Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Backing Choices.. Do they have to match the Quilt front?

 A while ago I was reading on Quilt Diva Julies blog about how she selected her Backings. and it sparked a great memory for me!

My sons have been quilting with me since the beginning of my Quilt Journey. I think it was so they could use my Longarm Machine, but no matter.. I welcomed them to the club.

Okay - well not exactly.... I had been quilting a little, and then decided I could teach 5th graders how to quilt, so you know - My oldest was a 5th grader at that time... so I suckered him in.... and the others = well heck they have to keep up with him...


But back to my Memory - My kids all wanted to make a quilt for the County Fair - so we decided on the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern. We thought it would be a fun one, and one that if they had to go to school, they could stop and pick it up rather easily. 

The boys dug into my stash, and then we made a fabric Enhancing trip to find the fabrics they wanted. My oldest - loved the  Military .... so of course he picked camo fabrics.

And this is the top he made:


Pretty Cool right?   I thought this was a great combination!
Then it came time to choose the backs - and we headed back to the Quilt shop.
He found this awesome Air Force print and knew in his heart - THIS WAS IT!

And so... It was!



We entered the quilts in the fair - in the 4H Heritage Arts division and headed in to *talk * with the judges. The way 4H works - you submit your projects and they Interview you about them. They look at your record books, and talk to you about why you did things. Its pretty cool really.

So he submitted his quilt. The judge looked it over and she said... Well - your Backing Choice is very interesting but it doesn't go with the actual quilt you made. His judge actually told him that was a bad choice for this particular quilt - 

and my son - being 10 years old - he argued that it was not. He let her know that the camo on front represented the Military Desert Uniforms and the Air Force on the back represented that he wanted to Fly with the Air Force - so for him this Quilt represented his dreams and made perfect sense.

She relented and came over and told me that I was raising a lawyer, and proceeded to tell me his reasonings on his quilt.  ( which incidentally was also written in his Quilt record book that accompanies the quilt) .  I loved that judge right then. I love how she listened, understood his reasoning, and actually ended up agreeing with him.

See why 4H is so good - it teaches kids reasoning, as well as some mad skills!

Funny thing about this now? And the reason it sparked a memory?

My Son is a Lawyer - and .... he is in the Marines... 

Right???


31 comments:

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Love the story. But I don't think the front has to totally match the back. Who says they have to match?

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I think quilt judges are too picky about somethings. For a quilt show I guess you need to be picky but in real life go with what you want - it is your quilt after all - or in that case your sons!

Shannon said...

I love this!!! He knew who he was at such a young age!

diana569 said...

He knew what he wanted and at 10, I'd say he was right on with his reasonings. And he is following through on those dreams still today.Thank him for his service and for doing his part to keep us safe. There probably isn't
anything he couldn't do if he has hi mind set on it!

JoAnne said...

Loved the story about your son and his quilt!

Pat said...

I am a 4-H judge in MN. I love nothing better than a 4-Her who will take the project and fly with it. I love when they show how it was done and how they made their choices. I love when they explain and I need to ask very few questions. I do not like when they tell me the mistakes, girls are especially quick to do this. That is my job to decide if I should mention them or not. I have also found that the greatest learning comes from the errors and what was learned. I also like to see the life skills that are learned and it sounds like your son learned well.
I cannot wait for July and August sitting in a hot metal shed to judge 4-H!

Podunk Pretties said...

What a great story. When making quilts for me I will use anything in my stash for a backing. It's a way for me to use some of the huge stash and to use those fabrics that I just can't bare to cut. To me it's a win win situation. Too much emphasis is put on what is considered perfect in the quilting world.

Delighted Hands said...

What an amazing story--and how can one person decide for another? I do like a commonality between my fronts and backs but sometimes it's nothing more than the fact they were given to me by the same person.

Kat Scribner said...

Great memory to share, Alycia.

Judy said...

That's an awesome story. My girls were in 4-H, and I LOVED watching them speak with the judges. What I wouldn't have given to be a fly on the wall to hear what they had to say!

Judy in Michigan said...

Great story and kudos to your son for standing up for himself!

patty a. said...

What a great story! I was in 4-H for many years and never talked to a judge. I didn't know they talked to the participants. I wish I had so I could tell them about how I spent an entire summer trying to get the plaids to perfectly match on a dress I made. LOL!! I believe the back has to relate to the front and your son's quilt certainly meets that!

Linda Swanekamp said...

Terrific story. There is a reason why we do what we do. There are always stories of the colors, shapes, backs and quilting if people want to listen. I always find that a quilt speaks to me as to what kind of quilting it wants. If I listen, I am better off than superimposing something on it. What a wonderful judge to actually listen.

Donna said...

What a great story! I agree with your son on his quilt! I did take a class from an award winning domestic machine quilter. She had won quilt shows in Paducah! She showed us a beautiful, traditional quilt and flipped it over and it was a zoo print! It was horrible and the entire class gasped! Needless to say that quilt did not win any awards and I have to agree with the judges that the backing did not match the front at all!!

julieQ said...

OH I love it!! LOVE THAT KIDDO!! LOL! I too was in 4-H and argued with a judge...my rabbit was very tiny, but won grand champion! I asked him why my bunny won, being so small...and he said never argue with the judge! LOL!! What a fun memory! I know you must be so very proud of your son.

Vicki in MN said...

That is amazing that at 10 he knew but more amazing that he stuck with his plan!! I know you are one proud mama;)

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

Oh, what an awesome memory. And I don't think backings have to match "perfectly"; sometimes there are really good reasons to choose something other than 100% matchy matchy like your son so eloquently explained. :)

Vivian said...

Your son was right: your quilt, your choices!! How cool they quilted with you as kids. Great family memories!

chrisknits said...

LOLOLOL!!! That is a great story. My Hubster keeps telling our youngest she should be a Lawyer she loves to point out the fallacy of people's arguments so much. Great job on the quilt and his reasoning.

Kathy said...

His story brought tears to my eyes. Your son is an old soul! To know at his age what was important to him and to be willing to defend that decision. Says a lot about his wise parents too! Thanks for sharing.

scraphappy said...

What a great story! I love that it will keep living on in the quilt.

Quiltdivajulie said...

HUGE kudos to that judge for listening and understanding your son's intent. And how perceptive she was to foretell the future from that one conversation.

Michelle Churchman said...

What a fantastic story!

Michelle
https://mybijoulifeonline.com

Cathy said...

Quite the story and quite the quilt! Congrats to your son.

I don't actually have the money for a lot of fancy backings. If a quilt is going to go on a bed where the back will rarely be seen then a sheet or muslin works for me. If a quilt is going to be donated for a child then I try to make it bright and not include white but the back does not necessarily go with the front. I just try to keep a pile of gently used sheets and some longer lengths of yardage bought on sale or deeply discounted to use for backs. So, usually anything goes for me for backings. Hey, at least I'm getting something finished and moved on!

Thymewpvp said...

Loved the story. I hope he still has this quilt.

Florence said...

gorgeous memories, I on the other had had all girls around, and all girl grand daughters. would not change a thing, I love the 4h programs, and also taught the quilting lessons, cept we had to do all stippling, but we always seems to win, and the girls were always so proud, one of my girls made a senior tee shirt quilt, and is not ready to graduate MU,,so proud of them all

Vicki W said...

That's a great story!

Karol said...

I agree! Great quilt and great story. Congrats to him. You have great kids. I was in 4H from the date I became eligible until I aged out. No judge ever talked to us. We could watch the judging, but not talk, and hear some of the reasons an item won a ribbon or not. Back then it is was Grand and Reserve champion after the Blue, Red, or White ribbons were determined in the classes. I entered different combos in different years, a heifer, clothing, produce, baking. Won a lot of ribbons. Including Grand Champion in some. It was a lot of hard work but so much fun. (The animals were just like pets, and I cried every year when my animal was sold at the 4H sale.)

Jenny K. Lyon said...

LOVE that! You did well Mom.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Good for your son. I do try to choose a backing that I can find a binding that matches both the front and the back. One of these days I'll learn how to make the binding that uses 2 different colors of fabric (not fauz piping binding). Then it won't matter if the front matches the back or not.

Kate said...

What a great memory! I agree that 4-H and opportunities like that are really important for children to lean how to express themselves and learn leadership skills. We didn't do 4-H, but I can see how science fair worked the same way for SIT. She got so lucky the first year to interact with one of the senior scientists who loves interacting with the kids and he made such an impression on her.