Season Evans, modern quilter

season evans : on the importance of quilt backs

By guest blogger and quilt maker Season Evans

SEATTLE WA  One of the reasons I am drawn to quilts, both in form and function, is their unique ability to tell stories. When I am making a quilt I am always asking myself what I need to tell the whole story. As I am constantly drawn to stories of contradiction, I use my quilts to explore various avenues of a narrative. Often the backs of my quilt extend that story or will even contradict the front.

“Community” (below) is a quilt that tells the story of the communities I’ve lived in and the interconnectedness of living together as a society. Yet the back of the quilt tells another story - one of how fragile and disconnected communities can be.
Community, quilt by Season Evans
above: Community, front
Community, quilt by Season Evans

above: Community, back

There are times when the story is about the materials used in the quilt itself. The story begins on the front of the quilt and continues to the back, as if the quilt has its own shape or color story to tell. Using a variety of fabric for the back (cotton, linen, cotton/linen blends, and vintage yukata) allows me to explore the effects of texture and pattern.
Back of quilt Harbor, by Season Evans

above: Harbor, back 

Back of quilt Forward, by Season Evans

above: Forward, back

Back of Stereo quilt, by Season Evans

above: Stereo, back
Back of Binding quilt, by Season Evans

above: Binding, back

The materials used in my quilt backs are used in direct relation to the front of the quilt (I only use cotton on front of the quilt). As in “Traffic” (below ), the fabric chosen for the back is a natural contrast (mostly natural linen) to the stark black and white stripes of the front.
Traffic, quilt by Season Evans

above: Traffic, front
Back of Traffic, a quilt by Season Evans

above: Traffic, back

While there are often various discussions about whether quilts are art or craft or utilitarian, regardless of categorization, quilts are objects: tactile and intimate. We can feel them, hang them on a wall, hold them, and sleep with them. The way we use quilts is not one sided just as the quilts themselves are not one sided.

When I am making a quilt, I don’t end the conversation just with the front of the quilt. I try to use all the space I have to tell the story. That means that, for me, the backs are equally as important as the front.

To visit Season’s website +click here


You may also like

summer fun: koinobori
summer fun: koinobori
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA Koinobori decorate the landscape of Japan from April to early May, culminating in the ...
Read More
my one-yard challenge
my one-yard challenge
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I challenged myself to make a baby quilt using just one yard of yukata cotton and sti...
Read More
four garden quilts
four garden quilts
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  On April 13, Jane Sassaman wrote this Instagram post: I have put together a few texti...
Read More
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
By Joe Cunningham SAN FRANCISCO  When I started making quilts 40 years ago I learned that there were certain tech...
Read More
allie aller: the happy quilter
allie aller: the happy quilter
Editor Note: I asked Allison Aller what makes her happy. Allie had lots to say about this topic! PB By Allison Aller,...
Read More
iron talk
iron talk
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Last week my iron gushed all over a quilt project. The good news—it wasn’t rusty wate...
Read More


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


5 comments


  • Carol
    Her process is very inspiring; I like my quilt back to be complementary to the front, and sometimes someone likes the back better than the front-I’m fine with that, I like it.

    Cheers


  • Patricia Belyea
    Jamie—Glad you appreciate Season’s work. Successfully making simple quilts is not simple. Best, PB

  • Jamie S
    I’m still struggling to think outside the box with my quilt fronts. Season Evans’ quilt backs are as inspiring as her quilt fronts. Thank you so much for this article and pictures.

  • Okan Arts
    Janie—I agree. Season is a thoughtful person and that shines through in her quiltmaking. BTW: Season recently taught a class at Drygoods Design in Pioneer Square. If you haven’t met her yet, see if you can take a class with her. PB

  • Janie
    Thoughtful quilts with stories, are the best kind!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published