Feb 16, 2015

The Cat's Meow

In 2003 I participated in another Round Robin. We decided to "go small" that year and make 4" blocks. Our theme blocks could be any size or theme that we wanted, but everyone would be adding four 4" blocks for the quilt.

I had been collecting indigo fabrics for several years. In case you are not familiar with them, they are absolutely yummy fabrics, but are difficult to find. Whenever I have attended a quilt show where there was a vendor selling them, I have just had to buy a few. By now my collection was growing and it was time to use them.

My collection of Indigos

True indigo fabrics (called Shweshwe in Africa) are acid discharged prints on cotton fabric using copper plates. The fabrics are manufactured by the DaGama Textile Company of South Africa and their most popular export lines are Three Leopards and Three Cats.  When you buy indigo fabric is VERY stiff and the color will actually rub off on your hands. Before you can use it in your quilt, you must first zig-zag or serge the edges to keep it from fraying, then wash the fabrics in cold water with Orvus Soap (or other non-phosphate free detergent). After a cold water rinse, test your fabric by rubbing it on a white cloth to see if it is still fading. Repeat the rinsing if it is. Using Retayne in the rinse cycle will help set the color. Be sure to shake out your fabrics before placing them in the dryer. When they come out, they are going to be soft and wonderful!!

The Three Cats logo

The Three Leopards logo

Though they do not make as many prints, 
you can also buy them in red

I decided on a sampler style quilt, with each block different. It was going to be perfect made from my indigos and paired with shirtings!! 

My four blocks were a Star, Flying Dutchman, 
Bowtie and Snail's Trail.

I made my blocks, wrote about my vision for my quilt in my journal and put it in the mail. For this round robin I included my indigos since they are a special fabric not available at your local quilt shop. I was so excited-I couldn't wait to get my quilt blocks back!!

My friends did not disappoint! The blocks were beautiful-just as intricate and detailed as any Dear Jane block. Most were paper pieced and they had each put their name on the paper so I knew who made each one. I laid them out and sewed them together with a narrow sashing. I then added a small border. 

Then I put it away.......for a REALLY.....LONG.....TIME..........

And out of sight was out of mind. Every now and then I got it out and looked at it, but just wasn't in the mood to quilt it. I couldn't think of anyway to quilt it except in the ditch.

Fast forward to Fall, 2014 when Pam told me that her quilt guild wanted Anne and me to come speak with her at their January meeting about Round Robins. Well, now the pressure was on! How many of these Round Robins that I had laying around could I get finished before I went to Pam's?

The time had come to bite the bullet and quilt this bad boy. Still no inspiration came to me, so I quilted it in the ditch. Though the quilting doesn't show I think it's all it needs right now. It's finally finished and I'm so happy to finally have it done!

Happy Quilting! 


1 comment:

  1. I really like your Indigo Blue Quilt. It turned out very nice. Looks great displayed in your home too!