This Bali Pop precut has been in my stash for two years or more, just waiting to become a quilt... I was scared to do anything with it because I'd never worked with batiks and I didn't know where to begin to select fabrics for borders, sashing and backing. But finally I just dove in!
My initial plan was to do a jelly roll race quilt, but I chickened out, afraid it would be too "blah." So then I started sewing strip sets of four, and then cut the strip sets into squares. I got really brave with end pieces of the strip sets and made 16-patches. (That's probably a little misleading; the blocks had 16 pieces in each, but they were far from square!)
Through lots of trial and error, I ended up with 8 blocks (each with 3 strip squares and one 16 patch), about 17" square. You'll see that I set 5 of them on point and cut two more diagonally. To finish out the center of square top, I cut the last block into four sections, again on the diagonal. I used a green batik for sashing. (Thank you, Linda at Sew Much Fun in Columbus, GA for your help selecting the fabrics!) Next came a border of gold batik.
There were still LOTS of very small scraps I couldn't bear to discard, so I paper-pieced them onto 2" wide adding machine tape to make another border. That was really fun, and didn't take nearly as long as I imagined. And I LOVE what it added to the quilt! I finished off the top with an outer border of the green batik from the sashing.
This quilt has been quilted TWICE. That's right; twice! The first time I quilted it, I just wasn't happy with it; stitches were irregular in length and I had "eyelashes" where I took curves too quickly. Of course, I didn't figure this out until it was finished... I was so disappointed that I put it away, only to drag it back out this week. I spent two days picking out the initial quilting.
I'm happy to say that I'm quite pleased with my second attempt at quilting it, this time with a loose meander of Aurifil quilting thread in a lovely rust color. Both solid borders have a "swirl" design quilted; I left the pieced border unquilted. The binding is the same gold batik of the inner border.
In this photo you get a glimpse of the batik back, a beautiful multicolor of golds and greens and rusts. I LOVE this fabric! In fact, I have enough left to make myself a little unlined jacket!
So what did I learn from making this quilt??? LOTS! First, if I'd ever actually use a pattern, I wouldn't spend so much time with trial and error. Second, I have lots of work to do to come closer to a consistent 1/4" seam allowance. This became quite evident in the so-called 16-patches. Third, I LOVE batiks!!! It was so crisp to sew on, and pressed just beautifully. Best of all, there's no "wrong" side to batik, which was a blessing and ONE way I couldn't mess up! The only downside to the batik is that the fabric is pretty pricey. Counting the Bali Pop precut and the fabrics for borders, sashing, binding a backing, I have about $150 in fabric for this 66" square lap quilt. And this one is actually MINE!!!