Sunday, May 10, 2015

Blue Birds and Indigo

Over the years I have collected all sorts of indigo prints. Some of these are African, some Japanese, some batiks, and there are even a few North American prints in there. From time to time I've sewn these together into blocks, using improvisational piecing. The centre blocks are all African indigo prints, most of them birds, I cut these into different sizes, and then surround them in strips of different widths, always ending up with a 12 1/2" square. The time finally came this month to put them all together into one quilt - a queen-sized quilt for my sister Sara - and to do it, I used that most traditional of settings - sashing with tiny squares. Making it has made me realize that improvisational piecing or improvisational quilting really is something that's on a continuum. This quilt is closer to a traditional quilt, with only a few characteristics moving it towards improvisation. Other pieces I've made have strips that are different widths along the length of them, or are cut out with scissors, and end up in blocks that are "wonky". But sometimes a more formal arrangement seems appropriate, as happened here. However one describes the process, it still had lots of variation to keep my interest going (I seem to get bored by making the same quilt block over and over again), and gave me great pleasure to make. Now on to something just a little more daring . . .

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