Monday, July 5, 2021

Batik Race

Last week I mentioned that I'm making race-style pillow covers for some pillows for our patio chaise lounges, and I started with this pile of cut strips.

I used my die cutter for 2" strips and cut lots of strips, from my old batik stash, mostly earth tones and warm brights. The concept is to join them like a jelly roll race quilt, except that the strips are skinnier and there's way more of them. I had only the vaguest idea what this might look like, but batiks usually go well together, especially the more the merrier. 

OK, the concept is working. My long strip was somewhere between 3500 and 4000 inches long - that's over 100 yards! -  so I carefully wrangled it to avoid twists. The first long seam took me 2 hours and 22 minutes, with two bobbin changes. Three days, careful pressing and strip wrangling, and several more long seams, and I now have a chunk that's 48" wide and somewhere between 4-1/2 and 5 yards long. 

It's pretty cool, even if I say so myself. 

More photos...

The pillows will be standard bed size and the strips will run vertically as in the photo below. I'll cut panels for the fronts and backs of the pillows from the big chunk of "yardage." I'm sure there will be some left over. 

The original purpose of this was to generate something other than a muslin sandwich for FMQ practice. I'll layer these pillow panels with batting and muslin backing. I can practice FMQ all over the panels plus on whatever I make from the leftover pieces. It won't matter how skillful - or not - my FMQ is because the overall look is so busy the quilting will hardly show. 

The concept was kind of experimental, certainly unpredictable. I'm really pleased with how this is turning out. 

Link ups: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt


  1. Ohmygosh--I do love this piece--so pretty in those batiks with the separators...
    What a splendid Idea for pillows...and to use up strips...I am looking forward to seeing the pillows...hugs, Julierose

  2. Oh wow, that is a lot of fabric and is looking great!

  3. Your little squares add a lot of interest. If you ever run short of batiks, I have plenty!

  4. This is fabulous!!! The pops of black and cream really makes the colors stand out!

  5. After seeing your newly made fabric, I keep eyeing my bland batiks and agree that this would be an agreeable use to destash the stack. Yours looks so fun, especially in 2” strips instead of jelly roll size of 2 1\2”. I can’t wait to get to the free motion lessons! Looking great, Jan!

  6. What a great idea, Jan!! I absolutely love practical practice for FMQ-ing. When I got my longarm, friends said load some muslin and jump in. NOT!! I loaded a donation quilt and got to work. Your pillows will be SEW wonderful!