As our bus wound its way up windy roads through small towns busy with decorating for the onset of the Garungan Day holiday, we’d ooh and ahh at market stalls displaying colorful arrays of batik Bedcovers.
Not the patchwork kind you might be thinking ---
These were whole cloth!
When Mawa asked if we would like to see how these are made, we all replied with a resounding YES!
We’d had our own batiking class a couple days before – the memory of the smell of the wax, the understanding of the whole process fresh in our memories. But yet, OUR pieces were small --- what would it be like to work on a bed sized piece?
We went to the home workshop of a family that made such bed coverings. Here the gentleman is showing us a beautiful piece covered with tulips or lilies.
We’d look at this here ((Before having our own batiking experience)) and think – oh …whole cloth. No big deal. But we had new appreciation. Our eyes had been opened.
To get that lovely yellow bedcover front made….the fabric was first marked with a design, and its lines were carefully and expertly covered with a fine line of wax. Then the dye process begins!
Much like we had done the day before – here is a large bed cover being painted with dye. He is using a dauber brush…and was explaining to us how he can shade the petals by applying water to SOME areas first within the flower, so that when he daubs with the dye, it will run lighter in some areas and darker in others. Notice that the borders will not be pieced, but dyed by hand also. Not vat dyed…hand dyed with the dauber brushes. Oh is it hard to color within the lines!
In the next room over, a young woman was putting another bed covering together. We were asked if we would like to watch her. Oh Yes!
Oh this looks all so familiar! Pin basting on the floor!
This is also a batik, completely painted by hand. Aren’t the blues gorgeous? Where you so ee white lines is where the wax was boiled away leaving the original color of the fabric to show.
And I had to laugh when I discovered that we pin baste basically the same. backing fabric taped to the floor. Start from the center out ---but the woman was ingenious! She was using rocks as weights on the edges and corners to hold the top layer in place while she worked. She used a roll of fabric to smooth out wrinkles and weigh down the sides. And yes, I wanted to get down on my hands and knees and help her!
See the rock? :cD
We had a discussion about battings. Yes, this is polyester --- but before you cringe and make a face, I want you to know something. Bali is a very hot and humid country. Bali is only 8 degrees south of the equator.
After spending 8 nights in a wonderful resort, I can tell you that cotton bedding ALWAYS feels damp. Any papers in my room felt damp. My passport which was locked in the room safe ---was curled up and warped by the time we left. Cotton batting does not dry out during the day and it gets musty. Poly batting dries easily so their bedding stays DRY. There is a time and a purpose for everything once you understand why.
Pinning down to the edges! See how she is using the rolls of backing fabric destined for other backings as weights on the sides!
I looked around to realize---she was going to sew by TREADLE!
I love this pic…the old treadle heads ---with the offerings tied to the top. Next to the motorcycle helmet, because motorcycles are as plentiful as flies in Bali!
See what the humidity does over time? This machine’s brand name is “BUTTERFLY” It’s based on a Singer 15!
The name on the base is SHANGHAI!
((No, this would not fit in my luggage to go home with me ;c))
As she got ready to machine bind, I took a little video:
And then I took another one!
And then the battery on my iphone died! LOL!
I was just so inspired watching her working at her home based business. Free-motion quilting around the motifs in the center of the quilt will be just enough to hold the layers together securely without making the quilt FLAT. These comforters are meant to have loft --they wouldn't understand our need for quilting everything to death as flat as pancakes ;c)
Memories of Bali are still flooding back every time I go through my folders and folders of photos so I think I’ll be posting more about the trip until I run out.
We had the most memorable eye-opening time. I do feel forever-changed by this incredible trip!
And for those of you who don’t want to miss another trip with me….how about coming to Ireland with me in June of 2013? This trip includes the International Quilt Festival of Ireland, and after the festival – a tour of Ireland! It’s going to be an amazing 11 days and you won’t want to be left behind. Come with me! For more info, click the IRELAND 2013 tab at the top of the blog. You can also click HERE for more information, including our itinerary of our plans for each day on the tour. Read it --- Dream it ---and COME WITH ME!