Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

WiP Wednesday – Batik Squares

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Last week, as the kids and I were discussing the plans for the husband’s day off, I was told that I wasn’t going to be home.  This was news to me.  When I asked them about it, they informed me that I would be at my mom‘s house.  It was even news to my mom, but she was game for the idea.  When would I be over?  When Friday came around Lou, the one who’s grand idea it was, broke down into tears because I was going to be leaving and spent much of the day complaining to the husband that I would never be home.

Reader, it was a wonderful day.  We went shopping at a local quilting shop that is going out of business, had lunch, and I finished up my batik squares quilt.  This one has been in the works for several months now, not because it was difficult, but because for much of the summer I just wasn’t feeling it.  Last week I got as far as putting the white borders on, but then had to take a few days to ponder where to go with final quilt construction.

There was a point at which, when looking at the blocks up on the design wall, that it was infinitely clear to me that there was only one way to move forward – blocks stitched together in the middle with a black border all the way around.  Mitered corners on the black, obviously, and a simple black binding instead of facing the quit to preserve the squared yet wonky feeling of the piece.

Duh.

I found the miter on the border far easier than the one on the quilt facing.  By the way, I have a link to both the mitered corner border and quilt facing tutorials that I used over on my Pinterest board conveniently named “Quilt Tutorials” if you’re interested.  Totally off-topic (unless you count holiday gifts as a “work in progress”), but Pinterest made sharing holiday gift lists across the miles with family members super simple.  Revolutionized, you might say.

Ahem.

I’m loving the high contrast between the black and the white as it relates to the colors of the batiks.  I am not loving the way the black fabric picks up stray hairs from the batting, my cat, the dog, and whatever other schmutz seems to be in the air.


My biggest quilting lesson over the last few months was that not everyone’s points match up every time, but most importantly, sometimes it really doesn’t matter except in a geeky sort of technique way.  This particular instance was the result of the way I squared up my blocks.

Or maybe because I can’t sew a straight line.

Or cut one for that matter.

For the quilting, I elected not to quilt the batik squares because I was afraid it would detract from the squares as a whole.  The largest space between the quilting is around 6-inches which is well within the 10-inch maximum on the batting bag.

For the white borders I went with closely spaced, slightly wonky lines in a back and forth pattern.  I also managed this in one pass without any starts and stops which meant I had fewer knots to bury.  I really can’t imagine quilting it any other way.  The quilting really flattened out the borders and makes the batik squares pop off the quilt.  They look almost 3-D.

The back was just as much fun as the front.  I had a really nice fat quarter with a black, grey, and white floral print that I picked up at JoAnn’s a few weeks ago that seemed to beg me to put it together with this quilt.  Kismet?  It was the right height, but a few inches short across.  What to do?  Ah, yes, sew in some batiks, of course.  These were left from strips I used to put together the blocks on the front.

Hanging will be an experiment.  I’m using these batik corners on each side of the quilt plus a flat length of wood and picture hangers.  This quilt won’t be hanging on my walls, though, as it’s a gift for my mom.  I’m holding on to it for another week so that I can show it off at the next quilt guild meeting.  Not to worry, I picked up another fat quarter of the backing fabric.  I’m definitely going to make another one of these for my very own!

Remember that lonely nine patch square from a couple of weeks ago?  It turns out it wasn’t quite so lonely after all.

Several years ago I bought a box of fleece scraps from someone on a message board.  I don’t remember who I bought it from or what message board it was, but I do remember that it was cheap.  All I knew at the time was that it would be a random group of blues and greens in varying sizes.  I sort of remember cutting some of it up into 3″ wide strips.

When I finally got the chance to go through the box this week, I was pleased to see that I had made as much progress as I had.  Since then I have progressed a bit further than this picture shows.  I’ve already sewn the strips together into threes and then cut them up into 3″ strips and started sewing them together into their nine patch blocks.  So far I have the eight that I had already sewn up on the design wall and I have another 34 that are two-thirds of the way finished.  By the time it’s all said and done I think I’ll have upwards of fifty blocks which should make a nice sized blanket.

Who knows, maybe with the addition of this blanket to my other one I’ll actually be warm this winter!

Another week, another quilt.  I’ve been kicking butt and taking names.  Why not stop by Freshly Pieced and see what the others were up to this week.

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25 thoughts on “WiP Wednesday – Batik Squares

  1. The quilt looks fabulous! Any time Miss L. decides you need to be away home just let me know. I’m sure I can arrange for another day of entertainment. 🙂

  2. The white borders really make the batik colours pop!

  3. Your quilt is pretty, I love the quilting and how the black shows off all that colour.

  4. So striking! I really love what you did with your blocks.

  5. I like how you were able to take advantage of the cloudy day. The daylight really made your quilt pop.

    • Thanks! It was just about right for taking pictures outside that day. I did take a few inside on the cutting table and they actually turned out pretty nice so I’ll have some good options come winter.

  6. That quilt is awesome! Love it!

  7. Your quilt looks amazing!

  8. I’m impressed that you are making 9-patches out of fleece! I would never have the nerve to try that with such a stretchy fabric. Nice work!

    • *snicker* Just don’t look too closely at my points, measure my blocks, or be too surprised if it’s a bit…wonky.

      I’m not entirely certain I thought this one through all the way.

  9. Nice work! Your batik quilt is lovely.

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