A Quilt of Valor with Frankenbacking

This quilt came off the longarm about a week ago.  It is a Quilt of Valor, and was a bit more of a challenge at the beginning, as the backing had several problems.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

This is what I call Frankenbacking.  There are four vertical seams and two horizontal ones.  The friend that gave it to me to quilt was so proud of herself, telling me she left the selvedge edges on for me to load it, and that she was able to use a pretty piece of floral fabric.  I was not expecting this though.  First, the print is directional.  Normally this isn’t an issue, but she had measured the top and backing for it to be loaded sideways, which would make this print sideways on the back.  And to make it worse, she wanted the print centered.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Then, here is the edge on the right side.  How she thinks I can pin this evenly is beyond me.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Oh, and it is the same on the left.  If I cut this off even, then I don’t have the full four inches on the majority of the quilt.  So we have not one, not two, not three, but four issues with this backing, and when I am quilting for free, it is just too much.  I had a navy blue print with white stars, and I emailed her to ask if I could just use a different backing.  She agreed, so I made a new backing, properly sized, with a single one inch seam that runs parallel to the leaders and moved on.  The fabric I used was purchased for QOV, and she will replace it for me later.  I only did this because she is a very good friend.  Anyone else would have just gotten it back un-quilted.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Loading it, I noticed these bias seams in the borders.  Oh, heavens, don’t do this.  It doesn’t really hide a seam, especially on a busy print.  Border seams should be straight, just like your piecing, so you don’t get extra stretch and distortion.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Thankfully, the quilt was reasonably straight with my fold up test, indicating the proper measure and cut method was used for the border application.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

I quilted it with white Glide thread on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

The white looks good on the basket blocks.  Each block was made by someone different and signed.  This pantograph is called Pipeline by Urban Elementz.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

A group of ladies making blocks gave my friend 15 to put into a quilt.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

She added the sashing and borders to bring it up to a good size.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

She needed one more block to complete the setting, and came up with this brilliant idea.  Using her embroidery machine, she embroidered the words “Thank You For Your Service” along with a little shooting star.  I loved this idea!

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

Quilting goes quickly when there is lots of time to play.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

All quilted, and ready to go back to her for trimming and binding.

QOV at FromMyCarolinaHome.com

What are you working on this week?

Special note to those doing the Twist Mystery Quilt along.  This one is giving me fits with the math.  There are two correction sheets to download, one for the crib size and one for the full size.  The full size was revised again as there was yet another mistake in it.  So here they are.  Make the corrections on your pdf downloads you have so far.  Hopefully the notes will be good going forward.
Twist Crib Size Correction
Twist Full Size CorrectionRev

20 thoughts on “A Quilt of Valor with Frankenbacking

  1. Rita S

    I love that you shared what was good about a quilt that you received for quilting and also what people should avoid. I would love to have you expand on this topic as a quilters time is just as precious as the persons time spent on making the quilt.

    It makes sense that diagonal seams are not good for loading the seams.

  2. Mary E. Williams

    Just ordered your book choice, The Gravity of Birds. How in the world do you find the time to read with all the other things you do? Just to let you know, you make me, the original three-toed sloth, look pretty bad. Not that I will do anything differently.
    Thanks for your blog.
    Mary Ed Williams

  3. June Neigum

    I will start making straight seams on my borders from now on. I did not realize that made a difference I always thought it was done to hide the seam, never thought about the bias and the stretch it would have. All the little tidbits I learn from you are just make me a better quilter.

  4. Oh gosh Carole that sounds like a nightmare. I have a friend who did a lone star quilt, just finished. She insisted it is to be used as a BACKING for her grandson’s quilt top. Short story, we all worked together “learning to make quilt tops” when my 2nd to oldest grandchild was on the way. That child will be ten next month! So, she has held up the quilt for the grandson that she finished at the time to make this lone star (which is beautiful)….10 years and she finally got it out and finished it last month. I can not imagine trying to load it as a backing. Learning everyday from your great posts.

  5. Mary Stori

    Bless you for your expertise………most folks simply have no clue how much work it is to quilt a quilt, by hand, by home made, or long arm……it’s work!!

  6. Melissa Mathews

    Oh my, good save! I love the embroidered block idea, too. I sure hope my quilts don’t give my longarm person trouble. I do try to measure, cut and sew correctly.

  7. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, I think it is great that you explain to all of us the problems that occur when certain parts of quilt construction are not done properly. Plus, reading the comments, the other readers also appreciate all of your help! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping all of us learn something new. Have a fabulous day!

  8. Mary

    This quilt looks lovely and the embroidered corner block is an inspiration.
    I was just thinking that it would be helpful to all quilters if you gave us (long time quilt makers and new ones just starting) a list of DOs and DON’Ts for when we send our quilts to be quilted. For those of us who quilt on our Domestic machines we often go with ‘just enough’ to reduce the amount we have to get through the small throat!!
    I was always told to make diagonal seams when joining long pieces for borders. Did it, perhaps, not matter when quilting was done by hand?
    Also, I was told to leave 4” extra on each edge of the backing for loading on the quilting machine.
    It would be so helpful to have some good instruction from an actual professional quilter. Then you would always get well prepared backings. :))

    1. Thank you, Mary, and it didn’t matter when hand quilting, but the extra all around is needed for the clamps. I already have a tutorial on the blog.  Just use the pull down menu for tutorials, then click on Preparing for Longarm Quilting. You can also see other tutorials on longarming and how I deal with problems.

  9. Joan

    “don’t use bias seams in the borders”… this is excellent info. And the drop down menu too. I’m kind of new to your blog and playing “catch up.” So much to see. That quilt pantograph was very nice. Kind of gentle spring breeze.

  10. Elaine Nemeth

    Wow you are truly a problem solver
    I have nipped salvages every one inch on the pieced back for a friend??? She sewed 1/4 inch seam piecing her large king. Really like the thank you block added to valor quilt
    Stay safe.going to start new twist since pieces for step 1 and 2 are 4365milrs from me. I am still with family in Hawaii not knowing when I will see Florida.

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