Focus on Batiks Class Plan

by Jan Bode Smiley

The Tulip Garden wall hanging features a coordinating pair of batik background fabrics combined with a variety of bright scraps. Suitable for beginners, this class includes an extensive hands-on lesson in fabric selection. Encourage your customers and students to mix a wide variety of fabrics in their work. This project uses small pieces of many fabrics, so consider offering for sale "scrap bags" of miscellaneous size pieces of batik fabric.

In two 3-hour classes, students will learn about batik fabric and explore color use while creating the Tulip Garden wall hanging. An easy piecing technique creates the eye-catching tulips, leaving students lots of time to experiment with fabrics.


  • Required Textbook: Focus On Batiks by Jan Bode Smiley
  • Fabric requirements are on page 37
  • Sewing machine in good working order
  • Neutral thread for piecing
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
  • Fabric marking or mechanical pencil
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Large piece of flannel or batting to use as design wall
  • Optional: Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool from C&T Publishing

Students will need to be able to pin/tape flannel or batting to wall of classroom to create design walls.

  • Display your class sample.
  • Familiarize yourself with the 3-in-1 Color Tool. Create swatch charts of alternative fabric combinations for display during class.
  • Choose a variety of groupings of color families as well as a variety of fabric types: batiks, florals, plaids and stripes, and mottled or tonal fabrics can all work well together.


  1. Help students choose appropriate fabrics for the project. Students should start with their two "background" (blocks, setting triangles, sashing, and outer border) fabrics plus a green fabric for the stems and leaves.
  2. Discuss students' chosen palettes and help them select the remainder of their fabrics. Use the 3-IN-1 COLOR TOOL to provide basic color information. Encourage students to experiment with a variety of fabrics for the tulips and sashing corners, including both batik and other fabrics. Fat quarter and eighth-yard cuts work well.
  3. Have a "show and tell" so students can see fabric and color combinations that they might not have thought of themselves.
  4. Demonstrate cutting techniques (page 37-38). Students may use the remainder of class time to cut their fabrics.

Homework: Finish cutting fabrics


  1. Have students lay out fabrics on their design walls. Review their choices.
  2. Demonstrate piecing techniques (pages 38-40). Students can begin piecing their tulip blocks.
  3. One hour before the end of class, discuss quilt top assembly and quilting options. Help students choose an inner border fabric, if they have not already done so.
  4. Encourage students to share their works in progress.