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Ebony's Meander Quilt

Folded quilt in sunlight
Photo Credit: Ebony Haight

When Fancy Tiger Crafts was kind enough to reach out, asking if I’d like to use their materials for a project, I got ambitious! I’ve been dipping my toe into quilting over the last year or so—reading up on the subject, watching online courses, and experimenting with a few mini-quilts.

Pattern: Meander Quilt by Initial K Studio
Fabric: Kona Cotton in Bone and Muslin
Notions/Materials: Batting, Natural Cutch Dye
Size Made: Throw
Modifications: None

Woman with quilt
Photo Credit: Ebony Haight

The painterly, improvisational work of artists like Loretta Pettway, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Irene Roderick, and Sherrie Lynn Wood first inspired me to try quilting years ago. After trying my hand at improv and really failing to come up with anything I truly liked, I decided to try working from a pattern--if only to start to get a feel for successfully finishing a quilt! This seemed like a great opportunity to give quilting from a pattern a try, and I decided to spice things up by dying some of the fabrics with the great natural dyes that Fancy Tiger stocks. (Did I mention that I’ve never made a quilt or used natural dyes?!)

Meander Quilt
Photo Credit: Ebony Haight

Fancy Tiger provided 3 yards each of Kona cotton in Bone and muslin (along with some natural dye, batting, and the quilt pattern). I also used some retired bedsheets to bridge the fabric gap for the pattern I chose: Kristi Schroeder Larson’s Meander quilt. I really like the graphic simplicity of this beginner pattern, and I was confident it’d look good no matter how my colors turned out. I was aiming for a throw size version of the quilt, but ended with something a bit smaller after squaring off.

Natural dyeing is definitely a bit of process, but I really love the results I got in the end. My library had a digital version of Kristine’s latest book, “Journeys in Natural Dyeing,” which I used as a reference for scouring and mordanting recipes, and I was able to find some recipes online to help me create the dye bath. I ended up using the cutch dye to get both of the colors you see here. The light, orangey brown was produced from a plain cutch bath, and I added iron to the bath to get the dark brown. I’m especially pleased to think that I was able to produce this dynamic quilt top using just one dye color and one cut of fabric (plus a little bit of bedsheet).

Dyed quilt
Photo Credit: Ebony Haight

It goes without saying that I made a TON of mistakes on this quilt. It’s far from perfect, but I learned a lot! As someone who’s been experimenting with garment sewing for decades, it was fun to stretch my sewing skills in a new direction, and I’ve already begun my next quilt!

Comments on this post (1)

  • Jan 22, 2021

    This is stunning, Ebony! I am in love with those natural dye colors! This is inspiring me to want to attempt a quilt.

    — Samantha Spigos

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