Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Backing Cloth - a step too far for most folk I suspect!

Sometimes I have odd ideas, I know.

A couple of quilts ago, I was looking for suitable backing cloth and couldn't find any as the quilts were large.  I got out all the dye stuffs ready to make something suitable. Then it occurred to me that as far as a piece of artwork goes, should it matter what the back looks like? Should it?  You don't find painters unduly worrying over the backs of their canvasses.

But a quilt?  Shouldn't that have a pretty backing cloth?  I get the idea that it shouldn't have wrinkles in it, and that ones technical prowess is on show by having no pleats or dodgy bits, (that's a whole different question!) but does it have to be colourful to look at if your aiming for a piece of art as opposed to say, a bedquilt or tablecloth?

So, I made one or two of mine with plain white cloth.  AND, I'm not the slightest bit bothered that the paint's come through.  I don't see that as relevant to be honest.  Why would I try and stop it?  To what purpose? It's to go on a wall not a bed after all.

But there again, I don't do labels either.  I sign my quilts on the front.  If a piece is going for exhibition or sale then I do add a printed piece of cloth on the back so that the curator/purchaser doesn't have to work out the text for themselves, but I don't add my name or date etc.

But that's just me!! Everyone is different, and I may change my mind and use a credit card to spread acrylic paint in colourful swathes over the back, but I don't think so at the moment. 


  1. LOVE it! i hate solving the backing problem and usually just go plain muslin--i have too many knots, floats and crossovers to let it go naked.

    1. Mmmm - I like making the back as tidy as I can; it appeals to my Virgo nature! Thanks for the comment Arlee x

  2. I would agree with you Annabel. I like the idea that your plain backing cloth shows the history of the quilt's construction, including any colour that bleeds through. I like being able to see the reverse view of all the stitching which you might not do with a fancy backing. Your quilt is a piece of textile art that will hang against a wall so I can't see a need to be prissy about the reverse as long as the whole thing is soundly made.

    1. Yes it does show the history doesn't it? Interesting. The need to make the thing properly is also a thing of debate, but I have a need to do the best I can so will bow out of that one!! A x


Portrait in parts

For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumble...