Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd love some advice

I finished stuffing all the trapunto on my Coxcomb and currants quilt and spent several evenings carefully trimming the muslin off the back. I couldn't be happier, it's turning out just how I imagined in my mind. Excuse the photo, it had to go on the washing line but you'll get the idea.

I've been mulling over how to proceed for the last week. My dilemma is the backing and I have ordered a red bird toile. Who knows if that's coming, I've had no communication with the online shop to tell me they have enough or if it's been shipped.
Of course it's going to be hand quilted and I want to quilt inside the applique with red and green threads. I thought that if I used a solid off white wide back, it might look ugly with those threads on the back but then again, it would show up the trapunto.
If I use a patterned backing, it wouldn't show up the trapunto. I haven't seen enough antique applique red and green quilts to know what they did in those times but you might.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are. What would you do if this was your quilt?

62 comments:

Mimi said...

OMG. I am just drooling over your trapunto alone! I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I thought years ago they just used plain muslin (or sheets for that matter) to back their quilt. You could always use a WOW fabric so no print shows through. Of course, you could send it to me and I could mull it over for you. ;D This quilt is gorgeous!!!

Christine said...

Janet I think you would only see the thread if you hold the quilt up in to the light.

I think you might just have to be careful when ending off and feeding the leftover thread in as well as when you travel....

I love the quilt top you are amazing

Kathie said...

omg Janet this is amazing! I am speechless
most of the red and green appliqué quilts I have seen have all used white/cream on the back , the same as the front, no printed fabric. I think you need to use what your comfortable with.
congrats job well done you must be so proud of yourself
Kathie

Jackie said...

This quilt is just stunning!! I can't say enough about it, just WOW!! On a personal note, I think a printed toile would be just lovely. But I agree with Kathie, you need to do what you are comfortable with for your quilt. Either way, I think it will be gorgeous!

Terry said...

I can't give you any advice, but I can say that your quilt is just beautiful! :0)

Oops-Lah said...

Your quilt is amazing Janet and whatever you'll choose for the backing it will still be amazing.

Can't Stop Stitchin said...

Oh so beautiful! Absolutely gorgeous! On the backing question, I have our grandmothers red and green cockcomb quilt and it is backed in white muslin; your toile sounds wonderful, if it comes... whatever you do will be beautiful. Thanks for posting.

Maree: said...

Oh WOW this is Show Material..
The Trapunto is Amazing..drooling.
can't give you any advice sorry just Congratulations your Quilt is Just Stunning.
cheers

Glenn Dragone said...

WOW!!

It looks fantastic. Congratulations.

I can't wait to see it completed.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Your quilt is amazing!! I think use muslin to be traditional or your pattern backing for wow now appeal. Either way its going to be stunning!!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Janet-- it's just gorgeous! I'm sorry, I don't have any advice, but if that were my quilt, I'd be having a BIG party!!!

Cheri said...

I don't think you can go wrong with either backing. The quilt is just a classic, absolutely beautiful.

Janet said...

Oh Janet - you're finished the trapunto!!! It's so incredible!! The toile sounds lovely. If it was my quilt ... sigh... I wish! :0) I would choose a solid white background and quilt the whole thing with white thread. When you display it and a bit of the back was showing the print wouldn't distract. The antique applique quilts I've seen are quilted all over with white thread. I'm handquilting a red and white quilt with white thread and I'm surprised and pleased that it isn't all that noticable on the red - mostly you just see the texture created. Your stitches are beautiful and will look wonderful whatever you decide.

Salley said...

Oh Janet... Bravo... Bravo!!
I would hope the toile doesnt show through to give a pink tinge to the front...OK if your batting is solid enough. Old quilts would never have used a beautiful back fabric as most quilters wouldnt have been able to afford this.
Your trapunto is magic. It looks so antiquey that I'd do the traditional white quilting thread and a white back. Not very adventurous but I wouldnt want to add any more "busy-ness"..
Whatever... I know you'll stun us all anyway!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Just gorgeous Janet! I'm sure you will make the right choice for the backing too.

Heather said...

This is such a wonderful quilt. Though I love, love, love, toile fabric and am sure it would look beautiful I think that I would use a solid white to match the front so you could see the beautiful trapunto. I would be afraid of the colored thread showing when begining and ending so would go with white thread all over. Go with your gut, it will be spectacular no matter what you choose!

Kayly said...

Absolutely stunning! Please forgive my ignorance, but why would the trapunto not be seen if you use a patterned back? I would have thought any backing would cover up the trapunto stitches on the back.

Rebecca said...

The red and green quilts that I have seen used a white backing. It will show off your stitching better and the trupunto too. I love the idea of the toile but the point that your trupunto might get lost is true and a crying shame after all the work you did to make it. Trupunto is so rarely done these days by quilters, my vote is to feature it any way you can.
I also think that the print will show through the white in years to come and may present so laundering challenges that you may regret in coming years.
What ever you decide, I know it will be beautiful. Your talent already shows volumes in just the top as in everything else you do.
Good luck. :)

Christine said...

beautiful...

Celiaquilter said...

What an absolutely fantastic quilt - your trapunto looks amazing! Your work is so beautiful I wouldn't dare to advise on backing!!
Celia - a long time quilter from England

Roos said...

It's gorgeous Janet. If I were you I wouldn't take the red fabric. My first quilt I've made in black and white and the back are pink and blue blocks. When I hold it up those colours shines through the quilt. For my black-white quilt that's no problem but I don't know if that's what you want.
Greetings

Patchwork and Play said...

What a stunning quilt Janet!!❤ I think to keep it in the tradition of its style, a plain backing with white quilting would be the perfect finish! But in the end, trust your instincts!

Sarah Pings said...

This is utterly beautiful ... I have just loved watching this quilt come to life over time ...

Now, unless you are going to be holding it up to the light a lot (ie. is it a display quilt or a bed quilt?) I wouldn't worry about using the red.

My first instinct is to keep the delicate vibe with the off white to match the trapunto, but I also think the red toile could look fantastic!

You'll just have to wait until (if) get it. Then you will know which way to go ... trust your judgement, so far it's created something pretty bloomin wonderful!

Kimme said...

Janet, wow! Such beautiful work. I don't know about traditional backings for trapunto, and I normally adore toile as a backing but after all your hard work do you really want to hide it?

Julia said...

OMG Janet , Your quit is amazing.
What ever you choose will be perfect...
This will be a ribbon winner for sure..
Julia

Julia said...

OMG Janet , Your quit is amazing.
What ever you choose will be perfect...
This will be a ribbon winner for sure..
Julia

Sujata Shah said...

So gorgeous!
Let your trapunto shine, let your hard work on applique and hand quilting show.. I would not let a commercial print take away from what is an amazing piece of work.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Janet, your top is incredible!! I'm a huge fan of toiles but in this case I think white would work better.

laurie said...

It's just beautiful. I think your first instinct of the red toile is what I would do too. The red and green threads on the back trump the lost look of the trapunto on the back. No fear - the trapunto will shine on the front! Well done!

Marie said...

So, so incredibly beautiful Janet - anyone who sleeps under this will lose sleep because they will want to continually be looking at it! I really like the idea of the red toile for the backing but my preference would be to make the quiting thread white to make the trapunto and the applique really shine. My two cents!

Karen said...

I love, love toille prints but I think the plain backing might be the perfect finish. I like to look at the back of the old quilts and see the quilting designs. But it is your quilt, and what makes you happy is the way to go.
I also think the white or off-white thread is the way to go to continue with an antique look.

ranette said...

Breathtaking Janet! Such talent...I am in awe and I'm excited to follow your progress on the quilting!

Kristen said...

It's amazing Janet. I always try to enlarge pictures to see the quilting and it seems to be white as the choice of thread. I would do what please your aesthetic. It will be gorgeous either way. Your quilts always make mine look like a child whose played with thread and fabric. ;)

Lori said...

It is amazing Janet and I know whatever you choose will work out perfectly. My humble opinion says to try a printed backing. I'm surprised by how many old quilts use them and not just white or muslin. It will hide your colored thread and be a nice surprise when someone looks at the back of the quilt. Whatever you do, make sure it pleases YOU!!

Nedra said...

Your quilt is just stunning Janet! No advice, just here to admire.

YankeeQuilter said...

Gorgeous quilt...I have several antique quilts that have off white backs and used colored threads in places (though not sure it it was a colored thread to start with or dye migration?) To me the WOW factor is your trapunto so I would go with an off white back so I could use a thin bat and show off the trapunto (like every chance I got! Love it)

Of course it is your quilt and I am sure it will be fabulous...but you asked!

imquilternity said...

What an absolutely beautiful quilt! It's a true work of art. I wish I could help with advice, but hand quilting is just not my forte. Just from a personal point of view, I think the red toile backing sounds lovely.

taylorsoutback said...

Your trapunto quilt is beyond words - I could only say ditto to all the other comments!
While many early examples of red and green applique show a plain back with white thread used in quilting/trapunto work - & continues to be that way...this is the 21st century and quilters are free to make a quilt their very own statement. Depending on how intricate your print is on the backing, you may very well achieve the shadows/highlights you want - Look at all the gorgeous Welsh wholecloth quilts with their printed backs & how well the design is transferred.
Which ever direction you take it will be spectacular!!

Anonymous said...

Janet, you don't know me(no blog), but I must tell you...after checking my email, I go straight to your blog!!I am so sorry about your injuries. But clearly that will never hold you back from making BEAUTIFUL!!! Your quilts are the ones people are going to be looking at well after we are all gone. They will sigh and say...have you ever seen anything so beautiful! A big fan of yours!! francienolan@hotmail.com

Linda said...

Janet, I've really enjoyed following your journey with this quilt. It's stunning! Only because you asked will I share my opinion. I would use a cream colored back and white or cream thread. I would be afraid a red backing would shadow through to the top.

Mary said...

Muslin (the plain cream or white kind) is traditional but we can always do anything we want with our quilts! The thing I'd do first, if you want to use the toile, is hold up the quilt, batting, and printed fabric to the light to see if the print shows through. I've had that happen. Your quilt is amazing!

Sue said...

Wonderful quilt Janet, congratulations on making what is going to be one fabulous quilt.
As for backing I personally would go light just in case the toile showed through when held against the light.

I'm sure once you see the toile you will know what to do.

Caron Mosey - Michigan Quilts! said...

Oh my gosh, it is SO beautiful! If it were my quilt, which it isn't, I'd use either a solid cream color on the back or a cream colored blender fabric. The printed toile sounds beautiful...

When it comes to thread color though, I'd stick with an off-white or cream color. Then it won't clash with anything you put on the back. You will have so much more quilting in the white areas... so I don't think I'd add green or red thread at all.

My two cents...

Taryn said...

Janet, your quilt is just stunning. I have quite several antique red and green quilts and all have white or off white muslin backing. At least one has colored thread used in the appliqué (red and green) which you can see on the back. You can even see some knots on this one. I have another that is very heavily quilted all in white thread through the red and green appliqué. Personally, when I am doing good hand quilting I prefer the plain back. The toile would hide your work.

Susie said...

It is so gorgeous that I am speechless.

Elaine said...

Hi Janet

Congratulations on a stunning quilt! If it was my quilt (I wish!) much as I love Toile fabrics, I was use an off white backing and quilting thread. I am hand quilting a replica of an antique Welsh Quilt, the front is pieced from chintz etc but for the back I have a TOT Ivory fabric and ivory hand quilting thread, the back is starting to resemble a whole cloth quilt which I think is very pretty. What ever you decide you will have a wonderful quilt!

Barb said...

Beautiful!
I have used both solid and printed for backing hand quilted quilts.
i don't own a lot of antique quilts, but the ones that I have studies almost always have a muslin or white backing. But then again, they usually use white or cream thread on top of the red and green applique. It's completely personal preference.
One thing to check is to make sure the red and white doesn't shadow through to the front of the white quilt. Sometimes you can see it through the batting, just make sure you are happy before you start the hand quilting.
How exciting! can't wait to see quilting progress.

Darlene said...

Stunning, Janet. Can't offer any help however I'm in serious awe. Sigh! It takes my breath away.

Dar said...

I think your quilt is fabulous!! I would lean toward a white/off white backing and white thread. It will be beautiful, no matter what you use.

Miriam said...

Ahh...maze...ing!!!!

Stunning work Janet! Congratulations on finishing all that trapunto!

I suggest just follow your heart. The quilt will tell you which way to go.

Vicki said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. You are an accomplished quilter and the star of this is the quilt and the sewing, not the fabric. Go plain.

*karendianne. said...

Janet, I haven't seen any but my intuition says plain backing. That said, this is a seriously difficult call and you'll know what's best inside your spirit when you rest with it.

Thank you for sharing with us. It's an amazing piece of work. I'm thinking back to when you first worked with trapunto. That was a fun post. Then I'm thinking back when you decided to pick this quilt up after it was "resting" for a while. You made the decision to finish it. You focused and look where we're at. I have a lot of respect for this!!! *karendianne. who focuses all over the place.

lvkwilt said...

Although I'm usually just a lurker, I have to tell you that your quilt is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. I would personally use the toile, assuming it doesn't show through. Although white may be traditional, it is boring. I like the backing to be a bit of a surprise. That said, if you want traditional, white may be what you want. Absolutely beautiful quilt!

Shirley said...

What a hard choice you have in deciding on the backing and the thread. I like interesting backs and maybe old quilts used plain backs because that was the only choice available. Have you come across Sue Garman? Her work is amazing and she may have an idea or two for you.

http://suegarman.blogspot.com/

Your quilt is simply stunning Janet and a heirloom worthy of any museum piece.

Doris said...

Personally, I'd have a hard time using a solid back because I don't trust my hand quilting to be neat enough on back side, i'd rather have a print backing to "hide it". However, your hand quilting is much better than mine, I'm guessing--as I am very rusty.

As for tradition, I did see an exhibit in 2010 of antique red and green quilts, and I would say the majority of them had a white or light solid backing on them.

The top is gorgeous, and I wish I could see it in person!

Anonymous said...

Your quilt is just gorgeous! I would go with the solid white for the backing. Have done two quilts that way and the backs actually look really lovely with the colored threads on the back. Way too much work on that trapunto to "lose it" with patterned fabric and the white backing is what you would see on period quilts. Again--- just incredible!

mbroider said...

Oh, Janet. What a beauty this is!

The most important point would be to see the trapunto. So, white backing is voted for. Coming to the threads, i would go for white/off white color:)

Good luck
Sharmila

Archie the wonder dog said...

it's absolutely gorgeous!! I can't decide what I'd choose for the back but I know that whatever you decide will be stunning!

Dixie said...

Your quilt looks absolutely gorgeous. I'm a huge fan of red and white toile, so would definitely vote for that as it would add the element of surprise that I so love in all quilts. Just amazing, Janet, wow, love it so much!

Ivory Spring said...

This is simply amazing. I think green and red on white won't look too bad, especially with the even and perfect stitches I am sure you do! :)

Joan said...

So sew beautifulo Janet - and stunning! YOu have done so very well with this. It will look fabulous when hand quilted too.

Brown Dirt Cottage said...

Oh me Oh my......I.LIKE.

Just curious, have you been keeping up with how many hours you have spent on this quilt? And now comes the hand quilting! What a prize you will have when all quilted and gussied up!