Something I just discovered about batiks

loisflanSeptember 6, 2012

I used a pale creamy yellow batik as the background for my Sunshine Pineapple quilt. When using batiks I never worry about right side/wrong side. In fact, most of the time you can't even tell. I cut nine big rectangles out of the fabric and appliqued the pineapples on them. I pieced the whole quilt, and never noticed a problem. Then when I was sandwiching the quilt and it was laying on my floor, I stepped away from it and realized that one of the nine rectangles was different from the rest. You don't notice it looking straight at the quilt, but at an angle, you can see it. It is either turned upside down from the rest or rotated 180 degrees. Either way, it's not being changed, and after it's quilted, I don't think it will be noticeable. But, I will certainly be careful in the future if I'm doing a similar batik background where many pieces of the same fabric are seamed together.

Have any of you experienced anything similar?

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Lois, that's interesting! I always thought batiks were the same front & back, too.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I have noticed that on some batiks there is a wrong side. I tend to check to see which side is brighter or the pattern is clearer. Some there is no difference.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Yup, I discovered that myself. There is no right/wrong side to batiks, but they are different. The dye is applied to one side and that side is just a bit darker than the "back" side. I, too, had one "back side up" block in a quilt. Fortunately I found it before I pieced it and it could be replaced. I have found lots of small pieces that were pieced upside down, but those just got left in place.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:42PM
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I'm with everyone else...I try to find the side w/ the stronger or sharper color for the right side, but it can be a challenge. When it's too challenging to identify...I don't worry about it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Good stuff to know as I start my first Batik adventure.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 4:00PM
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There've been times I've used scrappy pieces of the "wrong side" of a fabric to give me more variety within a quilt. As with everything else about quilting, if it feels right and you like the results, go for it!


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 5:06PM
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I ran into the same problem when using Moda pastel charms...hard to tell the difference in some lighting...quickly fixed before I had gone to far

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:31PM
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I try to mark the wrong side of fabric with a mark from a piece of soap - I credit Gwen with that trick.
Batiks are very hard - when it matters I mark.
Kona is also hard to keep track of the right side - on darks I mark with soap - on whites and lights, Moda marbles included, I will write on the selvage "right side" and mark the top with an arrow. Any longtime garment or decorator seamstress will tell you - right side and top of fabric - same direction matters in the shading - but I view this as old habits that I can't let go of.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:12PM
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The more I think about it, the more I think it is a shading issue caused by turning one piece 180 degrees. When viewed from the left, the one piece looks greyer; when viewed from the right, the other eight pieces look greyer. It was certainly a lesson learned. And I hadn't thought about Kona cottons having similar issues. I've got two quilts in the works using white Kona cotton as the field in which the blocks rest. I will be sure to keep track of front/back, top/bottom. I have sewn enough throughout the years to have been wiser than I was. Oh, well.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:44PM
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