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Thread: Advice on batiks, please!

  1. #1
    Member Dawnwrey's Avatar
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    Advice on batiks, please!

    I am going to use batiks in my next quilting project, and as I am somewhat new to this great craft, I am wondering if there is anything specific about working with batiks that I should know before I begin. I quilt by hand. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The first thing I would mention about batiks is they are dense or tightly woven. They may be difficult to piece or hand quilt but that is just my opinion. I have aways used them with my sewing machine. Maybe someone who does hand work will give you better advice.

  3. #3
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Due to the density of weave, they are very stable/non-stretchy. Accuracy in cutting and stitching 1/4" seam is essential. It takes more effort to stretch them around curves. They ravel very little, therefore good in raw edge applique. Due to the density, they are more difficult to needle. In the machine use a microtex 70 wt needle and 50-60 wt thread. Because I stitch the second side of the binding by hand, I don't like to use batik for the binding. I'd recommend machine quilting over hand quilting. For the type quilting I do, I love them.

  4. #4
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Pre wash!
    Have been known to bleed

  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Get good quality batik like Hoffman. I have never had any issues with that brand bleeding also they are a dream to applique with both by hand and machine. They feel thinner but are woven more denselyand are very durable .You might need to use a smaller needle on your machine like 70/10 schmetz micro sharp to piece and aplique. Also for quilting you might need a smaller needle else you get a holey look.
    Anna Quilts

  6. #6
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I used batiks in a memory table runner and hand quilted it with no problem. I also made a quilt and used ocean colors on tan with no bleed. The only thing with batiks from me is there is no give so accuracy is important. That being said I have only used batiks from Quilt shops, I know they sell them at Joanns and I don't know if there is a difference like in some other quilting fabrics.
    *Rachel*

  7. #7
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    There was a thread recently about batiks and the amount they bleed here and the consensus was that it didn't really matter where you got them from - quilts shops or chain stores - some bled a lot and some hardly any (I still don't pre-wash btw).
    I've no experience of hand sewing other than binding, but wasn't aware of any difference.
    One thing I would say though, is that if you are bothered about 'right' and 'wrong' side, which ususally look very similar, is to mark the wrong side with chalk or some such before you start.
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    pre-wash, and use a nice new sharp needle for quilting- batiks are a bit more difficult to stitch through due to the tighter weave than regular quilting cottons- but with a nice new sharp needle, good batting and backing it's certainly very do-able. they are easy to work with, not apt to have frayed edges (again due to the tighter weave) i know many people who (shied away) from batiks, once they finally gave them a try they wanted to make everything with batiks!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knitette View Post
    There was a thread recently about batiks and the amount they bleed here and the consensus was that it didn't really matter where you got them from - quilts shops or chain stores - some bled a lot and some hardly any (I still don't pre-wash btw).
    I've no experience of hand sewing other than binding, but wasn't aware of any difference.
    One thing I would say though, is that if you are bothered about 'right' and 'wrong' side, which ususally look very similar, is to mark the wrong side with chalk or some such before you start.
    there is no (right/wrong) side with batiks, or any other 'hand dyed' fabrics---either side can be used as you want- sometimes a design may be more prominent on one side- or there may be slight variations- use the side you like at the moment- that is one of the great things about batiks/handdyes- you don't have to reverse patterns for applique- either side can be used anytime-no need to worry about it (there are people who make watercolor quilts who use the 'back-side' of printed fabrics sometimes too because they want a more 'muted' shading...there is no right/wrong side to any fabric--just a front & back--either can be used---i pay for both sides of my fabrics...)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I am hand quilting a batik wall hanging and it is hard to hand quilt!! I can only do the stab stitch so it will take much longer to finish!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    The first thing I would mention about batiks is they are dense or tightly woven. They may be difficult to piece or hand quilt but that is just my opinion. I have aways used them with my sewing machine. Maybe someone who does hand work will give you better advice.
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    One point about using the smallest needle, because of the tight weave, using a large needle will leave holes if you have to remove stitches. As recommended use the smallest /new/sharpest needle you can get your thread to work with. Do not use a ball point needle .

  12. #12
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    I've hand quilted a number of batik fabrics with no problem. Even with W&N batting. Even one where both the top and backing were batiks. A sharp needles does help. I'm also a pre-washer by nature so would recommend that as well.

  13. #13
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have a quilt I am quilting now with batiks and other together. I guess I do not really pay attention, because I am not noticing any difference. I do like a nice sharp needle, so that probably helps. I agree with accuracy in cutting. There isn't much (or any) give to these, but they are so VERY pretty, that to me it's worth it.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I'm another quilter who hand quilts batiks without any problem. You might want to do a test sandwich first, just in case.

    Janet

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