Island Batik Week: Barbara Persing, Whatnot & Babyhood

We’ve arrived at our final day of our Summer 2018 Island Batik week! We are in love with today’s feature — so sweet and so perfect. In case you’re just joining us, we’ve featured one Island Baitk designer/collection every day this week along with a wonderful series of giveaways, including fabric, thread, and more!  Make sure to go back to check out the posts from earlier this week. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

To learn about Island Batik and the batik process, please visit their website. For a peek at the full range of Spring/Summer 2018 releases, in-stores now, click here or on the image below to browse the catalog.

August 20 – Island Batik Foundations
August 21 – The Just in Time Promotion!
August 22 – Snowy River Hosta, Jennifer Mellow
August 23 – Oceans Odyssey, Angie Steveson
August 24 – Babyhood & WhatNot, Barbara Persing

Whatnot is a one of Island Batik’s first capsule collections curated by Kathy Engle for Barbara Persing. It is a gorgeous collection of vibrant and bold colors, tailored to work perfectly with Barbara’s new series of patterns, Babyhood. Babyhood is one pattern set that includes instructions for 4 different quilts featuring large scale appliqués for an Elephant, a Bunny, Daisies, and Fish. The contrast between the appliqué and the background presents so many wonderful opportunities for experimental quilting — so much room to have fun with free motion quilting!

We loved working with Barbara on a coordinating thread set. Ten small spools of Barbara’s go-to 40wt thread, perfect for both piecing and quilting. Grab the patterns + the threads and you’re on your way to a super fabulous series of quilts!


10 Large Spools, 40wt (164yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
2021 – 2610 – 2582 – 1147 – 1135
5005 – 2479 – 4020 – 1133 – 5006

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

What first drew you to the world of sewing and quilting? 
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.

Babyhood Elephant by Barbara Persing

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration? 
Nature and beautiful bright batik fabrics.

Tell us about Whatnot and your Babyhood series. What do you love most about working with this particular collection and what inspired this collection of patterns?
Whatnot is a collection of bright, clear, and cheery fabrics that blend and work so well together. The oranges and yellows inspired the creation of Iceland Poppies. I used large pieces for the main parts of the flowers and smaller pieces to show shadow and depth. The was made with my glue basted raw edge appliqué technique and Aurifil thread brought it all to life creating contours and texture with the quilting.

Many times inspiration comes from necessity and this was true for Babyhood. I have many nieces and nephews and they are all having children of their own and I wanted to make gifts for them. I was looking for baby quilt designs that were simple and modern, look great and not take too much time.This  was the birth of Babyhood, simple clean designs, you can make it in a day, quilting everyone can do and a one yard cuts for the backgrounds, These are done with fusible web and blanket stitched with Aurifil thread.

Babyhood Fish by Barbara Persing

Who are these patterns geared toward?
Iceland Poppies is geared toward the non traditional, beginner to advanced, quilters. Those quilters who are enjoying thread play and want to experiment further.  Babyhood is for everyone, the technique is quick and easy and the designs are fun and lovable.

Babyhood Bunny by Barbara Persing

Are they just as relevant for beginners and more skilled quilters?
Both designs can be done by beginners to advanced quilters. Both patterns have a “paint by number” system for the appliqué making it easy for quilters who are new to appliqué.

Babyhood Flower by Barbara Persing

What excites you most about this collaboration?
Thread is the “icing on the cake”. It brings all my quilts to life and choosing the perfect color is one of my favorite parts of the design process. Why spend all your time with great fabrics, good designs and then not choose the exceptional thread that will pull it all together. I love the way Aurifil makes my blanket stitch look perfect and how it layers to create the edge coloring fill on Iceland Poppies. The 40wt is my favorite for both techniques.

Do you have any quilting tips for our novice quilters out there? 
With clear instructions there is nothing that you can not do! Don’t be afraid to try new techniques.

How did you go about selecting the colors for your coordinating Babyhood thread collection?
It was simple I choose bright, clear, cheery colors what would compliment the fabrics and any baby room.


To enter-to-win in our Island Batik Week Giveaway, 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 Friday, August 31! We will select 5 random winners for 5 super amazing prize packs and will announce here on Tuesday, September 4. Good luck!


Born in New Jersey, Barbara Persing stepped into the world of fabric and thread over 30 years ago, acquiring the love of quilting and sewing from her mother. Her journey in this arena originated in traditional quilting; but curiosity and creativity soon moved her outside and beyond the box of conventional quilting.

The new millennium reinvented Barbara from a hobbyist of quilting into a proprietor of her own Longarm Quilting business, addressing customers that longed for pieces that displayed individuality. She attributes embracing a self developed mantra “Listen to the Quilt” as a great contributor to her business’ success.  Those four words empowered her to deliver unparalleled and personalized quilting to each and every project she acquired. 
Through the enormous diversity of her clients desires and needs Barb’s style of quilting expanded, opening the doors to an array of techniques. Her talent and expertise advanced; in 2006 she became known in the quilting industry for her unique design aesthetic. In addition, the year found Barbara partnering with her sister, Mary Hoover.  Together they would establish a pattern company, “4th & 6th Designs,” which has been featured in Keepsake Quilting and in many other national quilting magazines. 
The term “quilter” does not define Barbara; she has proven herself an acknowledged fiber artist, designer, author, and teacher.  Major accomplishments such as her fabric lines with Island Batik, “Pink Peony” the first place award winning quilt at AQS Lancaster, and her co-authored publication, “StrataVarious Quilt” and “Listen To Your Quilt” has demonstrated that venturing outside the box can bring incredible life changing events.  As a Aurifil Designer, and producer of the signature “edge-coloring appliqué” technique this solo artist reaches out to new and seasoned quilters during lectures, classes, and publications nationwide. Her message to all those she encounters is simply this, “Never hold yourself to one style, or one technique of quilting; dare yourself to step outside your quilting box and become a one of a kind artist”.  

Website — Blog — Facebook — Pinterest — Twitter — Instagram
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.

** Images courtesy of Island Batik & Barbara Persing **


  1. I love the new “Whatnot” line of Island Batiks. They are so pretty. I love sewing and working with batiks. Perfect feel and ease of sewing with.

  2. Stunning quilts! I love the designs and the bright colors. I’m totally in love with the elephant quilt.

  3. I love the colors in this fabric line: not quite as bright as some other batiks, and that makes them more useable: great prints!

  4. I’m so in love with these quilts, especially the bunny! I’m not normally a fan of batiks but these quilts are delightful

  5. I’m so in love with these baby quilts! So simple and elegant, with so much room for creative quilting! Adding to my list of things to make!!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: