What a stash buster.....making hobo backs for charity quilts! What's a hobo back? It's a quilt back pieced from scraps. My quilting scraps are sorted by size and color. Scraps are cut to the inch and sewed to rolls of like colors. For instance, all blue 2" wide scraps are sewed together end-to-end and put into a big roll. Here's a charity quilt I finished this week using a cheater fabric donated at our quilt show.
See how the back is composed of mostly blue scrap fabrics. This is what I call a hobo back. I simply took the blue roll of scraps, cut one the length I wanted and kept sewing the lengths to the together. The quilt was constructed by first sandwiching the blue part of this back with the donated dog strip. I quilted those together, then added two strips of dog fabric to each side in order the make the charity quilt the desired size (at least 36" x 36"). For the bone strips next to the donated dog center, I pinned a scrap strip (right side to the back) and the bone strips (right side to the front) and sewed a quarter inch seam. After pressing the front and back open, I added a strip of batting in between (pinning so that the batting abutted the quilted center. For this strip, I simply sewed a straight line every inch or so to secure the batting in place. To add the next row, simply trim the piece and keep going until the quilt is big enough.
Here's another charity quilt with a hobo back. You may think that the horizontal rows are difficult to construct. Not so! I'm working on a formula for figuring out exactly how much is needed. For instance, the horizontal rows above are constructed using alternating orange, yellow, and green scraps. These particular scraps are 2" wide. Therefore, one repeat (when three 2" strips are sewed together) measures 4.5". Divide this number into the length of the strip, in this case 42". 42/4.5 is 9 and some decimal places. Round up to 10. Multiply 10 times the desired width of the horizontal stripe. These strips were 8", so 10 x 8 = 80. We need three strips, so i then multiply 80 x 3 = 240. For some reason, adding 20" to this total seems to give me very close to what I need. If you know why this is so or have a better formula, please reply. To construct the horizontal strip then, just measure out the first color to 260". Sew the second and third colors onto this strip. Lay the strip on your cutting board and cut 8" segments off. I usually square each segment too. Then sew these strips end-to-end. Voila, horizontal stripes for a hobo back!