Here’s the result of my latest sewing efforts. I’d found someone’s unfinished patchwork project in one of my local thrift stores. It was basically just some square patches sewn together, without a backing. I liked the uneven, slightly wonky, amateurish feel to the piece and knew I could do something with it. At just $5, it was a real steal. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right?
Inspired by my fascination with Indian Kantha quilts, which are fashioned out of layers of vintage sari cloths sewn together using simple running stitches, I decided to try my hand at making my own Kantha + Patchwork quilt.
I had amongst my fabric stash a Queen-sized duvet cover in a lovely blue stripe, which would work perfectly with the patchwork piece.
First, I lay the duvet cover right side down on my bedroom rug. (This unassuming rug, a recent purchase, is around 6 x 8 feet and has become my workfloor for my bigger sewing projects, as well as providing a handy template for sizing quilts).
Next, I lay the patchwork piece right side up, on top of the duvet cover. The duvet cover is larger than the patchwork piece. After making sure all the sides were equally balanced, I trimmed, folded and pinned the excess duvet cover fabric over the patchwork piece.
The laying out and pinning took a long time to get right.
Next, I took the pinned piece to my sewing machine and sewed along all the edges, to secure both pieces together. Then I pinned the patchwork piece to the duvet cover at regular intervals, to prevent it slipping out of place when Kantha stitching.
The reason I chose the striped duvet cover as the backing for this project was so I’d have a handy guide to sew the running stitches along.
I decided on a 4+3 pattern, i.e I’d sew along 4 rows of stripes and skip the next 3, then sew the next 4, skip 3 and so on. I used white crochet thread, which is strong and smooth at the same time.
3 weeks of nights spent “watching” TV while sewing, rolling and unrolling this humongous swath of fabric on and off the sofa, et voila! I give you my first Kantha + Patchwork Quilt!
(Showing the front)
(Showing the back)
Now to show this off outside, in natural sunlight! The previous photos were taken at night, indoors, and don’t do justice to the vibrance of the colours in this quilt.
I draped it over Meep, my little Kia Cerato here, so you can see just how big a project this turned out to be!
This photo shows the rows of stitching and how they simply go over the patchworked squares on the other side. I just love the crinkly effect Kantha stitching produces!
Now for some close-ups:
Here’s what it looks like folded up. I love it! ❤❤❤
I intend this year to sew up a whole batch of Kantha-inspired items, ranging from little to large. These will be my inventory and stock for when I start selling my crafts later this year.
So, watch this space for more Kantha-inspired projects!