Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Batik Quilt

I rarely sew quilts and for other people.  I can count on one hand the total number of quilts I've made in my lifetime and how many people I've sewn for in the past few years.  I love me some quilts and the idea of making them but I've not made time to sew them up.  This one is for my mother-in-laws' Christmas present.  (Maybe you're reading this and I am ruining the surprise!?!) I went to the local quilting shop called Bears Paw Fabrics out in the burbs of Baltimore.  I am so overwhelmed with the options and colors and prints and solids and stuff that I chose to buy a couple of precuts.

I picked up this batik collection of 2 1/2 x 40" strips plus a jelly roll of solid whites.  I also got a few yards of solid white and an extra yard of a matching batik for the binding.  I used Cantik Batiks Gemstones, the colorway is called Canadian Rockies.  SOOOO juicy! This fabric is stunning!!  I was inspired by the Jelly Roll Race video here.  I didn't end up using this technique for this project though and just sewed all the batiks together into a huge rectangle.  This took on a couple hours on a day off work after getting all my wisdom teeth pulled the day prior.  The back of this quilt actually took a bit longer to make.

It was after I did my quilt top that I did my math for the yardage needed for the back.  Maybe it was the residual anesthesia but I was about a yard off in continuous white fabric.  So I got fancy and did some improvising with my cutting an piecing and used some of the batiks.  I think I love the design of the back more then the front.  My actual quilting is all straight lines, one centered in each strip in front.  The batting is Warm & Natural needled cotton batting... it helps give that slightly fluffed and wrinkled look I think.  The final dimensions are approximately 52 x 80" (132 x 203 cm).  It's meant to be a lap quilt or throw.  

After it was all done the other day, there was a bit of a near tragedy.  I wanted to pre-wash the quilt to give it that rumply bumpy look that I really like in a quilt.  So I toss it in the washer and out it comes half covered in both sides with a brownish reddish pinkish dye run on both back and front!!!!! Two of the deep brown tones ran like crazy... and it was dark, dark, dark!.  I didn't take pictures of that because I was in panic mode.  Long story short, I ran it through the wash again (three times!) with a small amount of detergent and a fair amount of that Oxi powder stain remover stuff.  It was maybe 65% gone.  Then I soaked it overnight in warm water with more of that Oxi stuff and ran it through a wash again.  95% GONE! No one would ever know that there was a mega dye stain on the bright white of this quilt... unless they were mean buttholes and got out a magnifying glass and looked closely.  

So there's my technicolor quilt.  I kinda love it, imperfections and all.  I feel like I can get away with not being technically skilled in this particular genre of sewing and still have really awesome results.  When I sew garments, I don't want it to look "handmde"... but with a quilt, I love the "handmade" appeal.  I do want to sew more of them.  And to learn free motion quilting so I can do some fancy pants quilting.  Do any of you guys who normally are garment sewing types quilt?  I generally think that there is an invisible line drawn between quilters and garment makers, you're either one or the other. AmIwrong?   I heart quilts and hope to do more really soon... among the 5894326736547 garments I want to sew as well still.

P.S. Do you guys use Instagram?  I've been using it regularly finally in the past couple weeks now that I've upgraded my phone.  Here I am on instagram, I'm kathhhhhy_sews.


  1. I make quilts and garments. I started with garments as a child, and often through the years did predominantly one or the other, but now I do both.

  2. Kathy it's BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I really love the color gradation!

    I made a baby quilt and am working through DDs quilt for college. I did not become a quilter. I like the finished product but otherwise... Lol!

    I may make myself a jelly roll quilt though. One day :)

  3. It turned out really lovely! Going to borrow your mojo to finish a crazy quilt for a friend (her auntie did the top decades ago).

  4. I quilt and sew garments :) I like the mental break with quilting (no fitting!) and I like the play with bright colours that I try to stay away from when I sew clothes!
    My favorite part is the free motion quilting, check out Angela Walters if you haven't already, there are some great tutorials online! I had trouble with skipping and thread breakage until I changed to poly thread but ymmv, seems to depend a lot on what type of machine you're using!
    I love how personal a quilt is as a gift, and it's the perfect pressie for a newborn baby😊

  5. This looks amazing, Kathy! I can't imagine wrapping my head around making a quilt, it just seems SO tedious. I'm sewing some bags for christmas presents and its about to kill me ;) I really love the colors on this, so beautiful. I hope your mother in law loves it!

  6. Love your quilt. I sew mostly apparel but occasionally I like to make a quilt just for something different.

  7. I mostly sew garments, but I love the 2 quilts I've made! Nothing fancy, just squares, not-very-neatly pieced together. Quilts are definitly a Big Project for me, but I love playing with colors and patterns, so I think I might work on some placemats to try out some more complicated designs - I've got my eye on hexes!

  8. It's really pretty, Kathy. I love it because it's modern looking. I am not a fan of the style of traditional quilts. They're often so "country" looking.