I’m increasingly interested in the boundaries between the foreground and background of a quilt. Traditional quilts often have one or more borders of fabric that either serves as a solid frame or that add another design element. Art quilts often lack a border altogether, but sometimes it’s still nice to provide another layer of interest.
Inspired by the work of art quilter, Jean Wells, and before I started playing with a background of a painted stretched canvas, I used the technique of placing the finished quilt atop a larger background quilt. Each layer is sandwiched with a backing, batting and top fabric. The purpose of the background quilt is to provide another surface on which to extend some of the design elements from the primary quilt. Here are two examples. The photo on the top is backed with a commercial fabric, while the photo on the bottom is backed with a hand-dyed fabric that I found at a local second-hand store for all things sewing-related. On each one, fibers, threads stitching - and doo-dads! - were carefully designed to build upon and expand the primary composition.