indigo. i love this fabric so much, not just the colour and designs, but the adventure it took to create them. indigo dyeing is no joke, requiring hard-to-source chemicals (until i discovered dharma trading co.), time, experimentation, the perfect pH, that elusive green bath colour, stinking up the chemistry classroom, dozens of rubber gloves, and trying not to splatter potent blue dye everywhere.
i’m almost too scared to use this fabric, worried that my project won’t do it justice, but i realized that fear would lead to waste. what good is making pretty fabric if you never use it? i still have lots of powdered indigo and thiourea dioxide, and with a trip to dharma trading co. i can dye some more fabric.
so with that particular hurdle crossed, i decided to make a patchwork drawstring bag to wrap some teacher gifts. unfortunately, i chose to sew the bags in the middle of a heat wave, when my room, which has no insulation, was 35°C. here i was, a complete novice at patchwork, refusing to use an iron (which is a very important aspect of even squares that line up), trying to make a panel big enough for a patchwork bag. influenced by the intense heat (normally, 20°C is considered hot), i got frustrated with the slow progress and stressed about time. i ditched the panel i was working on, and made some simpler drawstring bags out of muslin, which i then embroidered. that was a much nicer option that allowed me to create something handmade, but preserved my sanity.
the pieces and start of a panel have been sitting in my room for a week now. the heat has gone, replaced by the typical june gloom and fog, rendering it safe for me to use the iron and proceed with the tedious process of patchwork. i decided to make myself a little pencil pouch. i finished the panel, found some batting, and quilted it on. i can’t believe i have never used batting before on bags – it is phenomenal! it adds structure and texture and detail and replaces the role of interfacing (which i love and hate) and i will definitely be using it a lot more from now on. have i mentioned i also love “quilt as you go” or any other form of scrappy patchwork? well, i do. it really elevates the basic zippered pouch and adds fun detail for the eye, while also being incredibly relaxing to do. patchwork does take longer, so i’m glad it’s summer now and i have the chance to explore this side of the craft. i would love to make a quilt for myself in the next year, specifically out of naturally dyed fabric!
all in all, this project was a lovely way to use some bits of my indigo dyed fabric. i also snuck in some cabbage-dyed fabric as the white triangles – most of the colour unfortunately washed out in the wash and the linen has pretty much returned to its original white colour. i still have quite a few half-triangle blocks (is that the name?) of the indigo and cabbage-dyed linen, so i’m thinking another scrappy pouch is in my future! also, i’ve realized recently how much blue stuff i make, but i guess it’s because anything goes well with blue 🙂