Saturday, January 29, 2011

Batik Beauty- sewing with Batiks

Batiks, some people love them and as the saying goes, "some people hate them". I will admit that my love for them is a tad on the mercurial side but there is never a doubt that if I am going to like a batik it is going to be part of a Hoffman Bali Pop collection.  Those people know how to blend their colors into some of the most yummy color collections of the planet!

This month I am locally  teaching a class on making a a batik quilt as you go table runner than makes the most of the wide variety of colors in each pack. Each Balipop is made up of what at first glance looks to be a wide but cohesive family of colors but as you pull the "pop" apart you can usually group the colors into at least 2 strong color families. In the case of my class I have chosen the colors from the Zinfandel Balipop and broken them into the purple family and the blue family.  Both are wonderful and 1 Balipop is enough to make 4 table runners!

Working with pre cut strips makes for a fast project but does mean that you will not be prewashing your fabric. While I have had little to no problem with my Hoffman batiks running i do make sure to wash my end project with Retayne which is a dye fixative that assures that nothing nasty will be happening with my hardworked treasure!  When selecting a needle for use with batiks I often go with a sharp since as a general rule batiks have a higher thread count making them a bit harder to quilt and down right tedious to hand sew.  For piecing like like a neutral shade of Mettler Metrosene that blends well with my fabric choices ( this is often a shade of gray..but that is just my personal preference)

For quilting I love to bust out my very favorite of all threads for the occasion -Variegated thread rules with batiks!   If I wanting some shine I will always pick Superior thread Rainbows, if I am wanting something a bit more organic but still with a nice pop of color I will choose King Tut.

In the end batiks are nothing to be scared of..  and with the endless new colorways coming to market each season you could spend your life sewing them and never make the exact project twice!

1 comment:

  1. I also love the Hoffman fabrics for quilting. I am, however, making a baby's quilt with some of the Bali batiks. Do you think wahing the finished project with the fixative is sufficient? I would love to avoid the prewashing and get right into the project. What are your thought? Thanks.


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