Bar Graphs is the name I gave to the design of the pieced back I made for Colorful Chevrons. I like my backs to be just as fun and colorful as the original quilt, and many times they end up being even more modern than the fronts!
I really like the chunky “bars and graphs” look to this design, so I thought I would share a tutorial with you on how I pieced this backing. After all, it could stand on it’s own as an independent quilt design.
I started off with some basic measurements. Since my finished quilt size is approximately 64″ x 80″, I needed my backing to measure at least 4 inches larger on each side so that there would be “wiggle room” around the entire perimeter.
I also wanted to make sure that whatever design I chose would look okay once the top, bottom and sides were trimmed up. I designed the backing to be 72″ x 88″ with plenty of blank space on the top and bottom strips for trimming.
I started by sketching long colorful strips in a stair step design, filling in with dark blue solid for the negative space.
I used leftover Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids from the front of the quilt along with more of the dark navy.
The backing is basically a horizontal strippy quilt sewn together in rows. A list of yardage requirement and cutting dimensions are shown below:
Colored Scraps – Approximately 1/4 yard of 9 different fabrics. Trim each piece to the lengths shown above. In some cases you can use a fat quarter where the pieces measure less than 22″ in length.
Join together the rectangles with 1/4″ seams to create each strip. Then join the strips to create the backing (or new quilt top). I prefer to press my seams open and I starch the whole piece when sewn together. This is especially helpful if you are making a pieced backing. It will help the quilt glide more smoothly under the machine.
When I basted my quilt, I was careful to line up the strips as straight as I could. I knew that a lot of the blue would be trimmed up from the top and bottom strips and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I used the same dark navy for the binding as well.
Here are pictures of the finished quilt, both front and back:
Whether you use it for the back or front of your quilt, please share pictures of your progress on my flickr group: Christa’s Quilt Along. Remember, you can make it yourself and make it your own. :-)
I hope you enjoy making Bar Graphs. Click here for the EQ7 download and play around with different colorings, layouts and sizes.