Help!

In the late summer I offered to finish off, back, and bind a queen-size hand embroidered crazy quilt my friend Ruth has been working on for the past many years. She almost finished, then lost interest and put the quilt away. I know she intended going back to it, but I also knew she probably wouldn’t get there. So I offered to complete it for her – with my sewing machine using decorative quilting stitches where she’s done hand work, but it would work.

Yesterday I dug out the quilt from the closet, this morning I opened it up and started by trimming the quilt edges to make them straight, machine basting flapping bits of fabric – there’s quite a bit of beading near the edges – broke a needle on one. My next task will be to remove beads near edges so I can properly machine sew where I need to.

I also need to add fabric to three corners, and figure out a way to decorate a seam that joins a panel across the quilt near one end – lace, silk, bits of crochet, whatever bits and pieces I can find in my collection of stuff that kind of goes with what Ruth has used.

Hand Embroidered Crazy Quilt

Here’s my problem – the quilt needs a backing. I can set up a backing using a light cotton (the quilt is VERY heavy already and doesn’t need anything weighty on the back). But how am I going to stabilize the top to the back? I can’t stitch over existing embroidered edges because it would look awful and there are beads on lots of those edges. Do I tie top to back with bits of yarn? I have to do something.

If anybody has any idea how to attach a back to something like this, I’d love to hear your suggestions because I’m stumped, I must say. The underside of the quilt does need to be concealed because there are thread ends and raw edges throughout that will ravel and come out if left exposed.

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