Make this beginner-friendly modern batik quilt using your favorite collection or as a scrap buster! One easy quilt block is all it takes!
Nature Study is my latest quilt, published in the February 2024 American Patchwork & Quilting issue. It measures 67″ x 82″, and the blocks finish at 6″. I used greens and blues from my batik fabric ‘collection’ – I still have enough fabric to make five quilts in the same palette! The photographer, Adam Albright, always transforms my quilts into works of art when he stages the lifestyle shots!
I began Nature Study as soon as I moved to Georgia. I wanted to make a one-block quilt using many fabrics from my stash. I also wanted it to have a lot of [negative] space and be just as light as I felt then. I was beginning a new phase of my life; there was a lot of uncertainty – an everyday reality when you embark on an unexpected journey.
With all that was changing, there was no time to seek relief in sewing. However, designing and sewing quilts has always placed me in a zen-like state of mind. Thus, I gave in to that desire, and Nature Study was born.
First, I selected an easy block. Why a one-block quilt? Because I needed repetitive work- that is what made it Zen! Repetitive steps are soothing, which may be why I like paper-piecing so much. Pin, flip, stitch, trim; pin, flip, stitch, trim; pin, flip, stitch, trim. Like a lullaby, it relaxes the body and calms the mind.
As I auditioned the batiks, I set aside darker fabrics for the corners of each block and lighter hues for the middle. When I had stitched a stack of blocks, I placed them on my design wall and began rotating them this way and that until I found an eye-pleasing design.
Sashing and cornerstones were needed to spread the blocks and create lightness. Since many of the batiks I chose had streaks of green, the cornerstones and narrow border were green.
I love all the textures and motifs in batiks. Up close, you can see flowers, dots, leaves, swirls, marine animals… How else could you combine all these natural elements into one quilt?
The background is off-white, providing a less stark contrast than white would have afforded. The backing was pieced with larger rectangles of many fabrics on the quilt top.
My beginner-friendly modern batik quilt requires no unique tool or technique to make. Stitch and flip squares onto rectangles, make 4-patch units and sew it all together. I chain-pieced wherever I could.
If you like batiks as much as I do, check out some of my favorite designs: my all-time favorite Zen Life, Spring Fest, Corn Maze, and Add Fireworks, to name a few! I have just decided that my next batik quilt will feature the super-colorful fabrics I have in my stash. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, enjoy Nature Study and all the other amazing quilts in the February 2024 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. What an honor to be featured alongside such creative designers and makers!
Have a fantastic day!