Thursday, 26 May 2016

Kantha Quilting

During May I gave two half day workshops on Kantha quilting at Chevington to a group called 4S.  It was thought that as this form of hand quilting is very time consuming, it would be better to split the workshop into two half days so that participants could experiment with the concept of creating quilted borders, motifs and background patterns using running stitch.  No other stitch is used in this form of quilting, it is all about where you place the stitch, whether the stitch is placed directly under the stitch in the previous row or it is offset to give a stagger effect, the distance between the rows, whether close or far apart depending, whether you are quilting a background or a motif.  

I have been working on various samples and panels on and off for the last sixteen years and many of the patterns and motifs appear in my work alongside other techniques.  A few samples are below.

These two samples are very traditional, the main motif in the top picture is a tree of life. For both samples I have dyed the fabric and the thread, for the top sample I have used Procyon fibre reactive dyes and for the bottom sample I have used natural dyes.  As you can see the colour is much softer.

This cushion panel has been stitched onto plain calico using silk threads from Mulberry Silks.

I find it quite fascinating how you can transform a plane piece of calico fabric purely with hand stitching.

Here I have incorporated a small amount of appliqué with the Kantha stitching.  I have created the effect of a glass vase by using very watered down dye onto habotai silk and transferring text from an old newspaper using a PVA medium. 

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