Have you ever experienced the feeling, after preparing yourself for a vast ordeal and then finding the process quite simple, of disappointment? Yes, you think, this is so much easier and quicker; but where’s the glory? Will people really lean over their balconies and shower me with rose petals for this?
Well, rose petals or not, I was running out of time, and so settled for a readymade baby quilt for the next stage: The Quilt Back.
All my research up to now had shown me beautiful quilt backs. Fabrics coordinated with the front, motifs to match or echo a component of the quilt top patchwork, an artful incorporation of the same colours as the quilt top, hand embroidered recipient names and dates, something.
Sandwiched between the quilt top and back, one expects to find backing. Oh, the debates I found online, on polyester vs cotton vs silk! The careful considerations of thickness and how it affects warmth and ease of quilting; the strong opinions on whether the various layers should be water-soluble-glued, or hand-basted, or safety-pinned together!
And then, poking the deep, dark, corners of quilting interwebs, I found mentions of batting-less, back-less quilts. Shock and horror! Well, it turns out that you don’t need batting, old flannel or cotton sheets do just fine — which makes perfect sense to me, because I remember in my childhood my mother got several old silk saris quilted together in layers to make beautiful, warm, light, quilts for us. Further investigations showed one didn’t even need three layers — the backing fabric itself can be a slightly warm one (plush or flannel), with nothing in between.
I found this plush fabric baby blanket, and stitched the quilt top to it around the edges, folding down the excess fabric with the raw edges turned in. That’s it! It wasn’t the right shape, so I also added a couple of coordinating stripes down two opposite edges.
I know I’m really thumbing my nose at the quilting police with this defiance of norms, so I’ll end here. The next stage will be the actual quilting.