Hello everyone, My explorations as an Island Batik Ambassador continues and wow, I had fun this month!
The Island Batik challenge for June was to make a modern batik quilt. Of course, this was music to my ears!
I decided to make a modern batik quilt using the Parisian Curves technique from my book, Madly Modern Quilts, available at local quilt shops, bookstores and online. Parisian Curves is also one of my most popular workshops–even very traditional quilters have a lot of fun learning to piece these improvisational curves. If you have the book, you’ll find the process tutorial on page 35.
If you don’t own the book, an updated pattern with the tutorial, layout and fabric requirements will be ready in a few weeks. If you already own the book, don’t worry because I will post a free update for you when the new pattern is published. Stay tuned for the pattern release announcement with a giveaway later this summer!
I decided to make a different size than the lap quilt in the book. Fortunately, I had already created a layout for a crib quilt (using ElectricQuilt8) and decided to use it for this new quilt.
For my fabric, I pulled out a set of 10″ square precuts from the Island Batik Elementz line released last year. Island Batik has been releasing additional new lines of batiks that have modern graphic elements so be sure to look for them at your local quilt shop later this year.
The Elementz batiks are very bright and colorful with graphic elements that are geometric and modern. I used this color palette because I wanted this quilt to be very different from my other Parisian Curves sample quilts which tend towards a more muted color palette.
Here are the fabrics I pulled from the 10 inch precuts.
I like to set myself a challenge, so I added some of the pink Elementz precuts. Pink is not one of my go-to colors and I usually set them aside when they are in a precut bundle. However, this is about CHALLENGE and I wanted to see how well they would play with the rest of the line.
Finally, I added some additional Island Batiks, including a vibrant yellow and a white.
My first plan was to use the white as my negative space background fabric. But, after I made a few sample blocks, I decided that the white was too stark–it had the effect of leaving a hole, not contrast.
So, I switched my plan, and decided to use the yellow as my background, and I am so glad that I did. In fact, I want to call this Batik Maximalism because it is so saturated with color. Hey, modern quilting is all about reinvention, right? [Check out my earlier posts here and here about my views on the modern quilting movement. I’d love to hear your thoughts.]
Here are some of the blocks in process.
The Parisian Curves blocks are cut freehand–no templates or pinning. The technique is detailed in my book and I teach this in my workshop.
The Island Batik fabrics are very tightly woven and I needed to sew fairly tight curves. This proved to be a bit challenging because I was getting some puckering–and I never get puckers sewing curves….. After making a couple of blocks, I figured out the problem. I decided to lengthen my stitch just a bit from 1.8 to 2.0 on my Janome 8900. That tiny adjustment made the process go perfectly–no problem at all sewing even the smallest curves! No puckering or creases, even though this batik fabric has almost NO give or stretch in it. Of course, I sewed very, very slowly…..
And here’s the finished top! It’s a crib quilt that can be easily upsized and it will be in the updated pattern that I will be releasing later this summer. Now it’s off to the longarmer so she can do her magic. I’ll post the finished quilt in a few weeks along with news about releasing my latest update for this pattern.