Kantha

Today I went to Bridge of Allan (near Stirling) for the World Textile Day.  I can’t think of anything better to do on a soaking wet, foggy, misty June day. 
The highlight of the morning (and the main reason for going) was to hear John Gillow speak about textiles.  He has travelled, collected, traded and written about textiles since 1969.  I could listened to him for hours.  And then more hours still.  And then all the next day, the information behind the cloth is just so interesting.  He has written many books on textiles (they are on my book shelf) and I would love to read a book of his travel stories.  A biography I suppose.  I wonder if he has thought about this? or if anyone has suggested this to him?

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I fell in love with this Kantha from Pakistan.  The top left corner is folded forward to show you the blue backing.  The more I look at it the more I think I am going to hang it on the wall behind the sofa.

I feel a real connection to the woman (or women) whose work I admire.  The quilt has come to a home where it is very much appreciated and loved.

On Tuesday I had a conversation with some good stitching friends (hello!) who have seen my work from the beginning…..and a comment was made that I had left behind the Indian inspired work I started 10+yrs ago and am now working in more neutral and natural colours.

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After todays healthy dose of Indian, Pakistani and Afghan textiles I can tell you I am heading back there.  The spirit is rekindled.  I intend to carry on with plans already formed regarding the history and landscape of Northumberland (here) ….. but I intend to indulge in colour and Kantha too.  Like old times  – (here and here).  I can already envisage a combination that blurs the the two styles even more than at present.

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My good friend Frieda took some wonderful photos during John Gillows talk.  My little camera is being fixed and I couldn’t remember how to turn the sound off on the Nikon SLR and its far too loud! – so head over to Frieda’s blog and see those photos – click here. 
We handled some wonderful pieces of textiles from around the world.   One thing – you cannot appreciate the small size of many of the stitches….. so tiny, so precise and worked with such care.  Frieda and I were amazed and delighted.

4 thoughts on “Kantha

  1. Yes, I felt exactly like that too, my enthusiasm for Indian Embroidery has returned full force. The detail on your kantha can be seen so well on these wonderful pictures. What an enjoyable day we had! Hope they'll do it all over again next year.

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  2. I know John well and have spent many an evening listening to his stories with a table full of like minded friends all washed down with a bottle or three of good red wine. Most of his recollections would be unprintable!!!!

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