Sunday Stash #16 – Magic Suitcase Part 01 – Batik Bombing

So by now, y’all should have heard about my fabric expedition to California, and the magic suitcase from Grandma Sparkles. If you haven’t, here’s the skinny: 
  1. Go to California for work.
  2. Grandma Sparkles in Oklahoma says she’s sending her scraps to hotel for me.
  3. Great! I love scraps!
  4. Waiting in my room is a suitcase filled with a bit more than scraps (picture below).
  5. Fabric collection doubles.
Oh bajesus, I brought five pieces of luggage back from that weeklong trip, four of them were sewing  related. So suffice to say, I have a whole lot to share for Sunday Stash. So much so, that I’m gonna space it out for a while, because Lord knows I’m not gonna be allowed to buy anything new until I’m scrounging around my prom dress for hot pink polka dotted tulle. Work.
So first up is a fabric of much derision and contention, the batik! As I said in my Fourth Finish – Collecting Memories post, when I was picking fabrics for that lovely, I didn’t consider the difference between quilting cottons and batiks. That’s actually the benefit of ignorance, you do what you do without the influence of others. I’m trying to keep some of that. Quilt what you want, how you want it, when you want it. Quilting motto for life.
But batiks. Such raised eyebrows, sly glances and upturned noses. You’d think they’re shooting the remake of Heathers up in here. (And if someone reading this is, I’m totally available! Call me!) Quite contrarily, I find batiks Fabulous, with a capital F. You know what else always has a capital F? Fierce.
Yeah, I get it, some go to that weird Grateful Dead tie dye place, while others look like a table cloth for the Swamp Thing. I hear you loud and clear, trust. Despite that, do not judge every batik by the mud-brown bolt sitting next to it. Instead, look for the copper, the bronze, and the golds that can make your yellows, oranges, and reds really sing. 

I’m not saying you can throw your batiks in with every fabric range and you’ll have a “make it work” moment. Oh, child, no. Heather Ross ain’t gonna like no batiks. What I am saying though is, don’t be afraid to explore the colours in a batik that you may have never seen before. How you gonna do that if you don’t even look? What might you find? Something beautiful, and blended, and brazen.

For instance, that grey-green, yellow, mauve fabric on the right in the above photo. Seriously, it looks like I got paid with a puked up a bowl of rotten Skittles. Lick it up, baby, lick, it, up. However, the middle fabric with charcoal background and magenta scale lines is clever, edgy and complimentary. I can easily see that mixed in with some “regular” quilting cotton fabrics to add more depth and texture to the finished project. This is not a fabric exclusion zone, and all are welcome here.

All of these blue batiks were used in my Collecting Memories quilt. They’re responsible for making it shimmer. A batik doesn’t necessarily have to feature plants, or the local wildlife (thank the heavens, because in my neck of the gay woods, there’d be drag queens and young cute hustlers). They do however, feature saturated colours, which amp up the volume and contrast. And if you’re standing next to me, there’s gotta be volume, lots and lots of volume.

I say all these things, as my point is to just keep yo’ eyes open. Don’t let anyone dictate to you what can or can’t be done with your project. A batik might not work, but it might, and who’s the fool for not trying, or allowing yourself to be blinded by the words of others? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go practice my lines for that Heathers remake. Seriously, what is your damage?

Linking up with Fiona at Finding Fifth for this week’s Sunday Stash-a-thon!  You should do the same.  

That biotch Shannen Doherty just took off with my prom dress.

16 Responses

  1. Sooli says:

    I love batiks! Not that I use them in every project or anything but they are awesome for blending with other fabrics. Who knew there was a snobbery about batiks? I do what I want and bugger what everyone else thinks, after all I'm not interested in entering quilt competitions but getting the result I'm after. Quilting way back when used to be about making do and using every bit of what you had, cotton or not. You are going to need to find some serious storage now you have all that lovely fabric goodness! No more fabric shopping for you!

  2. Dawn says:

    I do love Batiks and am at a loss as to why I don't use them more often. Hmmm…….I do believe I need to rectify that! ūüėČ
    You chose some truly gorgeous Batiks! Yummmmm…..

  3. Salley says:

    Ha Ha . . . . you're always good for a belly laugh at the end of the week….but what's this… Batiks???
    Smooth words and soulful eyes wont cut it, Molli. You talkin' trash, man…T_R_A_S_H. (except that aqua and brown at the end!)

  4. Some of the more striking contrasty prints are lovely… but I can't stand the mottled tone-on-tone stuff or the poo browns, so I usually just write it all off. I probably should be less mean to it though, I did see a lovely batik quilt the other day in my online travels which was all pastels and white and it didn't look like the usual poo brown batik fug at all.

  5. Oh I think every quilter needs a Grandma Sparkles in their life!

    Gotta say batiks aren't my cup of tea, but you could almost talk a girl round to liking them. Almost. Except for that skittle puke one.

  6. Katy Cameron says:

    Yay for suitcases full of 'scraps' I have to say batiks don't do it for me, more because I like my patterns to be clear and distinct, and batiks, by their very nature, are not, but the blue ones looked awesome as a whole in your quilt

  7. I have exactly one batik in my stash, which is a gorgeous pink. I'm not one for browns and muddy colours in prints either, yet there are a lot out there aimed at not-modern-quilters.

  8. Tessa Marie says:

    Oh MolliSparkles, you never disappoint!! I am ROFL as usual. Thank you for sharing your philosophy on batiks. I have always thought that either you were a batik user or you weren't and I am not. Not because I don't like them, some of them are gorgeous, but because I am a modern quilter, a woman of the 21st century, and we do not use batiks. But you have changed my mind, made me come to my senses. If I like it, I am going to use it and I don't care what anyone has to say about it! So there!

  9. Jane S. says:

    I love batiks! Seeing all those colors swirled together just makes me happy, that's all. ūüôā

  10. MsMidge says:

    You crack me up! I got given a wad of batiks…..but they have been put aside to send off to a girlfriend who will appreciate them much more than I. I did like probably about a dozen of the ones you have posted though, so perhaps my exclusion zones are narrowing? I am after all working with pastels again at present…..sigh…..

  11. Listen to you proselytising the virtues of Batiks. Well done. The affirmative team wins today. Well argued Molli.

  12. Books_Bound says:

    I might not ever forgive you for using "lick it up" and "Skittle puke" in the adjacent sentences.

  13. vexa says:

    I'm learning some new colors here, never heard of poo brown or skittle puke. Just funny. I'm not really a fan of either one.

  14. Auntie Pami says:

    Are you kidding me? Jackpot!

  15. Kim says:

    Ohhhhh, Grandma Sparkles is in Oklahoma!!! I'm from Oklahoma . . Living in Paris now (not as far as Australia, but still!!).

  1. June 5, 2016

    […] upon a time, Grandma Sparkles sent me a Magic Suitcase¬†full of fabric, including a treasure trove of what are now Tula Pink rarities. Funny story, that […]

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