indigo inclined

I sometimes think indigo must be the color of the human soul.  Or perhaps the soul of all living things.  Here in the Catskills, I’m often transfixed by the indigo hues of these ancient mountains.  I’ve read that they are the oldest mountains in the world, though now they are more like great, elegant hills, the very opposite of brash young skyscrapers like the Rockies.  It’s as if they’ve lived so long their blue souls have become very apparent.  In the winter, our mountains are the more austere, deep indigo tones, breathtakingly dramatic.  In summer they take on blue-green hues, and with their veil of humid haze look faded and well-used like the oldest indigo fabric.

Some years ago, I wanted to gather the full range of my love for indigo into a single quilt.  Impossible of course, but the attempt was not completely unsuccessful in its own way.

indigo quilt with sun, 94"x94"

indigo quilt with sun, 94"x94"

The dark diamond “eyes” in this pattern are made from hand-dyed, handwoven cotton of the darkest indigo created by an 80-yr-old dyer in Japan who used traditional methods.  The lattice strips creating the larger grid pattern are structured mostly by three different indigo woven stripes made by the same dyer.  Both the stripes and the solid dark indigoes were obtained from Susan Ball Faeder of Quilters Express to Japan.

Detail 1 of indigo quilt

Detail 1 of indigo quilt

Detail 1: West African adire on cotton damask; front and back of South African Da Gama Three Cats shweshwe; vintage Japanese kasuri; commercial Indonesian batik; and, very special, the back of a katazome stencil-dyed fabric by Karen Miller (Karen also has a blog).

Detail 2 of indigo quilt

Detail 2 of indigo quilt

Detail 2: vintage Japanese indigo and red woven stripe from a small piece that was used very judiciously and scattered across the surface of the quilt; also other vintage Japanese woven stripe, Dargate wet-print (red diamond), Indonesian batik, African adire.  The occasional irregular center diamond is the result of deliberately inconsistent cutting. A random effect, however, because the color field of the quilt was laid out for the broad surface composition.  The diamond eyes fell as they would.

Detail 3 of indigo quilt

Detail 3 of indigo quilt

Detail 3: red spot in a vintage Japanese kasuri; other kasuri examples; African adire; shweshwe; batik

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One Response to “indigo inclined”

  1. small indigo « texere Says:

    […] Working on a table scarf as a gift for someone very dear.  She loved the colors and fabrics in our indigo quilt, so I’ve used the remaining cutoffs in this piece for her.  Among the ordinary print fabrics are […]

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