It’s all about the quilt’s fabric chosen for this flower basket: batiks and wool in a quilt design inspired by Banyan Batiks’ Dot Necessities.

Journal Entry: August 30, 2020.

The fabric I used in my latest Pretty Pots flower basket design for Organically GrammaTMPanier de Points (translation: Basket of Dots) is the focus of this quilt. I had a Make-Me-Now moment when Karen Gibbs, Design Director for Northcott’s Banyan Batiks, showed me Color Me Banyan Dot Necessities, a Banyan Batiks Studio collection. The wheels started turning as my imagination conjured up the image of a project—batiks…and wool…in a Pretty Pot, of course!

Banyan Batiks Dot Necessities
Color Me Banyan Dot Necessities by Banyan Batiks Studio for Northcott

Why Batik and Wool?

Some might question the pairing of batiks and wool in a quilt project. Batiks, a lighter weight cloth, bring to mind a climate filled with sunny days and warmth of a breezy tropical location. And, wool reminds me of a cool wintry day, a time to snuggle up in a wool sweater or blanket. The weight of wool is heavier to the hand. Perhaps these are the contrasts that prevent makers from bringing both into a quilt. I know when I consider the emotional connections of fabric, I have hesitated in the past about bringing batiks and wool together. 

Personally, I love the brilliant color of a batik, particularly when many colors play together in the cloth. For me, wool adds additional texture to a batik quilt project. Bottom line, I just enjoy how easy it is to mold batik fabric into shapes for needle-turned applique. I’m mighty pleased when I can pair batik and wool, embroidery and bead embellishments to add to the visual appeal of my quilts. These combinations are my quilter’s nirvana.

Panier de Points, the Next Organically GrammaTM Project

I decided to create another Pretty Pots project with Color Me Banyan Dots Necessities batiks. Gardens & Trails was my first large format flower basket quilt. The lovely floral bouquet in this basket was an experiment with hand-dyed cotton solids and wool appliqué, united with a traditionally pieced basket and embroidered and bead bits. 

Hand-dyed cotton and wool flower basket quilt
Organically GrammaTM Gardens & Trails, designed by Tricia Patterson

For Panier de Points I’m focused on the coloring and shapes found in the Dot Necessities batik prints to inspire its floral bouquet. And, blending batiks and wool. To that end I hand-dyed wool to match the colors brought to life in the batik collection.

Wool Dyed to Match

Next to designing and creating quilts I enjoy dancing with fibers and color. My fabric dyeing adventures have been plentiful with lots of learning along the way. I’ve dyed a lot of cotton fabric, linen, silk, rayon, bamboo and hemp, and a variety of yarns. Using a variety of techniques such as tie-dye and whole cloth tub dyeing, Shibori, painting, marbling, stamping, screen printing, and sun-painted transfers has been inspirational. Experimenting with dyeing a variety of household substrates has also been a lot of fun: lace and crochet, doilies and table cloths, and recycled blouses and shirts. Interestingly, I haven’t dyed a lot of wool cloth. 

Hand-dyed wool
ProChemical and Dye One Shot & WashFast Acid Dye + Hot Water = Dye Bath. 
Immerse PFD wool. Steep for ½ hour. Rinse and dry.

I selected colors from the ProChemical and Dye One Shot and WashFast Acid Dye collection, to match all those in the Dots Necessities collection. Using 100% natural Dorr Mill Signature wool I rediscovered dyeing wool is rather easy, and can be fast. I started off this project by dyeing 23 fat-quarters of different colors for Panier de Points.

Hand-dyed wool
Dye in the Wool, On the Rack

Why so many? I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d want to use in the design. One can always have extra wool on hand for appliqué!

batiks and hand-dyed wool
Wool dyed to match Northcott Banyan Batiks Studio Color Me Banyan Dot Necessities

Ready to make a floral arrangement

With wool and batik at the ready, I prepared the ‘dots’, ovals and circle shapes for my Panier de Points flower basket quilt. I used Karen Kay Buckley’s Bigger Perfect Circles to make the circle appliqué. I drew oval shapes in Microsoft PowerPoint to use for making the oval plastic templates.

batiks and hand-dyed wool

Stay tuned for my next journal entry where I will present a finished Panier de Points, a basket of dots. Until then I’ll…

Keep on making flower basket quilts,