Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Indigo quilt: One step at a time

There hasn't been much time for sewing lately, but I'm slowly filling in the blanks on the indigo quilt:

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.  Happy quilting!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On the design wall: Indigo quilt

It truly feels as if summer is over, and I couldn't resist the call of my shibori indigo fabrics, so I started a quilt with them:

Apologies for the poor lighting in the photo: we've had a spate of dark, gloomy days lately.  For this quilt, I'm working in an improvisational, collage-like mode that I enjoy.  I started with rough placement of a few main design elements (the leaf fabrics), added in the kumo and stitched circle pieces, and then started filling in the blank spaces.  In doing so, I began to see and build more structure into the quilt, such as the horizontal row of fabrics at the lower right, and a vertical row that's developing towards the left.  I love how this quilt is shaping up--I keep going downstairs to just sit and stare at it.

I also prepped a lot of fabrics before I was forced to abandon the idea of another vat this past weekend:

In addition to this bucket o' shibori, I have a couple of arashi pieces on larger poles ready for the dye bath.  As I mentioned on Monday, it will be a while before I get to these, but I'm plotting to try and set up a vat indoors with an open window and plenty of fans on Thanksgiving weekend.  I also worked on another small project, but it's related to a planned gift for a friend, so no photos for the time being.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.  Happy quilting!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Kumo shibori (III): Leaves

My favorite indigo-dyed fabrics this summer include two pieces in which I combined different techniques to produce leaf designs:

I didn't take photos along the way, so I hope you can visualize the method (the final photo below might help).  The stems are created through ori nui: I folded along the stem line, stitched a running stitch in parallel close to the fold line, and then gathered and knotted.  For the leaves, I outlined the leaf with a running stitch, pulled and knotted, and then tied a kumo knot to get the texture inside the outlined leaf.  Basically, the technique is the same as for the stitched circles that I described a few weeks ago, but with a leaf shape instead.

I didn't take into account how the finished design would go a little bit beyond the leaf outline after dyeing, so the clusters are a bit closer together than I'd like for quilting, even in the second piece, in which I tried to make more space.  The seam allowances mean that I will lose part of the design on some of the leafy branches when I cut them apart as small blocks or panels.  With that in mind, I recently prepped this piece, with generous margins around the leaf clusters:

close-up: cluster of seven leaves in the foreground
Unfortunately, I didn't have time for my intended final vat this summer.  I had hoped to be dyeing this past weekend, but I'm behind on prep work.  In addition, we just had guests, plus another guest this coming weekend, and I just couldn't face setting up the dyeing equipment (part of which goes in our guest suite), and then cleaning it all up again in short order.  Instead, I'm scheming to set up an indoor indigo vat on Thanksgiving weekend in October--probably not the best idea, but anything to dye this fabric before summer 2015!

In the meantime, I couldn't resist the call of quilting with my indigo dyed fabrics, so I've already started assembling a top.  I'll show the progress on this week's WIP Wednesday.