Arashi Shibori Quilts

When preparing for my class the other day, I dug out some of the quilts I made when I was last dyeing these lovely fabrics. I don’t think my students will have trouble coming up with ways to use the fabrics, but many do. I find when people take dyeing classes, they feel very “precious” about their work. It’s even worse with any sort of shibori fabrics because you have taken a good bit of time to make a truly one of a kind fabric. I do not save tiny bits of commercial fabrics, but believe me, I save all my shibori bits!!! When thinking about quilts to make, what came to mind was plain Amish style quilts which would showcase the fabric. I wouldn’t do – say – a drunkard’s path or something with weird shapes which would waste my fabrics.

One difficulty I have is thinking of how to quilt them, as quilting is not my strong suit. For “New Age Nine Patch I”, I had to think of something to do in the plain blocks. I finally did a flower shape using a straight stitch, so a lot of rotating under the needle was involved.

It’s always nice to see your work after some time; you get a different perspective on it. And it makes me want to make some more! I really got caught up with the oranges for a time. I dyed using a magenta and a fuchsia with the same yellow and came up with a myriad of yellow and red oranges. I keep trying to do something very abstract, but it doesn’t seem to be in me. Perhaps I can move from these simple quilts to one that are more abstract; this is as close as I have come.

Many years ago when I started dyeing cotton and became a quilter, I wanted to make a progressive quilt where the color moves. I never did it as I thought it would be too dull in plain hand dyes, but when I dyed the arashi shibori I knew that this was the fabric I needed! The center color is pure fuchsia and it moves out to the edge which is a pure blue. This one gave me fits – I didn’t know how much fabric I would need as I moved out and I spent a lot of time dyeing to match. A color would look “close enough” but jump out when I sewed it in place…..

This is my take on Chinese Coin quilts, made wonky, and was made to use up “bits”. The inspiration for the applique design came from the back of a woman’s blue jean jacket at a craft show! I whipped out my pad and did a quick drawing. You never know when you will see something interesting!

I hope this gives you some ideas for quilts and helps you make yourself cut up beautiful fabrics that you have. If you’d like to see some close-ups, I have added a page to my website.

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