Thursday, August 23, 2012

Batik Day 1!

This day was so crammed full – I sit here with a camera full of photos, trying to come up with some coherent way to share what we got up to today ---and there is SO MUCH!

First off, let me introduce you to Mawa, our tour guide. He is so easy going, our tour so well planned and so fun to listen to as he explains to us the ins and outs of Balinese customs and the way of life here in Bali.

Our many questions on Hinduism don’t phase him at all, and we are learning so much about the history, customs, the folklore and daily lives of these wonderful loving people.

As we loaded our bus, we were told that we were on our way to a warehouse where we could buy batik fabric. Cheers arose from all of us….we were eager to help the local economy!

We wound through the city of Denpasar out past businesses and endless traffic until we reached our destination. I don’t know what you think of when the word “WAREHOUSE” or “FACTORY” is mentioned, but we tend to think of it in an industrial area, and most likely would consist of a self contained huge building.

We walked up an alley – past houses adorned with statues, sacred altars holding the evidence of the morning’s ritual placement of flowers, palms, and a bite of something to eat for the gods ---it feels holy wherever you step, and WATCH where you step because many such offerings can be found on the ground right outside the threshold of a business.

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Where to start?!

I’ve visited the home of Moda fabrics in Dallas, TX. I guess that is what I had in my mind this would be like…..but this is an individually owned batik manufacturer, and things were much different!

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There were women at industrial sewing machines making up articles of clothing.

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Bolts and flat folds of gorgeous batik fabrics on every flat surface throughout the place. We were given the price per meter in the local currency, rupiahs. It was something like 26,000 rupiah per meter ---and I nearly laughed when I found out that with the current exchange rate, that batik fabric was going to cost us just under $3.00 a meter. HOLY! MOLY! Where to start?

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Here is Jan contemplating a quilt back!

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Blurry pic in action!

The workers will ask you how much you want…..there are markings on the cross piece and they measure and tear. I bought several 1 and 2 meter cuts.

And then…..

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I spotted the scrap bags! Heaven Help me!!

Mawa asked the owner if I was allowed to buy the scraps instead of the yardage. They looked at me like I had 3 heads, but a deal was struck!

The scraps were sold by the kilo ----I got about 20 POUNDS of scrap fabrics for a whopping total of $8.00! One bag was $3 and the other was $5.

My shopping spree cost me a total of $30.00.

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I wasn’t the only one that discovered the scrap bags either! Don’t we look like we are having the time of our lives? WE ARE!

From here we went to the actual factory where the batiking is done. That I am going to have to save for another post because I took videos….I don’t have the wifi connection to upload those. And it is too much to put in this post….

It’s just about bed time…..tomorrow morning we go to make our OWN batik!

Time is flying and we are trying to pack as much into our memories and our suitcases as possible. This trip really IS a dream!

Until next time!


  1. Anonymous2:52 PM EDT

    Oh, my goodness!!! Bonnie found the SCRAPS!!!! Hope you packed some space bags! Snickers....... LOLOL

  2. I can't help but wonder how you are going to get all this fabric home, if you bought 20 lbs the first day! I love batiks and can't wait to see what kind of design you will come up with. Have you considered making a batik-only scrappy quilts?

  3. Tina in NJ3:05 PM EDT

    Can't wait to see what you do with all those lucious scraps!

  4. Anonymous3:19 PM EDT

    Oh what a Blessing all the way around! I would have to MOVE there just to help "cure" my love of batiks. And the things you're all learning as well! WOW! Stay safe and have FUN!

  5. This is going to be interesting to see what you create with the scraps from Bali.

  6. I'm not sure if a place like this is heaven or hell for a quilter.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. LOL!!! That picture of you in the scrap pile is priceless!

  8. I like the heaven/hell question. Just what I was thinking.

  9. What a treasure trove! I can only imagine everyone laughing while you haggled for the scraps!

  10. Cindy, The Purple Quilter4:08 PM EDT

    Bonnie is definitely in Heaven!!! I see a batik scrap quilt in her/our future...maybe even an entire book in batiks! :)

    So glad you have wifi so we can go along on your adventure. Looking forward to the video!!

  11. Oh - batik scraps?!?! I am green with envy - look at all those scraps! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. ENJOY!!!

  12. I'm very curious as to what they normally do with the scraps.. Looks like fun! And inexpensive!

  13. Bonnie, it is so wonderful to hear about this trip from someone who takes such joy in all of it! That's why we all love you so much even though most of us may never meet you in person. You write so that we can feel your emotion. Looking forward to every single day of this trip! Thanks for including us in the fun.

  14. Oh my gosh...I laughed out loud when I saw you in the scraps. That is one happy face! Huge score, and how interesting and wonderful. Can't wait to see/hear more!

  15. OMG tht is awesome. How will you get it back? Ship it???

  16. Obviously you need to introduce them to the scrap savers system..... :o) have fun!!!

  17. Looks like you are in heaven with the bags. I'll take several.

  18. WAIT, let me give you my cedit card!! Sure hope you have a plan on getting it all back home to play with.

  19. Can you ship some of those bags home!!!! Oh Lawsy Mercy....guess it is a good thing I could not make this trip, HOW would I have ever got all that fabric HOME??? Oh.....I am kicking myself for not making this trip!!! Can't wait to see more!!

  20. what a good deal on the fabric!! I hope you packed a collapsible suitcase to fill up to bring home with you.

  21. What fun! How on earth are you going to get all of this stuff home!?!!? Wish they had flat rate boxes FROM there... Well, it will be worth buying and packing a separate suitcase, i'm sure. Bless your heart. You are truly in heaven. SOOOO happy for you!

  22. How do you decide what NOT to buy?
    Oh, those scraps would have been sooo tempting!

  23. What an awesome deal! Can't wait to see what you make from all those scraps!

  24. Amazing, that is a real fantasy! Did you pinch yourself to make sure you were awake?

  25. Tell them to figue out a way to ship about ten lbs of random scraps and I bet your readers would by out most of those bags... I'm in for at least 20lbs. :)

  26. Oh my dear Lord in heaven - scrap bags? I would have sent $100 worth home for sure.

  27. Bonnie what a haul!"!Say hi to Sharon .....

  28. Bonnie, I almost feel as though I'm with you. Thank you for sharing with us such fun moments. Though I wish I could be there too, I am also glad I'm not. I can't resist buying at the best of times. My trip to Sisters meant an additional two suitcases. Heaven knows, I would have needed two trunks from Bali!!!! It certainly is a "Bali High". LOL

  29. I'm sure you all had a great time. I, too, am sooo green. Those sure are some BIG scrap bags. It's a shame we can't order from them online. Beautiful fabric!!

  30. I know you brought empty suitcases with you right?? Otherwise where is the near post office in Bali to ship these scraps home! Oh my. 20 pounds the first day, and you have how many days left??? I see a Batiks scrap quilt book coming out in the near future, well maybe 2014!

  31. OMGolly! if restraint doesn't kick in, you'll never get it all in your suitcase. Oh well... you can always leave your clothes behind in Bali and just bring the good stuff home. lol. Have fun Bonnie.

  32. Bonnie, I will gladly take some of those scraps off your hands. Just send them on to Minnesota!!!! vbg

  33. Wow. I hope that you packed light on the way to Bali so that you have room for all the scraps. Even if you have to pay the extra baggage charge they will be a great deal! You look like you are having the time of your life! Enjoy!

  34. I think I would be in heaven. That was a great deal! Wish I could get my hand on some!

  35. Forgot to ask, how is the food? Those orchids are gorgeous! Looks like a happy group of people.

  36. Seriously. I think you could have given this factory a whole new business idea. They package up scrap bags & flog them to hungry quilters the world over for say $5 a bag, it would be win win win!! Local employment for several people right there & they get to use the waste & not have to dump it!! Easy to set up a website etc. Seriously!!
    I have thoughts of you calculating the shipping costs of several of those big scrap bags LOL.

  37. Can you share the details of the factory - can anyone go? I am keen to go when I head to Bali next month

  38. DH said, "You gals are crazy!" However, I LOVE it and he knows it. I love to go to the scrap bin in quilt shops. Two of the best ones are Common Threads in Waxahachie, TX (I know you are familiar with that one) and Boersmas in McMinnville, OR. If you can do it, I won't be embarrassed any more when I head straight to the bargain bin of scraps when I shop at a new quilt store. Hee Hee! I'm traveling now in our camper with my featherweight on our way to New England. I try to sew some every day or I go into withdrawal. Have fun on your cruise!!!

  39. Anonymous1:40 PM EDT

    Wow look at the size of those scrap bags.. Like others have
    mentioned, I wonder what they do with those scraps now?
    Sounds like you are having a wonderful trip!
    I would also be in for small scrap bags.. Send it to Wisconsin!

  40. Wow!

    Why is it that we all seem to get more excited by the bags of scraps that the cut yardage?

    Thanks for including us homebodies by writing your wonderful travel posts.



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