Organizing Backing Fabric

I needed a better system for organizing my quilt backings.  I had folded the fabrics that I had purchased for future quilt backings on my bookcase shelves.  However, when I would go looking for the perfect backing I would pull out backings from the pile and measure the yardage only to find out the piece I had selected wasn’t suitable in quantity for the quilt I was wanting to quilt.  After doing that a few times, I would have a mess on the shelf from pulling fabrics out of the middle or bottom of the pile and the fabrics that weren’t selected would then accumulate on the floor.  Although having fabrics nicely stacked on shelves may look neat, it doesn’t seem that this is a practical way for me to store and manage my backing fabrics.

I went to IKEA with a friend this week to see what they might have as a storage solution for my quilt backings.  I came home with two large Kuggis boxes.  (14.25″ W x 21.25″ D x 8.25″ H) I measured the yardage I had for each backing and recorded the number of inches, number of yards, and number of meters as well as a description of the print into a spreadsheet.  (Once I had the number of inches, I used formulas to convert to yards and meters since I was using Excel.) I folded my fabric lengthwise twice so I could use my 6″ x 12″ Omnigrip ruler to roll the fabric to a uniform size.  My fabric ended up in a nice neat rectangular shape that fit perfectly into the Kuggis box. rn12-omnigrip-1I added a hard copy of the spreadsheet to the box. Because the fabric is stored on its end using the KonMari Method of folding, I can easily see all backings at a glance and I can pick the backing that best suits my quilt top.  By referring to the spreadsheet, I can easily determine if there is sufficient yardage without having to pull the fabric out and measure it. DSC_0674

 BACKINGS - Box #1

In Inches      In Yards      In Meters         Description

182               5.1                4.6                   Construction
206               5.7                5.2                   Cacti
124               3.4                3.1                   Blue alphabet
206               5.7                5.2                   Gray & black chevron
202               5.6                5.1                   Green with pine branches & pinecones
174               4.8              4.4                    Black with cars
300               8.3                7.5                   Fall with red, green, & yellow leaves
144               4.0                3.6                   Red with brown lizards
336               9.3                8.4                   Blue daisies
170               4.7                4.3                  Blue roosters on grass
135               3.8                3.4                   Brown with bears & deer
206               5.7                5.2                   Blue with houses
168               4.7                4.2                   Grey background with black cats

DSC_0673 BACKINGS – Box #2

In Inches      In Yards      In Meters      Description

216                6.0               5.4                 Snowman with cacti
196                5.4               4.9                 Blue with glitter / winter
230                6.4               5.8                 Red with gold Christmas trees
240                6.7               6.0                 Green with black cats
346                9.6               8.7                 Brown with daisies
254                7.1               6.4                 Black with gold flowers
250                6.9               6.3                 Desert with cacti / Monument Valley
324                9.0               8.1                 Palm trees
152                4.2               3.8                 Turquoise with Kokopelli
71                 2.0               1.8                 Blue with pink flamingos – first piece
98                 2.7               2.5                 Blue with pink flamingos – second piece


In the photo of the closed boxes on the shelves you will see that I have some pieces of fabric stored on top of the boxes.  These fabric pieces are wide backings.  I haven’t measured these as I only buy wide backings in sufficient yardage to back large queen size quilts.

I still have more backing fabric to organize, but I will need to purchase more boxes.  Just a warning though;  these boxes are heavy once they are full of fabric so do not store them on high shelves as you may end up dropping a full box of fabric on yourself when you go to remove the box from the shelf!

A Special Pillowcase



My husband, my adult children, and my grandson headed off for their annual bush camping trip.

My grandson (he will be 2 in September) loves trucks.  If it moves and has wheels, it must be a truck, even if it is a car, a tractor, etc.  I found this perfect fabric that has trucks, cars, tractors, fire engines, trains, ambulances, police cars, etc on it.  Since homemade pillowcases are so much nicer than the ones that come with the packages of sheets, I decided that my grandson needed a special pillowcase for this camping trip.

When I showed the pillow to my grandson, he promptly pointed to one of the vehicles and said very loudly, “truck”!  I would say that this pillowcase was a success!

One special pillowcase for one very special little boy from his grandma!

Don’t Give Up!

My quilt guild is hosting another UFO challenge.  We have to take our UFO’s to the guild meeting next week and show them in their current state and then register them for the challenge.  This past weekend I went through a bin of my UFO’s to decide which UFO’s I would focus on for the challenge.

One of the UFO’s in the bin was a wool project in a Ziploc bag.  The bag appeared to contain everything I would need to complete the project–all the wool, thread, needles, marking pencil, templates, pattern, pins, pin cushion, and what was that?  My good scissors?  Yes, there were my long lost Gingher scissors.  It appears that my scissors had been added to the project bag some time ago to make this project ready to “grab and go”.  However, it seems that I never grabbed this project to work on it in years.  I have been looking for my Gingher scissors for years – since the fall of 2009 to be exact.  I never gave up searching for them as I would periodically take a box off the shelf and go through the contents thinking that the scissors may have fallen into it at some point by mistake.  But lo and behold, there were my scissors–lanyard still attached (The lanyard was attached to make the scissors harder to misplace.  Maybe I need to add something larger than a breadbox to the handles next time.)

Gingher Scissors

The wool project is a wool Dogwood pennyrug kit.  The Pacific Dogwood was adopted in 1956 as British Columbia’s floral emblem.  The Pacific Dogwood is a tree that grows six to eight meters high and flowers in April and May.

I think the reason that I never finished this wool project was that the thought of tracing around the templates onto the wool was a bit of a fiddly idea to me and not as portable as I would have liked for a “grab and go” project.  Fast forward some years to today.  I have renewed interest in this project since watching some Quilt Roadies videos on YouTube.  Anna, aka Woolie Mammoth, is a fan of working with wool and she has compiled a few videos on working with wool, including how she prepares her wool projects for working on as she travels.

Wool Tutorial Part 1

Wool Tutorial Part 2

Wool & Embroidery:  The Prep

Yoko Saito BOM Wool Prepping

Anna uses a product called, SF101 which is a fusible interfacing product made by Pellon that she irons to the back of her base fabric.  SF101 not only provides stability for stitching her project, but Anna says it allows her to “travel” with her thread on the back of her project without breaking the thread and having to start again somewhere else with a new knot.  SF101 prevents the threads from the back of the project from showing through to the front of her project.

Anna also uses a product called, Soft Fuse which is a fusible that can be ironed to the back of her wool pieces to attach them to her background–no pins!

Anna says that she starts stitching on the smaller pieces.  She uses a whip stitch on the smaller pieces and then she goes back and does a buttonhole stitch on the larger pieces.  Once Anna is finished doing the whip stitching and buttonhole stitching she goes back and adds any fancy texturing stitches that she wants to further embellish her project with.

With a goal of May 2019 through my guild’s UFO challenge, and these tips from Anna I have renewed energy to pick up this old project and complete it.

Dogwood Wool Penny Rug Kit

In the Paper

Chilliwack Progress_Oct 24, 2018

While doing my string quilt demo at our local quilt show, I was asked a number of questions by the public as they passed by.  One woman in particular stopped and had a number of questions–my little featherweight – Charlotte – had caught her attention.  After speaking to me for quite some time she told me that her husband worked for the local paper and he had told her to get some pictures of people looking at the quilts in the quilt show.  She said she had so enjoyed our conversation that she made a decision to take my picture instead.  And here you have it!  This was a nice surprise to see it actually made the paper.  This was a nice little bit of promotion for our guild’s show.