Island Batik Week: Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs


Day three of Island Batik week and we’re getting ready for our second giveaway! We’re having so much fun with this and hope that you are too. These gorgeous batiks from Island Batik have us yearning to get started on a new project and we hope that they are stirring up some fun and creative ideas with you too! To recap, we’ll be featuring one Island Batik designer each day this week to showcase new fabric & coordinating Aurifil collections. Each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!

7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs (Today)
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle

To learn more about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Spring/Summer releases, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog.


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Fall in love with Autumn all over again with Fourth & Sixth Design‘s Equinox for Island Batik! Warm cider oranges and marigold yellows will find a special place in any project. Caramel and mocha browns add an array of warm colors amidst baby spring greens. There are so many hues to choose from – you’ll certainly find a few to fit on your shelves! The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection features our 40wt.

Island Batik Feature || Equinox BOM

100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
1135 – 1147 – 2135 – 2230 – 2235 – 2260 – 2385 – 2460 – 2975 – 4012 – 5016 – 5022


To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

What first inspired you to start sewing? 

Our mother was our first teacher. We are from a family with six children, five girls and one boy. We were each taught to use the sewing machine when we turned ten. Our mother made all of our clothing back then and she was always sewing. If she wasn’t sewing for us she was sewing for an event at school. It has always been in our lives.

Equinox BOM by Fourth and Sixth Designs
Equinox BOM by Fourth and Sixth Designs

Do you remember the first project that you made and how you felt after it was complete? 
Mary: The first quilt I completed was a queen size sampler quilt made in a beginner quilting class at the local high school. I hand quilted each block differently so I could learn as much as I could on one quilt. I did indeed learn a lot. I still love to hand quilt but no longer have the time.

Barbara: My first quilt was also a sampler and was hand quilted and put together in the Row-Row-Technique.  It was done using cardboard templates and I am so glad we no longer do it that way.  It is one of the few quilts that I have completed by following  a pattern.

When did you first start working together and was it exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate as sisters?
Mary was the owner of a quilt shop and in need of someone to sew shop samples. Barbara didn’t so much as volunteer as she was coerced into the job! The rule was that she could make anything she wanted but she only had a week to complete the project. Customers began requesting the instructions for the things we were making so Mary began jotting down some directions. In a very short time we realized that we were a pattern company. Our name reflects our birth order, Fourth (Barbara) & Sixth ( Mary) Designs.

Victorian Dreams by Southwind Designs using fabrics from Equinox
Victorian Dreams by Southwind Designs using fabrics from Equinox

What would you say are your individual strengths within the business – have you settled into particular roles? 
We both design. Each one of us may start a project but it’s never truly complete without collaboration. Barbara is the exclusive longarm quilter. Mary is the technical writer. She is also the shipping department because Barbara still quilts for clients full time. We both answer email but phone calls go to Barbara. Piecing projects falls on whomever has the most time in their schedule.

Fall Back by Fourth and Sixth Designs
Fall Back by Fourth and Sixth Designs

What do you love most about working together?
We love that we don’t have to explain our ideas to one another. As soon as we are in a room together we each just “get it”. It’s the shortest shorthand you could imagine. There have been times when we would be working on our own designs independent of each other; each working in our own homes. When we came together, we’d realize that we were each working on different aspects of the same design without ever discussing it.

How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
When Mary owned her shop she would make samples for their booth. That continued when Fourth & Sixth Designs was formed.

Zenith by Feathered Nest using fabrics from Equinox
Zenith by Feathered Nest using fabrics from Equinox

What do you love most about Batik fabrics? 
The depth of color and variety of texture. Our designs are texture and color driven.

What inspired Equinox and how did you work through the design process? 
Equinox was inspired simply by the color palette of Autumn. We both live in the Northeast where fall is a wash of beautiful colors. We’ve always been inspired by that particular palette. We had an idea to design a quilt using the leaves of deciduous trees, so we designed the line with that in mind.  It also made sense to follow Full Bloom with another seasonally inspired quilt.

Wyoming Wildflowers - Indian Paintbrush by LadyBug's Cabin using fabrics from Equinox
Wyoming Wildflowers – Indian Paintbrush by LadyBug’s Cabin using fabrics from Equinox

Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Equinox? 
We love the Equinox quilt. It was one of the most difficult quilts to design, we had many late nights. We are so pleased with the end result.

How did you first discover Aurifil threads? 
Barbara first discovered Aurifil when she was quilting art quilts and needed to find a thread company that would have enough colors to match the many subtle tones and shades of the fabrics she was using in her quilts. The thread also needed to be 100% Cotton, have a great look when stitched, and run well in her longarm. This was a tall order. Once she started using Aurifil there was no going back. It is the most amazing thread and we both love the 50wt and 40 wt for our projects.

The Equinox Collection has such rich Autumn colors. What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection? 
Again, taking advantage of Aurifil’s extensive color range, we can always find the perfect color match for our Edge Coloring Appliqué technique. And we always use the 40wt for our appliqué.

Four Seasons by Thimble N Thread using fabrics from Equinox
Four Seasons by Thimble N Thread using fabrics from Equinox

Do you have a favorite color or weight? 
We both love bright colors. We can’t get enough of orange and fuchsia, but we don’t really think we have a favorite. Our designs frequently use upwards of 20 fabrics because we just can’t get enough. The more the merrier!!  40wt is probably our favorite, it is great for piecing and also for quilting.

What advice would you have to offer to designers just getting started in this industry?
The industry is going through some major changes and is a lot different from when we started. Social media is so prevalent and time consuming that it is hard to find the time to design and write patterns. A designer has to wear many hats in order to succeed.



To enter-to-win 1 Large Equinox Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Equinox fabrics from Island Batik,  click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, July 27. Good luck!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Beatrice Sekeras!!

Barbara_Mary1-300x199Barbara and Mary are award winning quilt artists and their quilts have been published in many quilting magazines and have been featured in Keepsake Quilting and Clotilde. They were born the fourth and sixth children in a close knit family in south Jersey. Their mother taught these Jersey girls garment sewing at the young age of ten. Skilled in all areas of sewing, Barbara began quilting in 1983 during the long New England winters while her husband attended the University of New Hampshire. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1990 and continued quilting as a hobby. In 2000 she left the corporate world to start her long arm quilting business, Quilted Heirlooms. Mary began quilting in 1992 when she moved to upstate New York. As a stay at home mom, she needed a creative outlet and immediately knew quilting was the answer she was looking for. She began teaching quilting classes in 1993 and eventually opened a quilt shop in 1999. Despite living 300 miles apart, Barbara and Mary began collaborating shortly after the start of their own businesses. This collaboration quickly became a partnership which has grown into the pattern and design company, Fourth & Sixth Designs. In 2008, C&T Publishing released their first book, StrataVarious Quilts. And in 2013 became fabric designers for Island Batik.

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Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.


  1. I have only used a couple of batiks in a quilt. I am presently collecting batiks-all colors & designs-both of which inspire me in my collection. One day I will find the perfect quilt pattern for them.

  2. I see the tuffet in the picture these batiks would look great in my first attempt at a tuffet

  3. I love how a batik can look so different depending on the setting. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Stunning!!! For once, I am short on words. The thread box is like candy as are the fabrics… I want to “taste” them all!

  5. Love the beauty of each and every color and design. They create a peaceful and complimentary work of art….Just love batiks!!

  6. Beautiful quilt patterns and the colours /textures of the batiks really make them stunning!!

  7. Batiks never go out of style so you can always add to your stash and everything goes together perfectly!

  8. I love the saturated colors & the movement of color within the saturation that the batik process provides.

  9. Piecing with batik fabric is a joy. I can always find the color I want and everything seems to blend so well.

  10. I find batiks easy to coordinate with other fabrics since they offer such a wide range of shades in one pattern. The variety of patterns is crazy fun!

  11. I love the depth of color. Batiks aren’t flat blocks of color – they have movement and depth. They make a quilt sparkle.

  12. I love the play of shades in each piece, the feel of them and how perfectly they press – no worries about thick seams.

  13. I love the colors and the texture of the fabric. Island Batik uses a great base fabric, and it doesn’t fray like other brands.

  14. Batiks are so colorful even in neutral colors and they sew together easily without fraying edges. My favorite fabric.

  15. I love the array of colors,patterns and the life like affect they give no right and wrong side helps for boo boos too

  16. Love the warm shades of Equinox! Can see some beautiful pillows for Autumn. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  17. I always enjoy the vibrant colors when working with batiks. I also appreciate that (1) batiks are pretty on both sides and (2) they are easy to cut because their fibers don’t tend to shift when handled like looser woven printed fabrics do!

  18. These colors make me happy. Batiks are great for collage quilts because they have such a high thread count.

  19. I love the vibrancy of the colors and how well they play together. they do not ravel and stay crisp when working with them. I love Equinox, fall colors are my favorites.

  20. Batiks are fun to work with and give projects an added element not achievable with regular cotton prints.

  21. I haven’t worked much with batiks, but I love the variety of colors you can get in one piece and the motifs available.

  22. Beautiful fabrics and designs. It’s a pleasure to see sisters in a business together.

  23. I love the huge variety of colors that are available in batiks as well as the very interesting patterns.

  24. Love the colors and designs. Also, with the shading within a print, it’s like you’re using more prints!

  25. Love the colors!! the textured prints in the shaded colors is Amazing! Loooove Batiks!!

    Thanks fopr chance to win your Give-a-way too! 🙂

  26. Oh wow. I love the Equinox BOM and Victorian Dreams. I really really want to make a fall quilt with different deciduous leaves, too !
    I’m starting my first quilt using Island Batiks, and so far, they are soft, strong, and cut like butter. Gorgeous colors.

  27. I love the way batiks add a note of surprise to typically traditional projects, simply through the use of an unexpected fabric, and their vivid colors.

  28. They play well together…even odd or unlikable colors blend due to design textures. It’s all I’ve used the last 3 years.

  29. I love the colors but especially like that you can use either side of fabric. Makes it so easy to cut.

  30. Besides all the color/pattern variations in batiks, I love the fact that they don’t stretch like other fabrics do. Really nice for quilting, especially paper piecing.

  31. Love batiks for their variety of color combinations that are just endless and get the creative juices flowing!

  32. What I love about Batiks is the variegated effect. No matter which way I turn my block or cut my pieces, it radiates beautifully. Thank you for all your inspiration Fourth and Sixth Designs.

  33. I love the colors, and the gradations. I also love how crisp my seams are when sewing with batiks.

  34. I had to laugh about the comment “cardboard templates!” Then, I thought about the last time I used cardboard templates and that was in 1996…not that long ago, until I realized it was OVER 20 years ago! haha! Love your fabric lines ladies! Absolutely stunning! Love the colors. So rich and vibrant!

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