Last year there was an article in Stitch (the Embroiderers Guild magasine) about Angela Daymond and her interest in Kantha embroidery. Kantha is a traditional Indian style of embroidery consisting just of running stitch,stitched closely together to give movement and pattern. Although Angela was born in India she didn’t discover Kantha until years later. She now lives in Norfolk and uses the style of Kantha to stitch beautiful embroideries of the Fens and their wildlife, often on hand dyed vintage linens.
Roll on a few months and at the Knitting & Stitching show I saw a stall selling Kantha embroidery kits, the lady looked quite impressed when I said ‘Ooh, Kantha’, I bought one of her kits and it was only much later that I realised it was the same lady who was in the magasine!
The kit I bought was of a moon gazing hare, an image I am rather fond of, I also thought that as I’m making a quilt with rabbits on, I can make a cushion to go with it. I only started it a few days ago. It is stitched on duck egg blue linen with a cotton muslin behind to give a bit of support. I traced the design on with pencil, though with hindsight I could have done with something slightly heavier as I struggled at times to see the lines.
The hare was the first part to be stitched with a whipped running stitch around the edge. It is then just a matter of going round and round with rows of running stitch a couple of milimetres apart, using the line of the stitch to emphasize legs etc.
In some ways the moon was more tricky as I was trying to stay fairly even so I would finish in the middle of the moon, whilst at the same time watching my tension so the dense stitching didn’t distort the linen.
It didn’t take long to finish at all and it’s a very relaxing form of embroidery. I’m thinking of making it into a cushion with some muted quilting fabrics around it, a similar style to the hedgerow mini wall hanging I did last month