When I was studying printmaking there was a much emphasized concept I never quite understood, the clean hands person. This person's sole function was to ensure that the back side of a print remained pristine and, according to my instructors, was essential to the printmaking process. Printing with ink can be messy and part of the craftsmanship of that process was not having fingerprints or smudges on the back of the paper. I remember being baffled by why there was such concern about the appearance of the back of a print. After all, no one was ever going to see the back.
The back of a pillow is not quite as unseen, but I've always put more though into the front. My usual approach to backing a pillow is to use a coordinating solid or commercial print. I don't think I've ever patterned and dyed fabric with the intent of using it on the back of a pillow.
I made the blocks for this pillow top a while back, but didn't quilt it until the other day.
That's when it struck me that I must, must ,must dye the backing for this pillow in my ovals chain pattern in deep orange.
I had hoped that my "vision" of what belonged on the back of the pillow turned out to be wrong. Like the concern over fingerprints on the backs of prints, it seemed frivolous to care that much about the back and to "waste" hand dyed and patterned fabric on the side that will probably spend most of its life facing the couch. Once I auditioned the fabric next to the top though, it was a done deal.
In fact I loved the combination so much that I bound the pillow with the same hand dyed batik.
Maybe the back is the new front?