Thursday, December 01, 2016

Adventures in Batik

Behold! It is a Hawaiian disco traincrash!

For many years mum and I have disagreed upon certain quilting matters, one of these has been batiks - mum loves them, whereas I do not. I like traditional, flowery or modern and geometric. Batik doesn't seem to fit any of those characteristics. It's loud, garish and a bit, well, Hawaiian.

Batik is just not me. No siree. This is more me.
Festival of Quilts 2016
I mean look at it? It's old, flowery, delicate. Everything a cosy, little house on the prairie quilt should be. I love it.

But you know, sometimes I change my mind...

Mum made this Asymmetrical Log Cabin quilt at her local quilting class she goes to. When she first showed it to me I think I thought it was quite nice. But left alone with it for a week, it grew and grew on me, to the point where I just asked mum if I could have it. I mean come on, there must be ten quilts in every room in my mum's house; what's one less between friends?

Mum said no.



No big deal.

I am the last person to need more quilts. But it gnawed at me. I really just WANTED it. I am not even sure why I like it. I think partly why I like it is because it really is a mum quilt. Whenever I see those colours and batik prints together I just think of mum. Whenever I curl up underneath it, it feels like a mumple hug.


Mum's answer? Just make your own one. I of course pointed out that I have no batiks, so she just unveiled a huge scrap bin full of perfectly sized cut strips.

So here they are. A few fistfuls to get me going. I bought a couple of fat quarters at Duxford to supplement the stash, but it's quite hard as they really are not my thing. Heavens knows why I am making this. It's so hard. I haven't a clue how they go together and I feel a slight sense of despondency that whatever I do will not be as nice as mum's quilt, but maybe I can trick her into a swap!

This is how it started. The days have totally drawn in here. Dark in the morning until 10. Dark again at 4. There is no light. So sorry, everything is shot under my harsh angle poise lamp. The great thing about log cabin though, is how easy it is. I stuffed all the strips in a basket and just yank them out willy nilly. I tried making choices about what went next to each other but I couldn't do it. So now I just try to make sure the same colour and tone don't go right next to each other.

Here is how it chain pieces together. It's quite amazing how they all come together. Ones I thought I would like I am not that into and ones I thought weren't that nice have turned out to be my favourites.

This one was my special block because it has a sliver of mum's favourite dress from the 60's in it. She seems to manage to insert it into quite a few quilts. It always reminds me of her so I decided that this quilt should be a homage to my mam. It's the plummy pattern top middle. Then I followed her basic rule of putting purples and pinks next to greens. The outcome is ok, but the two greens next to each other was a bit of a mistake I think.

This one I feared was just too bright and garish - all different colours, no overall theme, but you know, it's grown on me.

This one is my favourite though. I like the orange and the dark and light combo. It knocks it back a bit. I thought the darker batiks wouldn't sit well with the black; not enough contrast, but you know, I kind of like it.

I am constantly surprised by my likes and dislikes. I cannot predict my fickle mind. So the game continues as I try to make 36 of these. I am doing them in blocks of 6 at a time so I can chain piece. It seems to average out at about 1 a day if I do 6 a week. We'll see. There is no time really at the moment.

I just hope at the end I achieve what I am looking for. It's an etherial kind of ending. I will like it if it reminds me of mum. It won't be about liking it, it's more about liking what it represents, but everytime I make a block, I think; 'But would mum like it?!' Maybe this is how people feel when they make quilts for other people in fabrics those people like. It's... weird.

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