Sunday, June 14, 2020

Mixing Australian aboriginal textiles and batiks: a bippity boppity boo quilt

I got a wonderful surprise this week! This quilt top was loaned out to 3 Hens and a Chick quilt shop to use in a shop display illustrating how different kinds of fabrics—Australian aboriginal prints and batiks—can be successfully mixed in a project. The top was returned to me this week... quilted and bound! It felt like my fabric fairy godmother waved her magic wand and *poof*... bippity, boppity, boo!

Charm Squares on Point. 42.5" x 48"
Featuring fabrics from M&S Textiles Australia and Majestic Batiks.

This quilt uses 5" charm squares [purple colorway] from M&S Textiles Australia. To complement the Australian aboriginal designs, two batiks [from Majestic Batiks] in a medium/dark value were used for the alternate squares, setting triangles and outside border. [Note: 3 Hens and a Chick quilt shop carries fabrics from M&S Textiles and Majestic Batiks.]

Charm Squares on Point. 42.5" x 48" (finished size).

The designs and color palette of the batiks chosen were more subtle so they would not compete with the Australian prints which were the focus of this quilt. The narrow inside border is from 2.5" strips from a pre-cut strip roll [M&S Textiles Australia]. The lighter value of this fabric framed the charm squares and provided contrast with the background and border fabrics.

Mixing Australian aboriginal fabric prints with batiks.

The lovely long arm quilting was done by Cheryl Johnson, one of the chicks at 3 Hens and a Chick quilt shop. The edge-to-edge pattern of swirls, spikes and waves complements the more organic fabric designs without distracting from them.

Long arm quilting on the outside border.

The backing fabric is Spirit Dreaming, also from M&S Textiles. This diagonal design affords movement on the back... and the use of this fabric print for the binding, created a subtle striping effect—without having to cut the fabric on the bias!

Backing and binding fabric: Spirit Dreaming from M&S Textiles.

A noteworthy point of observation: the binding was sewn down by hand! (Oh, my fabric fairy godmother is sooo generous!)

5" charm squares of batiks and 

National Sewing Machine Day
As we celebrate National Sewing Machine day (June 13)—yesterday, today and through the year—I hope you seek out and contact your local quilt shops and independent sewing machine centers for supplies and equipment. These businesses carry the "first quality" fabrics you will want to work with and the machines and proper tools to get the job done—professionally and correctly.

As the world came to find out over the past few months, Sewing is a Super Power as sewists and quilters poured their experience, expertise and talent into making masks, scrub hats and hospital gowns. Quilt shops and independent sewing centers not only supported the makers and recipients of these endeavors, they continue to provide:
  • inspiration and instruction
  • "first quality" fabrics 
  • unique kits and projects
  • machine quilting services or resources
  • machine repair and maintenance services
  • notions and tools
  • patterns and books
  • support and camaraderie
  • These things you don't get in the big box stores.
... and now and again they can pull out a secret magic wand and perform a little Bippity, Boppity, Boo magic! I hope you cross paths with your fabric fairy godmother (or godfather) soon.

Thanks again to Cheryl, Carol, Teresa and Sherrie at 3 Hens and a Chick quilt shop for a wonderful surprise. 

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