Monday, May 25, 2015

The Seeds of an Idea for an Indigo Quilt

Last summer I took my first steps into the world of dyeing with indigo. There's something timeless and so appealing about this colour. Ever since I've been wanting to find a way to incorporate these fabrics into my work, and the opportunity came this spring with an idea of a piece I wanted to try to make. To begin, I selected three of the hand-dyed fabrics and then chose about 10 different batiks and prints of blue in different values to add to those. Some of these I combined into strip units, as seen below - just sewing them together randomly in varying widths was my first step.

Then I pulled out these delicious perle cottons from Colour Complements (find them on Etsy). Lorraine lives on the Sunshine Coast and her work, especially the variegated cottons, are marvellous. They look so striking with the blues, don't you think? Then I added in a piece of hand-dyed cotton I'd purchased from Ricky Tims eons ago, and started making some tall skinny units, and some "blossom" units.

All the while, I was thinking about the joy of winter gardens. I'm not much of a gardener myself, but I am most appreciative of flowers grown by others. And at no time is this more true than in the depths of winter, when it seems as though it's been raining non-stop for 700 days or so. Then by some miracle, right about late January or early February, when I'm beginning to wonder if spring will ever come again, these riotous bouquets of tulips appear in the grocery store. And I for one, never even try to resist the urge to buy these living, glowing, harbingers of spring. And that's what this quilt is about.

 The fun part comes when you try to put all the units together into a harmonious whole, and that's what I'm doing right now. It's a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. I will have to wait until sometime in the summer to show you the completed piece, as I hope to enter it in a juried show, and can't reveal it until after that's happened. I thought you might enjoy learning about the process I use, for those who are not so familiar with improvisational piecing. And for those that are, I hope you enjoyed reading about how one quilt began, all the same.


  1. I can hardly wait to see more of this Pippa. Must admit great selection of thread colours against the indigo - really beautiful. Thanks so much for mentioning my threads. Looking forward to seeing more L.

  2. You're very welcome, Lorraine. Your threads are lovely to work with. And I'll be sure to show you more when it's finished.