Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stitch Love: Kantha Quilts

Kantha, a term I'd never heard of until a few months ago, seems to be all around me lately. A coworker of mine posted about it after seeing some lovely examples from a designer named Jeanette Farrier, and last week another coworker brought in a kantha quilt that he'd recently purchased. Since I do a lot of hand stitching, I immediately became enamored with the technique—which is essentially free form lines, often in concentric squares. And I think I'm going to try to use it as inspiration for my next project.

If this is the first time you're hearing the word, it's a technique used by women in West Bengal (and likely, other regions as well) to transform recycled cotton saris into usable materials like throws and new clothing. These seamstresses "fold and stitch the soft cloth into an ultra-fine quilted fabric which is warm and durable", says Farrier's website. She works with two villages and has helped the women there support themselves by bringing their work to the rest of us, which you can see in these first two images from her site.

Let's take a look at some other examples.

This one is from lavenderandlime on flickr.

And these one is from Charlotte Lyons over on house wren studio.

I realize I am probably leaving out a lot of information here, but I thought I'd share a little peak into one of my current obsessions. I'll share more as I learn more, I promise!

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