The quilt for my mother-in-law started many moons before I had even decided to do eight more. Originally, the sewing was to only be for the moms, but I thought: Go big or go home.
During the “research phase” of this project (also called “watching-youtube-and-scanning-Pinterest-until-two-in-the-morning”), I came across Tamarack Shack Batiks Quilt and absolutely fell in love.
I hunted down the pattern for this fabulous quilt and found it here and the fun began. First, I had to track down over 20 different kinds of Batik Fabric within the two fabric stores we have available as well as Walmart, and yes, Walmart sells fabric…I had no idea either. To do this, I basically had to hit up each shop as their shipments came in and hope they received some fabric that I didn’t already own.
I proceeded to cut 400,000 HST’s (Half-Square Triangles). If you know what I’m referring to, you’re already cringing. Cut, Sew, Iron, Netflix. Cut, Sew, Iron, Netflix.
I remember I had recruited my Aunt Karen while this quilt was underway. The first day quilting together, we worked on the Batik quilt for EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT. No joke. It was a Sunday and we started at 1:00pm and didn’t quit until 9:00pm that night. It was all her doing. The only thing I do for eight hours straight is sleep, and even then it’s a rarity.
Aunt Karen, if you are reading this…You are a machine. I appreciate you so much, but I was gonna kick you out long before 9:00pm!!! I guess my manners kicked in.
Fortunately, I was polite and she returned a few days later to move the project along. We laid out the completed quilt top, batting and flannelette backing on the floor and Stella christened it by rolling around on it (this is procedure in all of my projects).
We basted the quilt using basting spray and machine quilted the whole thing, stitch-in-the-ditch-style.
After attaching and seam ripping the binding TWICE, meaning I made the same mistake TWICE…I finally sewed things together correctly.
For those of you who are reading simply for enjoyment, you are excused. For those of you reading who have sewing know-how or are interested in attempting this pattern…keep reading.
A few things I want to mention…
Batik fabric is beautiful in both the way it looks and the way it is made. It also seems to have more stretch to it (or maybe it’s just me). To add to that, this quilt called for many half-square triangles; by cutting on the bias, or diagonally, it will allow you to get more stretch from the fabric, sometimes too much if you don’t pay attention, like me.
What does this mean for you? You MUST be careful not to stretch the fabric even the tiniest when cutting/measuring/sewing. The measurement of your peices and blocks can be thrown off and will effect seams matching and pieces being too big or too small.
Because this was my first time working with Batik fabric, there was some stretching going on, though unintentionally. When it came time to sew things together, things didn’t always match up, meaning I had to stretch the fabric a little here and pucker a little there.
To an extent, this is something that happens with every sewing project. No one can cut and sew everything precisely to a 1000th of an inch. My problem was, in some places, the seam allowance was sooooo tiny that it came apart once the quilt was washed once (thankfully, we washed them first before giving them as gifts!). Then, Leah proved her hand stitching skills and patience by fixing the holes up right nice!!
If you take all these precautions and still find things not matching….choose a smaller stitch on your sewing machine. This will give your quilt a better chance in the washing machine!!!!