I've been buying small damaged strips of Ndop indigo stitch-resist cloth from Cameroon every time I see John Gillow, with the idea of incorporating them into a larger piece of work. Up until now I haven't worked out a satisfactory way to interpret those free-form lines and shapes. I took some of the cloth and photos to the Charlotte Yde Workshop on 'Swinging Curves' and was particularly taken with her 'crooked crosses' technique. I made up some squares in creams,ochres and indigo blues, inserted a piece of the Ndop cloth and did some minimal machine quilting to hold it in place.
I was looking through John Gillow's 'African Textiles' ( a wonderful book!) to get an idea for stitching and decided that the way I'd inserted the strip was not in keeping with the organic character of the cloth. 2 hours later , after lots of rude words and sighing , I'd unpicked the machine quilting and seams - its amazing how much time it takes to undo 5 minutes careless machining. Worth it though. I reapplied the Ndop strip on top (by hand) and reassembled the 'sandwich' with some lovely soft wool batting from a sample pack and cheesecloth on the back. Work is a bit difficult at the moment , with some sleepless nights, and its been very soothing and therapeutic to hand stitch this piece and reconnect with the tactile qualities of cloth.
When I came to trim the quilt down to 12 x 12 , I decided to cut at a slight angle to emphasise the wonkiness ( I'll need to add a label to say 'It's supposed to be crooked").
CQ APRIL JOURNAL QUILT "CROOKED CROSSES"