I’ve had this quilt in my Shack patiently waiting for me to quilt it since June. It belongs to my client Valerie and I had loaded it on my longarm and started quilting in June but quickly discovered a problem. The batting bearded terribly though the backing fabric! This rarely happens with Quilters Dream Blend batting so I suspected it as a backing issue. The backing was a good quality Kansas Trouble brand wide backing but it had the strangest feel to it. The fabric was very thin with a tight weave and felt like it had a slippery coating on it, Lori thought there was a lot of sizing used on it to make it feel that way. It was acting like a batik, and even though I love piecing with batiks I don’t like using them for backing because the needle just punches holes in the backing instead of separating the fibres in the fabric. Here is what the original backing looked like.
So I picked the row of stitching out, fortunately I had only quilted one row of a panto and then noticed the problem. I called Valerie and explained the problem, she was very understanding and was in no rush for the quilt. I picked up a new backing for her when I was on my trip in the States and had no problem with bearding with this new backing. Yeah, problem solved and it turned out beautiful. I just wanted to share this story for those that encounter the same issue, it is usually the backing fabric that is the problem. Sometimes a dull needle or bad batting is to blame but for the most part the backing has a large part to do with it.
I also thought of switching to a black batting as the backing was navy but then that would have looked terrible on the front as the needle holes would have been quite dark. If the top was navy then a black batting might have worked.
When buying backing for a quilt try to think of what color of thread would look best on the top and try to buy a backing in that color. This eliminates a lot of issues and gives the back of the quilt a whole cloth look. I really like the look of a quilt when you can match thread color that compliments both top and backing. This can’t always be done but it is something to think about when buying backings.
Here is a close up for the backing I found and how it turned out. No bearding because the backing had a slightly looser weave so no holes for the batting to poke out thought. I actually used a medium grey thread but it looks blue on the backing.
Now lets get to the pictures of Valerie's Turning Twenty batik quilt. Love all the blues and greens she used, it makes for a very calm looking quilt. I chose the panto Taro for the quilting design and So Fine blue thread on top and Bottom Line grey for the backing.
Things are starting to cool down here, summer is coming to an ending and I’ll be starting back to work next week. I have one more quilt to finish for the guild, the second Good Tiding quilt, and then I’ll be back to blogging regularly again.