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Thread: Batik

  1. #1
    Steve's Avatar
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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?

  2. #2
    quiltmaker101's Avatar
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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!!!

  3. #3
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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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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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.

    piney

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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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

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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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?

  7. #7
    Steve's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Beautiful work, Steve!! :-)

  9. #9
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
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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

  11. #11
    SandraJennings's Avatar
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    The biggest problem (?) I have found with batiks .....they are incredibly addictive...especially for applique projects. Oh wait, that should be appreciated..... :D

  12. #12
    Steve's Avatar
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    Cathe, now you've got me worried about hand quilting the piece. It's going to be in the ditch so I suppose it won't hurt (other than tough the hands). I didn't know before combining all the fabrics that batik had that quality.

  13. #13
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    http://www.5bucksayard.com/

    I recently got some drop dead gorgeous batiks from this place on clearance for 3.99 a yard. They have others on the five-buck price list.

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information about batik fabrics, that will be very helpful :D I went and checked out the website and they still have two batiks for $3.99, now if I can only find my credit card........

  15. #15
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    moonpi ~ thanks for the link ... I think. :wink:

    piney

  16. #16
    Senior Member annmarie's Avatar
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    Steve - why are you going to stitch in the ditch by hand? Would be much quicker by machine with the same result (as it is in the ditch & tends not to be seen). Maybe I am missing something here?

  17. #17
    Steve's Avatar
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    I suppose I could do the patches that way and the sash and border by hand. I'll make a practice piece so I don't mess up too bad. Is it hard?

  18. #18
    Steve's Avatar
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    Remember I'm new at this, so everything is fascinating and scary all at once.

  19. #19
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    Remember I'm new at this, so everything is fascinating and scary all at once.

    You always remember the first one Steve. It may cause you a little pain, but you will learn the pleasures to come. You may even find yourself longing to pick up the needle when you are in stressful situations, or stop and cock your head if you hear the sound like your machine makes. We won't ruin your reputation - honest!


  20. #20
    Senior Member annmarie's Avatar
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    Stitch in the ditch is easy by machine especially if you use a walking foot (even feed foot)

  21. #21
    lin
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    I see nothing wrong with mixing machine and hand quilting. I think using the machine for the sitd would work for you Steve (and no, it's not hard) and you could have a little fun with patterns in the sashing and borders by hand. Whatever you decide, it's going to be great.

  22. #22
    Steve's Avatar
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    Will give it a go then when I get to that point. Thanks for the words of encouragement. :-)

  23. #23

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    When I machine stitch in the ditch I use the the open-toed sole plate on the even feed foot. I think it makes it easier to stay on the line.

    I also pretreat all batiks with Retayne to set the dyes.
    http://www.prochemical.com/directions/Retayne.htm[/url]

  24. #24
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    thanks for the tip on pretreating batiks, I would hate to have spent so much money on them to have them fade away.......

  25. #25
    Steve's Avatar
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    I've been using vinegar thus far, isn't it OK to use as well?

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