Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Balinese Quilt Top

I have a very exciting work in progress this week (my oldest work in progress!) and a lot of photos.

It all started 5 years ago while I was living in Jakarta, Indonesia. My BFF, Kate, came to visit me and we took a trip to Bali.

Kate and Kate in Ubud, Bali
While there, we made a trip to Ubud. Ubud is known for its market, it has all the regular cheap tourist stuff that you'd expect in Bali, T-shirts, sandals, sarongs, etc, but it also has a lot of batik, paintings, pottery and other Balinese artwork. 

I picked up this quilt top for my mom:

I am glad I didn't have to piece all of those HSTs.

I really like batik, and it's everywhere in Indonesia. Batik clothes aren't really my style, but I thought a quilt would be nice. I also thought it would be an easy thing to bring home.
A year and a half later, I moved home and gave it to my mom. I figured she could just go out, buy a queen size sheet and some batting to make it a quilt. My mom has always sewn and done crafts, so I assumed she'd be able to whip this up in an afternoon.

Apparently quilting is a time consuming process, and my mom doesn't quilt. So the quilt top has been folded over a rocking chair for the last few years, and I forgot about it until a couple weeks ago.

Now it's here, and I'm very excited to finish it, but I'm not sure what to do.

For a start, it's synthetic. It's also not pieced very accurately, but I don't want to take it apart. I really don't want to ruin it. I've never seen batik like this outside of Indonesia.  

It's hard to tell from the photos, but there is some shimmer in it as well.

My plan is to hand quilt it (it's a whopping 84 x 100).

Has anyone out there quilted with synthetics? I've looked online, and I read that hand quilting is "not recommended." Tying seems to be the popular choice for polyester quilt tops, but I don't really want to do that. I'm also not sure what's wrong with hand quilting.... if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

Linking with Nini & the Sea, and hoping for some weekly inspiration :)   


  1. That really is a beautiful quilt top. I don't know much about hand quilting or synthetics, but I'm sure there's someone out there that can point you in the right direction. So I'm just going to be your cheerleader...You can doooooo it! Gooooooo Kate!! Cant' wait to see it finished!


  2. To start, your quilt is gorgeous! I neither have HAND quilted on synthetic quilts however I have longarmed a quilt that had allot of synthetic pieces in it. I think the reason for steering away (by hand) is that synthetics can be very had to get a needle through. I suggest to do a small area and give it a try. If it is a problem--tie it.
    If I were longarming or on domestic, I would do a meander if the blocks are off. Also your quilt has allot of pattern in it--imperfections would be less visible..