Friday, January 23, 2009

Batiks Galore!

Another wonderful package arrived in my mailbox today. Linda sent me some of batiks that she had collected! She even sent me some needles that she said were easier to use with batiks. Oh, and chocolate too! Now all I have to do is decide what to make! Thank you Linda! (She signs herself as Lurking Linda so I don't have a link for you but she sounds like she is a very advanced quilter!)

Oh, I really have such a wonderful collection now! Thank you so much Linda! And Rae Ann, and BrendaLou and the Chocolate Cat, and the Calico Quilter! My simple admission of not being able to buy batiks in Japan opened the hearts of so many blogging friends and I have no excuse to not have a batik quilt in my house now! I even have some batiks that Liz sent me ages ago and Roberta too!

So what do you think I should do? I've got to stop sitting here just looking at my treasure.

I don't think I've met a batik quilt that I didn't like so actually no matter what I do I don't think I can go wrong. Batiks just seem mysterious and natural. I already wrote about my feelings about batiks before.

A couple of years ago I saw a quilt called Wheel of Mystery that has stayed in my brain. It was made of pre-cut batiks and was huge but I'd really like to make a wall-hanging like it. I think the original pattern is Winding Ways. The trouble is that it is all curves. And one has to be artistic to place the colors just right. Maybe too far beyond my skill level? (And no actual directions to go by.)

Another quilt I once saw on some website (and I can't find the website nor the quilt picture that I printed out!) used a block called Carolyn's Star. As I recall it was beautiful in batiks. That might be within my abilities if I could figure out an artistic arrangement for the blocks. I wish I could find that picture because I'd probably say "This is it!" and start tomorrow.

I've also been debating a very simple, just squares and rectangles quilt that looks lovely in the magazine picture. VERY simple! I might get a while quilt top made into a flimsy within a few days and it would be wonderful to see all my friend's batiks set out together. Instant gratification! But I'd sort of like to savor these fabrics and work awhile with them too...


Would you play it safe and make something simple that can be struck from the To-do list right away and put on the wall to be admired by all?


Would you give yourself the challenge of a difficult quilt that would take a lot of time (and maybe irritations) and might be stuck in a drawer for a couple of years?

What to do? What to do?

Thank you Lurking Linda for setting my brain in motion again!!


Mary said...

I make very few wall quilts - If I loved the fabrics - I'd make the quilt I wanted more even if its more difficult and takes longer to finish.

Shasta said...

You can use batiks the same way you use any other fabric - so choose any quilt you want to make that showcases the fabric. Batiks don't stretch that much, so they make it easier to make quilts that are a little harder. If you don't want to do curved piecing, you can try appliquing the curves (raw edge - it doesn't ravel much either), or make crossed kayak or kaleidoscope block.
The important thing is the value. As long as you keep the lights and the darks and the lights in the right place, you don't have to worry too much about the actual color selection. Just like in any scrap quilt, it works out in the end.

To answer your question, I'd pick a middle ground - something that is slightly challenging so I can play with the fabrics a bit, but not so challenging that it will wind up in a drawer.

Karen S said...

I too love batiks! I think I would pick something that I could make now instead of another UFO ... have a few too many of those in my drawers already.

Anonymous said...

Batiks are nice to work with. Here is a link to a Winding Ways pattern that is on line and free. Here in the US we can buy all ready made templates at Jo-Anns and other places.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I, too, love Winding Ways as suggested before me. Nancy who blogs NP has a beautiful batik bear tracks on her design wall right now, combined with black. I'd say do something now rather than later! Congratulations on your goodies.

Nancy said...

I do a LOT of batiks, and mostly with black. One was batik stars on black, another batik baskets on black, batik snowballs on black, and presently batik bear tracks on black. Any pattern, I think, is great with batiks.

I'd be interested to know the needle recommendation details -- this is a new one for me.

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Take a look at the Bricks & Stepping Stones pattern on or what about the Happy Blocks with a larger square in the middle. One of the Australian quilters calls them Bigger & Happier blocks. That's the one I intend to make with my batiks as soon as I make some hand-dyes again for the outer strips. Whatever you decide to make will be beautiful---batiks just can't be anything else.

Diane said...

I would probably find the "perfect" pattern to make. Since batiks are not readily available I would not make just any old pattern. It doesn't matter if the pattern is hard or easy as long as it is as pretty as my fabrics.

The Calico Quilter said...

I have three patterns I want to do in Batiks right now, all BOMs. A wallhanging with a bunch of different house blocks, a batik basket sampler quilt, and a sort-of Amish sampler. Any of these would be a good use of batiks and show off the fabric. The important thing is to do what you love. I tried a wheel of mystery and the curves are awfully tight, much worse than the double wedding ring I'm doing now. But I used a very small pattern with rotary cutting templates. Even a 25% size increase would have helped. I've learned not to be afriad of curved piecing if they're big enough to have a little maneuvering room.

Marilyn R said...

I would wait to see what pattern called my name - make me! If I start a quilt that isn't calling my name I am just not as happy with it. It tends to get put in the UFO pile. If the quilt is begging to be made then that is the one I tend to stick with to the end. Let us know what you decide to do!

quiltmom said...

I am working on a Wheel of Mystery with batiks right now and I find that the curve piecing is quite manageable. I think it will be very pretty when it is finished- I love batiks like you, and sometimes it is hard to cut into them because they are so beautiful to me.
I think I would do a pattern that I really love that would showcase the fabrics. It wouldn't matter if it was more challenging -if I thought the fabrics would sing with the design. That is probably my rule of any quilt that I might make.
I am sure you will find the right thing- just take a little time and you will know whether you want something big or little. I don't make many wall hangings-like bed quilts or couch throws.
I will look forward to seeing what design you come up with...
I am sure it will be a beauty..

margaret said...

Which to do, fast or challenging ... well, why not do both?

meggie said...

I like Margaret's suggestion. Looks like you have plenty of fabric to do both. Very pretty.
Have you ever visited Wanda of Exuberant Colour- listed on my sidebar? She uses a lot of batiks, & makes wonderful wonderful quilts!

Chocolate Cat said...

If it was me I'd go for the safe option but seeing some of your other work and knowing how special some of these batiks are to you I think you should go for the challengeing pattern!!! Can't wait to see what you decide!