The Indigo Elephant has arrived
Yes, it does take time to do all that stitching! The elephant decreed that it should be so. The fabric is pieced and patched in places, with mother of pearl buttons, and thick thread stitching on the borders.
When stitching I let my mind have a bit of a wander. I consider the cloth, and note the difference of the indigo dye on difference fabrics - on a couple of pieces it already looks as though the indigo is wearing, perhaps all that handling and stitching? Why do I like making such small stitches - the slow thoughtful stitching; the textural effect perhaps. I remember I liked darning when I was a child (this is not for general viewing within the household!). Close kantha stitching, kantha pattern darning and traditional quilting are also peaceful forms of stitching.
Then there is the thought of recycling cloth. Indigo dyed garments were worn by Japanese farmers and workmen, if I remember correctly. Old garments were patched and decorated with sashiko stitching for strength and also decoration. To recycle cloth is to give it rebirth.
Now for something more frantic, no gentle sitting and thinking on this little quilt.
The June Journal Quilt. "Tara". Machine stitched reverse applique. Machine embroidery with small beads on the points of the stars. It looks a really bright blue, when in fact the fabric was bought in Mumbai, shot cotton - turquoise and purple. The middle layer shot orange and gold, backing very loose weave dyed linen. The quilt has frayed edged, allowing the different coloured layers to show through.
Fabric shops in India - what to say, where to start? Amongst many bolts of fabric, there is always a fabulous selection of ready embroidered fabric. It is also possible to buy hand embroidered yokes for kurtas, So with this in mind, and memory of a particularly lovely piece, I based my design for the June Journal Quilt.