Indigo Trips Around the World

2010. Machine pieced and hand quilted. 85 inches by 102 inches.

Years ago I began collecting blue-and-white fabrics from the batik indigo workshops of the Slovak and Czech Republics. I visited one workshop in Moravia and watched the making of the indigo fabric; bought fabrics while in Slovakia; had friends buy more for me when they were in Slovakia; collected other indigoes and blue-and-white fabrics that came from Indonesia, Japan, and France.

Then the problem: what to do with this precious fabric? I needed to do a big bed quilt when my 20-year-old one wore out. My design inspirations were two: a photo of an antique 'Multiple Trips around the World' quilt in a 2003 House Beautiful magazine; and Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips around the World. I used my indigoes and blue-and-whites to separate the blocks. All the other fabrics in the quilt top were from my, er, collection. I omitted about a third of the color wheel (red, purple) for the most part and concentrated on blues and greens with some orange (in the form of beige and brown). I divided two-inch strips of fabrics among three bags: light, medium, and dark; and chose from them to make the two types of blocks that are in the quilt. The blocks are random, but sort of planned-random. Half the blocks have darker fabric on the edges; half have light. I quilted the two types of blocks with two different colors of thread: blue, beige. So that I could handquilt this huge quilt, I put it together in three strips and did all the quilting in my lap, using no frame or hoop. Then I put the strips together in quilt-as-you-go style.

Detail . . .

2012. Three Rivers Quilt Show, Pittsburgh, PA.
Honorable Mention, Large Quilt Pieced, Solo.
2012. Exhibited at Pacific International Quilt Festival XXI, Santa Clara, CA.
2013. Exhibited at American Quilter's Society Lancaster Show.
2013. Photo published in Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson,
C&T Publishing, 2013.
2013. Exhibited as part of In the American Tradition 2013 display at International Quilt Festival Houston . . . and around the US during 2014.

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