Minerva 13 Exhibition – Colourful Kantha workshop

Jean’s Kantha

There are some really interesting workshops running throughout the summer exhibition.  Have a look at our website for those yet to come (including classes by Edwina Mackinnon and Catherine Nichols).  Saturday saw Jane Davies teaching Colourful Kantha Jeni Morrison has kindly shared her thoughts on the day.

We spent a wonderfully relaxing day on 27th July experimenting with a modern take on Kantha quilting/embroidery. Kantha is a sort of wholecloth quilting with texture that originated in Bangladesh as a way for thrifty women to make bed quilts from layers of old fabrics that had become too frail to wear.  They used the minimum amount of stitching with coloured threads, often obtained by unravelling borders.  The technique disappeared from public view in the 1940s but underwent a revival in the 70s and 80s, opening up a Western market with wall hangings, bags, cushion covers, etc.

Jeni’s Kantha

My A4 sample has a felt backing, topped with Indian scraps and a section of a sari, sewn onto the felt with running stitches, embellished with beads and a border of traditional embroidery.  Depending on how the rows of running stitches are placed the resulting troughs and furrows give an added dimension to the fabric. This was an inspiring workshop specially designed for a quilter who likes texture!

Pauline’s Kantha