Saturday, June 16, 2018

Modern Batik Challenge

The June challenge in the Island Batik Ambassador program was a fun one, create a modern quilt crib size or larger. This is my resulting quilt, made from the Southern Blooms collection including a neutral, almost white batik.

Island Batik Ambassador modern batik challenge 

I used quite some time searching the internet for examples of modern quilts, weighing the designs up against the fabrics that were available to me. The instructions were as stated below.
Must incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quilts as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild (the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, Minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work).

 This is the collection of batiks that was my starting point, the Southern Blooms collection. I wanted to use as many of these fabrics as possible, I had 30 different fat eight cuts. I used the same collection for the challenge in May, but still had plenty left over.

I wanted to showcase all the 30 beautiful batiks in one quilt, and after some searching I landed on this relatively simple block, inspired by Jenifer Dick and her book Nine-Patch Revolution.

The magic comes when you put the blocks together. The white/neutral batik in the crosses form a color consistent grid over the background colors.

I wanted a gradation effect in my quilt, from the lightest colors in the top left color down to the darkest in the bottom right corner. I used quite some time working with the value of each color and the placement of the blocks. There were "zillion" pictures taken, making them black/white to see if the value gradation was correct. It was amazing to see how my initial interpretation of the colors didn't always work out with the value. The picture above shows the final layout of the blocks.

 Here the quilt top is sewn together. It looks like a white lattice hovering over the background colors.

I am very fond of spiral quilting, and what would be more appropriate on a modern quilt than that! I used the walking foot and Aurifil 50wt in white 2024 for the quilting.

I started the spiral in the red/orange block and just continued from there until I reached the outer edge. Then I started filling in smaller spirals in an improvisational manner, there was no specific plan plan.

 I used Paisley Dot Sky for the binding. The quilt gives a very summery feeling,

Naming the quilt is always difficult, Summer Sherbet was a name that came to me during the process of making the quilt. Due to the gradation of the color blocks you get a new interpretation of the color scheme when looking at different sections, from cooler to warmer colors. I love the optical illusion in this quilt.

 Ikea Britten Nummer was used as the backing.

It looks like a yummy Summer Sherbet, doesn't it?

 Quilt stats:

Size: 52" x 63"
Fabric: Island Batik Southern Blooms for the colored background, neutral is Sprinkles in white, and binding is Paisley Dot, Sky
Thread: Aurifil 50wt white 2024
Batting: Hobbs Cotton Batting

The fabrics, thread and batting that was used for making this project was given to me by Island Batik. One of the biggest joys of being an Island Batik Ambassador is to get to play with the fabrics they send me.

Happy quilting!


  1. Very pretty, I like the 3D effect this quilt has.

  2. The effects of this quilt are stunning - for a simple pattern it does incredible things.

    1. Thank you! I am glad I had so many colors available to get a good gradient in the quilt.

  3. This is such a fun quilt! a great way to use the 9 patch. I'm always a sucker for a gradient, too! <3

    1. Thank you Sherry! The nine patch is such a simple design, and I am happy that the end result turned out so good. I love the gradation and the hovering white lattice.

  4. Your quilt is gorgeous and really shows off the beautiful batik fabrics. Great finish!

    1. Thank you Ramona! It was no problem making a great quilt when I had this beautiful collection available!

  5. Yes you nailed it, I love the design and of course the fabrics;) I love your spiral quilting, how you did partial designs of it like it was slipping under the main one.

    1. Thank you Vicki! There are so many ways in making a modern quilt, (almost) anything goes. I was happy to be able to make a great gradation quilt with the fabric I had available. The partial spirals just happened, and I thought it would be a great effect with some of them slipping under.


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