Me + You, the new line of Indah Batiks and hand dyed solids by Hoffman fabrics, are perhaps some of the most enjoyable fabrics I have quilted with. Batiks are not new to quilting, but the colors and patterns that are in the Me + You line are simply fantastic. The depth of color, size of the prints, and overall design of the line is well thought out and create a cohesive and beautiful line of fabric to work with.
Pattern: Self drafted with basic directions below
Materials: 1 bundle Me + You Indah Batik fat quarters, 1 bundle Me + You Indah Hand Dyed Solid fat quarters
When I started the quilt, I wanted to use a pattern that would highlight the fabric itself, as the play of the colors was one of the reasons that I really got excited by the line. For me, there are a couple reasons that I get drawn to making a quilt. Sometimes it’s the pattern, sometimes it’s the colors, and sometimes it’s the fabric. This time it was a combination of the fabric and the colors.
In looking for a pattern that would highlight the fabrics and colors, and finding one that would have some play, I chose to have some fun with a traditional 9-patch block. In a traditional nine patch, the nine squares are alternating lights and darks creating a block that looks like it has an X through it. My fun came in taking the idea of the play of light and dark fabrics in a single 9-patch, and playing with the layout of the lights and darks of the overall blocks as well.
Because of the way it’s constructed, you can create this kind of pattern play with as few fat quarters as blocks you want to make. Because I wanted a throw size quilt, I wanted a larger block that would use the fabric and not have too much extra. In looking at how many squares I could cut from a fat quarter and I found 9, 6” squares would be my best choice. This would allow me to create a 9-patch block that finished at 16.5” and by having 4 blocks by 4 blocks, I could create a 66” x 66” quilt, perfect for a throw size. But by using more blocks, this could easily be turned into a larger bed quilt.
I chose 8 lighter fat quarters, and 8 darker fat quarters to be the starting point for the blocks. Since I cut 9 squares from each fat quarter, I could use each color twice, once as the 5 squares on the corners and middle in one block, and once as the 4 squares in the middle of each side on another block. I paired the lights and darks, so that while the colors would create the 9-patch, the blocks would mainly stay dark and light. When arranged in the final quilt, the blocks would create an ‘almost 9-patch’ in the overall design.
I had a few more fat quarters in the bundle than I needed, so I was able to play with the combinations a little more than if I only had 16 fat quarters. I was able to highlight one of my favorite things about the Me + You line, that some of the color tones are really close in a few colors, and it's fun to substitute to create a little more interest and a little unexpected spark.
After many layouts and playing around with the color combinations (and trying many different combinations and options) I landed on my final layout. Sewing the top was pretty straightforward, sewing the 3 squares in each row together, and then the 3 rows in each block. Chain piecing made it go quickly, and the blocks come together relatively easily. For the backing, I chose a nice chambray that created a soft and wonderful back for a throw blanket. While not a traditional fabric for a quilt, it is a great fabric for throw quilts because of its drape and soft feel.
Once the top was done and the quilt sandwich together, I decided to quilt the top in a fairly straightforward manner. I echo quilted all the seams, so that each seam had quilting on either side. When I was done, I felt the quilt needed a little more quilting to add some interest, so I created a diamond pattern that started in the middle and just echoed itself out to the edges. While it was all straight line quilting, it helped the quilt come together.
Overall, this quilt was amazing fun to pull together. The fabric, because of the batik process to create the prints, sews beautifully and has a wonderful feel. The colors in the Me + You line are deep, rich, and create a fantastic palette for quilting (or any sewing!) This was a blast to make and I can’t wait to use the Me + You fabric again!