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Old 09-04-2007, 12:09 PM
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The newest project had me working heavily with batiks, using them as a thematic point in the piece. I observed a couple of things I thought to share.

For whatever reason I noticed the fabrics they used on the batiks had extra stretch to them and so I had to constantly be on guard while sewing. Maybe I just got lucky on the four pieces I used?

Also, one central square wasn't set correctly in a patch and upon replacing it I noted that not only did the piece fit nicer, so did the coloration. I never thought to study the color of the larger central square in relation to the fabric, but it made a huge difference in the piece itself. The new square set the piece off, making it much livelier than the previous square. So the lesson is study the fabric, especially when there is a particular piece that will get attention.

Any other advice when using batiks?
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:01 PM
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Because they are so expensive, I would only use them for a really special quilt. Unless I win the Lotto. Then I would buy all I could get my hands on and make one like I have seen on the Amish quilts websites (and in the Amish quilt shops) that are ALL Batiks. GORGEOUS!!!
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:59 PM
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Because batiks are more tightly woven than other quilting cottons, they can be harder to quilt, particularly if both the top and back are of batik.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:39 PM
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Steve, if you like batiks, you might like this free pattern from Timeless Treasures. http://www.ttfabrics.com/patterns.php?patternID=158 It is definitely on my "to do" list. I will make it a bit smaller. Note, it needs to be re sized in even number of blocks per row to get the effect.

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Old 09-04-2007, 06:10 PM
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Thank you for the tips on the batiks, Steve. I am building up a stash for several quilts in the future and this will be great to know :D

Thank you pincone for the pattern link, that is a beautiful quilt and may have to add one more on my to do list :D
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:43 PM
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Steve, is the new quilt avatar one done with batiks? I really like that :D Is that the new project you are talking about?
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:38 PM
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Yes, those are the patches for the project, a table runner for the folks. Sashing with dark brown and various shades of browns for prairie points.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:11 AM
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Beautiful work, Steve!! :-)
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:15 AM
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also the fact that batiks are vat dyed not just stamped gives them a slightly heavier hand, the have no right or wrong side. the are my absolute favorite.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:00 AM
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I usually use the Schmetz sharp (microtex?) needles for sewing batiks - they are finer and sharper. Larger needles tend to leave visible holes because the weave is very dense. The needle has to "punch" through it.

Sewing batiks (well, the punching issue because of the density of the fabric) also dulls the needle faster. During machine quilting, this can lead to skipped stitches and frayed/breaking thread much more quickly than sewing calico. Change your needle as soon as this starts, because it's not going to get any better! :roll:

I don't hand quilt batiks for the same reason I don't use sheets on the backs of hand quilted quilts - they are so densely woven that it's had to get good small stitches and it really dulls my needles fast.

But I do like batiks a LOT... I just budget for extra needles! LOL
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