just under the wire for Amy's link up at her blog, Amy's Creative Side.
Amy's Creative Side

I didn't have to think too hard about what quilt I want to share here. It's the Jewel of Friendship, a collaborative quilt done with the members of the Friends + Fabric {a modern stash bee} through Flickr.


This bee is kind of special to me, in that it represents a group of very talented women whom I've never actually met, but feel quite close to. The organizer of the group, Jenn {SunnyInCal}, is a member of the LAMQG and first brought together an online quilting bee via flickr at the beginning of 2011, of which I was fortunate enough to become a part. As that bee was wrapping up for the year, she extended an invitation to continue in a new year with a new group of quilters (and a fair amount of overlap). Our group for 2012 is an inspired, creative, adventuresome crew, which made me want to challenge them with an inspired, creative, adventuresome block!

Last fall or winter I spotted a group of bee blocks done by Jill Stemple {fallingforpieces} that I just fell in love with, pictured here. When I was revving up for my month with the F+F bee, I asked her if she had any problem with my using her blocks as a jumping off point, and was thrilled to hear back that she had no problem at all and had not used a specific pattern, just improvised it. PERFECT.

I played around for a bit, using a specific Alexander Henry print as my inspiration piece and came up with a few sample blocks.



As I was working on these I put together a little online tutorial, which can be found here, and made it available to the other bee members through my blog. And boy did they run with it!!


Once I got the last of the blocks and worked out a pleasing layout I ended up having to scurry to finish the quilt, having committed it to be entered at the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. I auditioned a number of different fabrics for the backing:





and ended up choosing a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Bluejeans, with a strip of stripe going through it. Have I mentioned how much I love using these shot cottons on the backs of quilts - they show off the quilting beautifully!


I quilted on my home machine, mimicking the wonky diamonds in the blocks, but trying not to match too closely as to seem off on any one of the blocks and bound the quilt in another great stripe fabric.


I truly would not and could not have completed this quilt without the help of the following talents (and certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful variety of fabrics and styles and personalities to the blocks even if I had tried):
Jennifer (sunnyincal)
Maria (mpress studio)
Karen (capitolaquilter)
Lee (Mimi Lee2)
Eileen (bluebirdluxe)
Nicole R. (idreaminfabric)
Brianna (bribaby2007)
Petra (Petra Rosa)
Emily (CanyonGurl {Emily})
Nico B. (woodbines creep)
Nichole R. (n.ramirez)

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and this quilt deserves its title Jewel of Friendship.

Photo taken just this evening, with this quilt bringing me warmth and comfort while I await a replacement furnace!!

Quilt Measurements: approx. 55" x 65"
Special Techniques used: improv log cabin
Quilted by: me, myself and I on my Viking Lily.
Best category: Group or Bee Quilt, Scrap Quilt, Throw Quilt
Entry #500

A decision has been made (sort of)!

Linda Beth

First of all, I want to heartily thank all of you who threw in your 2 cents and gave me some good food for thought regarding the backing fabrics for the Jewel of Friendship quilt! It did help me come to my ultimate solution.

So, in typical Linda fashion, I just couldn't bear to NOT go with either of the two front-runners, so instead I combined them.

(PLEASE excuse the horrible photo! My camera lens is in dire need of cleaning, or possibly replacing, and I just couldn't get a well framed shot here either)

I knew I did not want a scrappy backing for this project. And those of you who voted for the stripe are darn right, it carries the feeling of the quilt so well! But as I kept looking at that shot cotton, I knew I would kick myself if I didn't try it out!

So, there you have it! The quilt sandwich is now basted and I'll hopefully be able to start quilting it either Monday or, if not, later next week.

a match made in... THE STASH??

Linda Beth

Lists are effective. I'm not a list person, but I tried this past week and let me tell you – it's done what I had hoped. It's kept me on track. Is it silly that this is such a revelation to me?

I started the week with 3 big projects on my plate, plus a couple of smaller items to break up the days. I managed to finish 2 quilt tops (one of which was simply a matter of piecing 25 bee blocks together) in 2 days, and got quite a bit of footing on one other.

So, first on the priority list was getting together a baby quilt for friends of mine who recently had their first baby! The item on this list for Jan. week 1 literally reads, "work on Hopman quilt" with a continuation in Jan. week 2 reading "Hopman quilt top finish." I ended my day yesterday with this:

This not only allowed me to cross off week 1's list item, but to amend week 2 by crossing out "top finish" and replacing it with "quilting" (to read "Hopman quilt quilting")! Woo hoo! Ahead of the game, right?

Next on the list was to work on putting together the top for the Bliss circle of do.Good stitches November quilt as much as possible. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this was a first time stint for me in the role of "quilter" for the group, and I did give myself some challenges with this one, not having regular or uniformly sized blocks. I'm also still expecting a couple of more blocks to come in, but figured I should get moving on putting together what I do have.
There are still some gaps to fill in, but progress is progress, no?

This morning when I went to the studio I had both of those projects up on the design wall from the previous day. The plan was to pin baste the baby quilt, but first comes the issue of choosing the backing. As often happens when I am not working from a pattern, I didn't quite know the finished width of the quilt (I knew the length to be 52" only because of border strips), and wouldn't luck have it that it turned out to be just 40 1/2"!! My color inspiration for the background for this quilt was a piece of Valori Wells' "Fleurish" which I've had for a few years now
The fabric piece is approximately 43"x58". But then I looked over at the shelf where I had gotten this older piece and saw another possibility left over from my early days of quilting when I was WAY into Stack 'n' Whack quilts - a fabric piece that I have used here and there, but still have close to 3 yards untouched. I was holding it up to the design wall to see if it would be suitable as backing for the baby quilt (which it TOTALLY would have been!!!)
and something magical happened... I saw it up against the charity quilt. And what better to use for the backing of a charity quilt than a fun, beautiful fabric that's been on one's shelf for years simply because one might have changed course and moved away from that style over time?
And really, who can argue with kismet? That Valori Wells piece turned out to be the perfect size for my quilt, and honestly, I was choosing the sashing and background for the front with it in hand, so that should tell me something right?

That quilt is now basted, awaiting quilting, to be completed during January week 2. And here's real testimony to my blogging world - I forgot to photograph the other quilt top I completed this week! It's the green and brown spider web quilt I talked about last month here. it really looks very much like the photo of all of the blocks up on the design wall!

Okay, I notice I'm rambling, which means it is past my bedtime.