Auditioning Quilt Backgrounds

I call the fabrics between squares like grandmother’s flower garden and spinning star “backgrounds”. Another quilter I know calls them “connectors”. Whichever term you use, they are the glue that holds the pattern squares together. I generally make a stack of pattern squares first, and then head to a fabric store to audition fabrics. I sewed about a dozen spinning star squares while I was traveling in England and was anxious to see what might work with them. Peter had work the first few days we were there, so I pieced in the lobby when not walking about and eating Ploughman’s Lunches and Fish & Chips!

When I got home and looked at the stars, I decided I’d like to hold them all together even more than just using the green fabric in each star. I like the Seven Sisters pattern, so I dug around some more in my stash. I came up with a blue fabric, which with the green fabric will be the center of the six spinning stars. The blue is from an authentic Bali batik and relates to the Asian theme of the room. I pieced a sample, thought it looked good and headed off to the fabric stores. So fun! I have way too much fabric to fabric shop, but I usually do need to look for background fabrics….

While driving to the stores on my list I thought about what might work. First idea was a warm beige or tan as there is a lot of that in the rug. The flourescent lighting in the store makes this look more garish than it was, but it still didn’t work as I thought a beige might. It didn’t seem to hold the squares in place, if that makes sense.

And here is a blue with lots of turquoise highlights in it, which does not show up well with that lighting. Didn’t I say earlier that I was trying to avoid blues???? (So hard to mark!)

After the beige idea, another fabric I had in mind was some kind of  batik with sprinkles or dots of  reds, greens or blues perhaps, which would pull all the colors together. I was delighted when I found a fabric with all that in it! I bought some and brought it home to audition with the rug. Hmmmmmm…Is it too busy or too pale?

I was unsure about the light value of the dotty batik, so here is the other contender, a blue batik leafy pattern. It is quite a dull blue, which might highlight the brighter colors. It is also cooler than the reds or olive green, making it recede.

I am giving you a look at both fabrics on the rug. I don’t need the quilt to match the rug or chairs in every way, but I do want it to look like it belongs in the room.

Which background would you choose? I am still debating…. No hurry since hand piecing takes time…

2 thoughts on “Auditioning Quilt Backgrounds

  1. I first liked the last one (I like blue) but I also like the dotty batik. Well, that’s not any help… Too bad the beige didn’t do it. Looking closer at the dotted one-it seems to complement the stars with all of the colors. Hmmm. Good luck. It will look great no matter what you choose!


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