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Thread: Hand quilting and batiks?

  1. #1
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Stanley NC

    Hand quilting and batiks?

    SOMEWHERE I heard SOMEONE say that batiks are difficult to quilt by hand. Any idea if this is true?

  2. #2
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I know my hands hurt after trying to do some needle turn applique on a quilt that was batiks. I can't imagine trying to quilt an entire quilt by hand... Oh my hands just ache thinking about it.
    I suggest you make a small sandwich out of some scraps and give it a try. Often what some find difficult , someone else has no problem.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Many hand quilters say batiks are hard to needle, but I've never had a problem, with one exception. I wouldn't use Warm and Natural as the batting. I also have no problem appliquéing with batiks.

    The only time it was hard to quilt, was when I had to hand quilt with batiks on the top and the backing. I could have used a jackhammer to get the needle through the sandwich.

    If you try it, keep the tension a little loose in the hoop.

    good luck!


  4. #4
    Senior Member carolstickelmaier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    cental Illinois
    I just hand basted a king size batik quilt.....hands are so sore I can't hold a pencil....I will admit I used a larger needle as I was basting but to help the needle go through the batik I had a bar of soap near by. Rubbing the needle on the bar helps it slide much easier. By the way it took two days to baste. My stitches were approx 1/2 inch as I wanted to do special quilting on it....make a long story short....I machine tied the whole thing! Not happy but I don't mind the look and it is DONE! So would I do it again? Never say never but right now the answer is a resounding NO!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I have never had trouble hand quilting batiks. I have had more trouble hand quilting warm and natural batting.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Batiks have a tighter weave than other fabrics, so it can be more work to get a needle through. For needle turn applique, it can also be harder to get a smooth curved folded edge. However, harder doesn't mean impossible.

  7. #7
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    New York
    I've never hand quilted batiks but I can tell they do "feel' different than regular cotton fabrics.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    Batiks on front only, backing a different cotton.
    No Warm and Natural batting, I use wool preferably.
    Change my needle fairly often.
    Just echoing the consensus of others.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I have a Hawaiian Applique wall hanging top that my mother did in the 70s and recently gave me to finish. It's brown and gold so I wanted to add a bit of color. I added a batik border, and then the same batik on the back and basted it for hand quilting. I even went and took a class with Luxine Neuman (The Thimblelady) to learn her technique. When I started quilting, it looked so flat and my stitches were not penetrating the back except for a thread or two. I went and talked to the ladies at the shop where I took the class (One of the employees is now certified to teach her method) and the consesus was that it was because of the batik backing - batiks are more tightly woven and harder to penetrate with a needle making small stitches. I tore out all my stitches (bummer, I had completed a large section of the center) and have replaced all the batik backing with plain cotton and a thin soft poly batting (the first on was cotton, not sure if Warm and Natural). It's basted again but I haven't started quilting it. I would never try hand quilting a batik again (other than the borders on this piece).

  10. #10
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    North Carolina
    Thanks guys for all this information. I'll remember it.

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