Sunday, 15 September 2013

The back story

Child's quilt, approx 36in x 48in £85

Several years ago, a quilt that I was particularly proud of - I still am, actually - and which was personally dear to my heart, was selected for an exhibition at which volunteers acted as stewards. As I approached from afar, I could see that whenever anyone neared my work to get a better a view, the steward on duty turned over the corner of the quilt, whereupon the would-be viewer slunk away and went elsewhere. When I went closer, I too was shown the back of the quilt and told how awful it was. And when I disclosed that I was the maker, the unabashed steward berated me for my poor fabric choice.

I still haven't decided whether to be appalled or amused by this incident. But it has certainly made me aware that the back of the quilt can be nearly as important as the front, especially if it is a cot or bed quilt that will become rumpled, unlike an "art" quilt whose reverse-side secrets are known only to the wall and to over-zealous stewards. It is a last chance to add an unexpected thematic detail. And a great way to use up scraps of fabric too small for another project.

Here are a few of what my Swedish quilting friend refers to as "back sides".  


Child's quilt, approx 36in x 48in £85

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