My May/December Quilt Marriage

Recently I made a fun little quilt top with a handful of some lovely Scandinavian-flavored prints in fresh, lively colors. Keeping the sashing in white put the focus on the modern prints. With only rectangles and flying geese, it went together fairly quickly. Sewing these fabrics was a delight. (The fabric is Bella by Lotta Jansdotter/Windham Fabrics. The pattern is Apple Dumpling from It's Sew Emma.)

What you see–something new.

The surprise on the back–1997!

As usual, I hadn't thought at all about the backing until the moment came that I needed it. In general, I don't commit to the backing until quite a bit of the top is done. Even though I've laid out the colors and done a test block or two, I like to see how the top looks before I choose what to do on the back.

Originally I had thought to use a solid–picking up either the orange or, if I was in a quieter mood, possibly the grey. But when I was looking through my fabric drawer, I noticed a bright, bright, bright floral from years past that had never made it into a project.

Thanks to a date on the selvedge, I knew this fabric was from 1997 (Alexander Henry). I remembered buying this–and would not have thought it was already in its teen-years! I washed it, pressed it, and put it into service.

And love the flowery backing for this crisp, clean quilt top. The white flowers echo the white on the quilt top. These fabrics were meant for each other.

Find projects and inspirations for your fabrics–old and new–with Interweave's Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale.

What surprising connections have you made with fabrics old and new? I'm sure some of you have done May/December fabric match-making! 

Happy stitching,


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4 thoughts on “My May/December Quilt Marriage

  1. I recently had that same experience. Mom passed away leaving a scrap quilt
    with only 2 borders added but in cleaning another closet I located the other 2
    borders. Yea!!! The quilt was a king size so the problem was looking for a piece
    large enough for a backing. Looking through both our stashes, I found 2 pieces
    of the same fabric and when joined together made a piece large enough for the
    backing. We must have had the same fondness for that fabric and each of us
    purchased a large piece, but neither of us would have had enough for the backing if they weren’t combined into one.

  2. I love these colors (and this quilt), Rose!

    Just last week I pulled out two fabrics—an Alexander Henry from 2002 and another fabric from 2003. I decided to make a top and rather than making a muslin out of well….muslin, I decided to use something old that I might end up wearing. The top fit as, is, and I’m so glad I used up some of my stash, as well as that I have a new top to wear!

  3. Hi Rose

    i have just finished a quilt top which was started by my Mum in the 1970’s made with Laura Ashley fabrics (all hand pieced on papers).. i joined them together with a plain fabric and then edged them with 3 different modern fabrics. It looks really good and I hope to finish it very soon so it can at last go on my Mum’s bed (she is now 91!).