I have to admit that by the time I get to the quilt back, I'm so eager to finish the quilt that I don't take the time up front to really plan it out before I begin cutting and sewing. Of course, this usually works against me and I spend way more time trying to make it work on the fly than if I had taken the time to sit down, think it through and do the math.
This plus quilt back is a good example of this. I had an idea for the back early on--to include a small inset of pluses on the back. But, it turned out to be more
difficult than I anticipated. Generally I think it turned out ok, but
that uneven pink stripe on the bottom still drives me a little nuts!
In an attempt to change my ways, I recently enrolled in a free Craftsy class called Creative Quilt Backs. The class is taught by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson. I found the class to be really helpful by giving fairly detailed instructions on how to plan for, layout, and do the math to get your quilt backs to work right the first time. I was a little surprised to see how precise she is even in quilt backs that look very improvisational. I guess I knew this from my own previous mistakes, but I was secretly hoping that I could be done with the math once the top was out of the way!
The quilt back I finished after watching the class did turn out better than some of my previous attempts. If I recall, I still didn't get it exactly right, but it was at least closer than my usual!
My latest back gave me the most trouble. I went back to my "just start sewing" method of piecing the quilt back since it was going to all be one piece of fabric except for one contrasting block with the other colorway (should be easy right?). I think I had to redo this a couple of times and still don't really like it (and it was not quite the right size). I guess I'm a sucker for learning the hard way, even when I know better! Graph paper and math next time for sure.