Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Bit of Batik

 When my daughter was born I received this beautiful Batik quilt from my sisters.  I instantly fell in love with the vibrant colors and stunning detail of the fabrics.  The simple pattern of the quilt showcased these features perfectly.  It still amazes me how perfectly this bright vibrant quilt matches my girl even though it was made before we knew her!  Ahh… the inspiration of Aunties! 


Along with the quilt they shared with me the bag of scraps left over from its making.  Perfect!  Such wonderful gifts for mama and babe!  I have used the scraps here and there for different projects and thoroughly enjoyed having them in my hands each time. 

These wonderful bits of fabric made their last major appearance (only very small bits are left now!) in the studio recently making the perfect binding for the perfect receiving blankets for the perfect wee babes about to brighten this world.  It was so fulfilling to stitch a bit of the love that was shared with my own little one into a blanket filled with love for another.  Somehow the babes can feel it…can know it…that they are connected to and loved by others through the stitches in the blankets that warm them.  Oh, it’s true…I do believe.April 040

To make these Batik bound, soft as cloud blankets, I started out with fabulous fleece from my favorite Amish store.  Perfect amount of stretch…nice and thick…soft and fluffy on both sides…just right for little loves.  (All fleece is not created equal…if in doubt take some swatches home before you buy any yardage and perform your own stress tests!  Definitely check out how it performs in the wash.)

This is how it’s done…or at least this is how I  did it!

I cut a square from my fleece by squaring off one edge and folding it down into a triangle. 

February 352 

And then into another triangle.  Then I cut it along the raw edges of my triangle.  And you have a square!February 353

I gathered my scraps and cut them into 2 1/4” strips.  Stitch them all together into one giant strip.  Iron it in half length-wise to make single fold binding. 

February 348February 351

Pin the binding to the edges of the fleece matching raw edges. 

Stitch with 1/4” seam allowance.  Use the following process for the corners.

February 405

This is may favorite way to approach corners.  It’s quite simple and provides excellent results…that’s really all I ask!  I’ll break it down…!

Stitch toward your corner.February 355

Stop ~1/4 from the approaching edge.  Backstitch.  February 356

Lift foot and needle.

Fold bias so folded edge is perpendicular to your stitching and is creating a 45 degree angle towards your corner.  February 358

Your binding is heading off the fleece now so fold it back down over your angled fold (matching folded edge to raw edges) being careful not to shift it.  February 360

Insert your needle ~1/4” from the corner.  Lower your foot…backstitch…and stitch away toward the next corner.  February 361

 February 362

When you have completed the stitching trim your raw edges if needed. 

Fold the binding over to the other side of the fleece and pin in place.

February 406

On a standard cotton three layer quilt I would sew the binding on by hand…but for this fleece blanket I machine stitched it in place carefully.  The end result is quite irresistible I do say!  Their cheerful fuzzy selves are waiting patiently for the moment that they may do their part to lovingly welcome and warm a pair of sweet babes.  Oh, it is lovely to create for new lives! 

April 042