Formation: Sneak Peek #1

Hello Friends,

I have been making flying geese units with the batik fabrics I showed you a couple of days ago.


I love love love how my flying geese units turned out.  The units squared up perfectly 98% of the time without a hint of wonkiness.  I am beginning to think batiks are the only way to go for making frustration-free flying geese units.


Please feel to share about your positive (or negative) experience(s) piecing with batiks.  I am most curious since I am new at using batiks!  Also — this seems like a silly question, but is there a right side and wrong side where batiks are concerned?

Thanks for stopping by.  Your visit means much to me.  Hugs to you all!


28 thoughts on “Formation: Sneak Peek #1

  1. Well, Dearie, I may be wrong, but in my humble opinion, ya pay for 2 sides of fabric, so you get to use whatever side strikes your fancy. I had one fabric one time that was wrapped “right-side” inside on the bolt, so I was looking at the “wrong” side…but didn’t know it. It was pretty, so I bought it. It wasn’t until I threw it in the washer, where it opened up, and I saw the beautiful gold overlay design on it – who knew!? It was GORGEOUS! So I turned it to that side & used it! But, on the other hand, sometimes when I need a muted or more subtle background, I deliberately turn it to the reverse side, batik or not. It’s been my more usual experience, tho, that batiks are typically the same intensity & pattern on both sides, making no difference which side is used (sometimes that’s definitely a bonus!)

    I’m lovin’ your geese! I also starch heavily, so my geese usually come out pretty well.

  2. Some batiks are better than others. It depends on the base fabric. And, sometimes there is a right/wrong side. I pick the side that I prefer. Sometimes a drop of color will be crisper on the right side, and stamped designs clearer. But, with the natural color variations, most wouldn’t be able to tell in a quilt if a certain patch was not the same as the others (ie, wrong side vs. all the others right). Have fun making geese! How do you do them? t

    • Hi Maryellen,

      Awesome insight – thanks for sharing. I use the no-waste method where you make 4 units at a time. I generally cut my pieces just a tad larger, and then trim the units to size after they are constructed. Is that how you make them too?


  3. Love batiks – have been my favorites for some time now. I love the ‘right’ side as that side is a little more definite to it. It sometimes goes in on the ‘wrong ‘ side, but I am sure I am the only one to see the error of my ways. What white do you use? Yours looks so beautiful with the batiks!

  4. Love batiks, they are also one of favorites, staring my 3rd king size qilt this year using them. As for as right and wrong sides, they do have them, but some of the time hard to tell right from wrong. I find if they thart hard to tell , it won’t matter that much anyway!!

  5. I love batiks. I have quite a large stash of them. There is a difference in the feel and how they sew in the different companies. I almost always buy Hoffman because I love the way they feel and how easy they are to work with. I very rarely have any dye running when I wash the ones from Hoffman. Moda batiks have a totally different feel. Almost like they are over dyed.

  6. For years, high quality batiks that I’ve used I’ve truly never found a big difference in right/wrong side. But more recently I am noticing that there is a difference, sometimes very obvious and other times slight. And some batik lines are very well color coordinated and some are not. Still, they can create a beautiful quilt that can pop with color or sooth the senses.

    I look forward to seeing what you create with batiks. I’m sure it will be spectacular.


  7. I only recently used Batiks for the first time in some paper piecing, it was brilliant.. such flat seams and sharp points. I found there was one side of the fabric that was slightly less smudgy and fine detail was more crisp. Since trying Bonnie Hunters tutorial for flying geese, using the Easy angle ruler and Companion ruler, where you cut both sky pieces from 2 strips, right sides together, i have pretty good accuracy with very little trimming needed.

  8. Wendy, I LOVE batiks. Have quite a stash of them. Have done a few “batik” quilts. But recently discovered the joy of mixing them with my other fabrics. I do have a big paper pieced project planned with batiks. In the process of gathering all the fabric.

  9. I made my daughter a king size quilt using batiks and other cotton quilting fabrics. It was so easy to piece, iron the seams and put together. Barely any wrinkles on the batik fabric and it doesn’t fray. When I quilted it on my longarm it was a breeze and it turned out beautiful. I have quilted several quilts since then and love to machine quilt on batiks! It is like pushing the “easy” button! As you use them more often in the future, you will fall in love with them too.

  10. What everyone has said about batiks is true, there is a front/back side (but many times it doesn’t matter) and they are great to work with! but always wash first due to some “dirtiness”/excess dyes that need to wash off. They handle so well, too. Have pieced with them but I generally use them in applique work.

    When you have time, would you give us a tute on how to do 4 geese units at a time? I am not familiar with that trick. And I always over cut my pieces so I can trim down after the seams are made. More accurate.
    Thanks Wendy for your blog! I enjoy it very much.

  11. Maryellen described the right vs ‘wrong’ side thing the best. With batiks there’s no need to starch…the higher thread count takes care of this. The “no waste” method is genius and the only one I use, also. Your geese are lovely. Have an awesome weekend and don’t work too hard!?! Hugs, SSAB

  12. I love batiks. In fact I now tend to gravitate to them for bags and quilts. I agree with everyone else regarding which side to use. If you use high quality fabric, the variations from front to back are minimal. The colors are so incredible and there doesn’t seem to be the stretch as with other fabrics. It just works up incredibly well.

  13. I love batiks! The fabric tends to be a little heavier than normal cotton and I am often mixing with a white-on-white, so I tend to iron seams open rather than to one side. I am a pre-washer and know I should probably throw a color catcher in with them, but they are usually in with a regular load of wash that includes old towels and I haven’t had a problem.

  14. I really enjoy working with good quality batiks. The thread count is slightly higher which makes for lovely cutting and virtually no unraveling on the edges. I agree that you just pick the side you like best and go for it. One thing I do suggest trying is when it comes to quilting the quilt choose a good quality cotton thread. I find it marries well with the batik better than a polyester. I hope you enjoy your adventure in batiks.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  15. I, too, love working with batiks, no fraying, love the colors. My only complaint is that I have a hard time finding a white or very pale blueish white that looks good for a neutral background. What do you use? It might just be my stores, knowing that light fabrics sell out quickest.

  16. body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}

    Wendy – Remember our conversation about orange being so popular?  Guess it was still sticking with me on Wednesday, as it figured prominently in the class I took with Irena Bluhm on coloring fabrics!  I’ve attached my little project for that day…Have a good weekend!   

  17. Most batiks do not have a right or wrong side since they are dyed. Sometimes there is a slight difference in the sides due to the wax resists. It doesn’t make enough of a variance to me, I think both sides look great. Love batiks!!

  18. My stash is almost completely batiks. My only complaint would be that it’s so hard to hand sew (blind-stitching binding or labels).

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