Friday, August 18, 2017
I had never even heard of kantha. The earliest written record of kantha (from a Sanskrit word which means 'rags') appears in the book Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita which was written over 500 years ago. It is a traditional quilting/embroidery form in the Indian peninsula and surrounding areas. It was a traditional thrifty method of binding together worn saris and dhoti into layers to use as coverlets and extend the usefulness of worn out fabrics. Running stitches, traditionally in white red and blue, were used to further stabilize and decorate the fabrics.
This book is exhaustively researched and authoritative. I was amazed at the depth of information and background in the introductory chapters including discussion of the materials, types of kantha, different areas and traditional quilting patterns associated with them.
Supplies and stitches follow the historical introduction and are well photographed and described. Motifs (with color diagrams and clear photographs) are followed by specific projects more or less in order of difficulty. Beautifully photographed and with clear finishing instructions, there are many lovely things including a bucket bag (bag with round bottom), notebook cover and a drawstring bag.
There is a gorgeous white on white coverlet/hanging and a meditation/affirmation project followed by a inspiring jaw-dropping gallery full of gorgeous photographs.
At the end is a useful, well arranged appendix with line drawn motifs and stitch tutorials. There is also a useful, well referenced glossary and further reading list.
Meticulous and beautiful, this book will absolutely stay in my collection.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.