Folk Fibers Blog

  • The Back Story on Quilts

    Sometimes the backsides of quilts are just as beautiful, if not even more desirable than the tops. When I make the backs for my quilts I construct a free-form design by sewing together large pieces of fabric, usually remnants leftover from making the quilt top. This process is improvisational and creates a moderate design compared to the front of the quilt. The large blocky designs on the backsides are a nice breather after the intensity of piecing together the formal and forward design that is intended to dedicate the quilt. It's always a delight to see the hand stitches come to life on the quilts, and the simple backsides become an ideal setting to examine the detailed handwork, revealing the love and quality that goes into an heirloom quilt. Here is a collection of quilt backsides that I have made over that past few years. Most of these were made using linen and cotton hand-dyed with indigo, pomegranate, along with strips of vintage mattress ticking and recycled denim fabrics. 


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  • Comments on this post (11 comments)

    • Helen L. Thompson says...

      I love what happens on the back of quilts too. Fronts of quilts are great, but the backs ought to be a joy too!!! Your quilts and your process are just wonderful.

      On July 30, 2020

    • Sam says...

      These are beautiful. My mom can do that too. Do you hire people as they are quite profitable here in the States.

      On September 20, 2016

    • Peggie Herring says...

      Just saw “Handcrafted American”, yours was one of the crafters featured. Love your work. Thank-you for showing people how beautiful quilting can be. We have become a society of the faster the better. We miss out on so much.

      On May 30, 2016

    • Quilting Jeannie says...

      Your work is lovely. I like your quilt backings. I do columns to attain the width I need, but need to follow your inspiration. Thanks for sharing. Your quilting is art.

      On February 28, 2015

    • Jean Martin Ray says...

      I love the way you have done the backs of your quilts. I have been quilting for 40 years and have wanted to do the scrappy backs but was afraid to try it. Now that I have seen yours, my next quilt will have a scrappy back.

      On November 13, 2014

    • Liz says...

      Backs have always been fascinating to me … these are wonderful to look at and I’m sure they are equally wonderful to touch.

      On November 06, 2014

    • Ashley says...

      I love these backs. The simplicity is beautiful, and as you mentioned, it’s nice to see the quilted stitches come through. I was wondering…I know that the quilts are hand quilted, but do you hand piece the fronts and backs of your quilt as well, or use a machine? It looks like a lot of work!

      On October 20, 2014

    • Susan says...

      I love these – I’m so glad you shared them. Totally inspiring in an unexpected way. While I love the craft/attention that goes into a traditional quilt front, there is something really strange and almost subliminally balanced about the backs…a kind of calm current that runs under what you see on the surface. So beautiful.

      On October 19, 2014

    • Rhonda says...

      Your quilts are very pretty

      On July 09, 2014

    • Izzy says...

      Maura do you sell your scraps ??

      On June 27, 2014

    • Heather@ThreeHeartsHome says...

      These are just absolutely gorgeous. I love your work!

      On June 03, 2014

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