Monday, February 15, 2010

Front to Back

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.
Until now.



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?

14 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I think it's sort of like doing a pieced quilt back vs. just a solid backing. I've only ever done pieced backs because I think it adds an extra little treat for whoever might know it's there. It's like a little secret waiting to be discovered. :)

Samantha Page said...

that is a beauty of a pillow.

kaiolohiakids said...

Front, back, whichever-it's gorgeous!

Andi said...

Clean hands are soooo overrated.
Just ask my kids!!!
Gorgeous cushion, as usual.
Andi :-)

patty a. said...

The orange oval back adds to the overall finished product and you can alway make more!

folksmith said...

love the quilting design

kathy york said...

Great combination Malka! The beauty of a pillow form is flipping it over and having two different moods depending on your whim! The quilting lines really enhance the blocks. Love it!

Cindy said...

I love the orange, especially as the binding.

Andrea said...

I love, love, love your quilting(stitching) style. The orange is amazing.

Monica said...

I, too, am in love with the quilting in this cushions. Thank you!

theartistshouse said...

I'm currently making a quilt and came to the realization that I need to learn to quilt things myself instead of sending it away to be quilted. I bet pillows would be a great way to practice machine quilting before trying it on an actual quilt. Thanks for the inspiration. The pillows are beautiful by the way.

http://theartistshouse.blogspot.com/

Linda Ruel Flynn said...

When I read this I had to share a story about one of my kindergarten art students. We were making paper stuffed fish. Decorating the outside of fish shaped paper before sealing and stuffing. He turned his paper over and was drawing the bones of the fish. Cuz ya know they are there! Love kindergarteners. Just because it doesn't show doesn't mean it is meaningless. I am enjoying your blog. Thank you!

stitchsister said...

LOVE the quilting on that pillow!!!

Badecca said...

such amazing detailed stitching on the front - I love it!