What does batik fabric have to do with ugly holiday sweaters?

Batik fabrics featuring bicycles

All quilters have stories to tell and, for many whose passion for quilts drives them to work in the quilting industry, those stories can contain many twists and turns. Episode 2 of The Quilting Company Podcast references one of those stories and leads us to a question no one in their lifetime would normally ask: How can batik fabric have anything to do with ugly sweater parties?

Karen and Lori chat in the recording booth while discussing her creative role at Banyan Batiks.

Karen and Lori chat in the recording booth while discussing her creative role at Banyan Batiks.

Meet Designer Karen Gibbs

Karen Gibbs, Design Director for Banyan Batiks by Northcott, has a fascinating conversation with co-host Lori Baker about her quilting journey, and it all began with knitwear.

Karen’s intricate holiday sweaters started as drawings. Now she uses her talent to create unique batik fabric. Photo courtesy of Karen Gibbs

Karen’s intricate holiday sweaters started as drawings. Now she uses her talent to create unique batik fabric. Photo courtesy of Karen Gibbs

Let’s suffice it to say, this photo collage of several of Karen’s early sweater designs shows talent and ingenuity – not at all the description of the sweater designs she created, “… you know, the kind of sweaters that have come back for ugly sweater parties!” These are works of art, and her design sense led her to Northcott where she’s putting her own stamp on the quilting world.

Unique batiks

The Ride On fabric looks right at home on the handlebars of this bike!

The Ride On fabric looks right at home on the handlebars of this bike! Photo courtesy of The Design Studio, Banyan Batiks

Karen’s current passion is creating unique batik fabrics for quilts…. And those designs stand out for their humor, timeliness, and modern appeal.

Designed with the bike lover in mind

Designed with the bike lover in mind. Photo courtesy of The Design Studio, Banyan Batiks

Inspired by her love for the outdoors and a passion for biking (does EVERYONE who lives in Colorado spend their weekends biking, hiking, and skiing???), these fabric designs will stand the test of time.

Inspired by biking, this batik fabric makes great quilts and shirts.

Inspired by biking, this batik fabric makes great quilts and shirts. Photo courtesy of The Design Studio, Banyan Batiks

Want to know more?

You can listen to this episode here at The Quilting Company or subscribe to the Quilting Company Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts so you’ll never miss an episode. Why not gather your friends to listen together? It will be like you’re all in the room with Lori, Carrie, and Tracy, as their guests, stitching away at the quilt frame!

Stay tuned and don’t forget to head over to The Quilting Company Podcast page to listen to the next episode, Resolution Refresh publishing on 3/13/19.

A big thank you to our sponsor, Husqvarna Viking!

The Quilting Company Editorial Team

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