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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
    Albany, Oregon
    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.

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Central 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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