Kantha Stitch

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.

Kantha hare stitched onto woad dyed vintage tray cloth

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 stitchย  a couple of milimetres apart, using the line of the stitch to emphasize legs etc.DSC_0010 (2)

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 monthDSC_0008 (2)


About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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25 Responses to Kantha Stitch

  1. jaya says:

    I love the effect of this simple stitch. There are many intricate designs on sarees and they all look wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is gorgeous. What a simple but effective idea

    Liked by 1 person

  3. claire93 says:

    oh this is lovely, and so subtle on the grey fabric!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb says:

    I really like the simplicity of this! And the use of old vintage linens .. wonderful idea!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary says:

    The simplicity belies the difficulty of a normal human making such even stitches. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too loved the use of old vintage linens. You did a beautiful job on this! Next stop to look for her kits on line ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kathyreeves says:

    What a beautiful complement to Down the Rabbit Hole! I had never heard of this, but the finished look is wonderful. I need to google it and see more!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Lovely piece, and subject, Margaret! Can’t imagine doing all those tiny stitches, tho’. Do so admire your skills. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Catherine says:

    This is really lovely, and a great example of how simple stitches can create beautiful results! And it would make a great cushion!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. quiltypatch says:

    Pretty project, love the stitches!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CathieJ says:

    How beautiful. Your moon is gorgeous as is the hare.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carla says:

    What a great project. Love the the effect of the embroidery.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gail says:

    Your stitches make the hare come to life! Great project!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sarah says:

    I remember reading that article in the magazine, it’s lovely to see your project!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love the texture of the running stitch. I imagine the hardest thing would be to keep the piece flat with having areas that are not stitched mixed in with heavily stitched areas.
    Enjoy your hand stitching today!
    Thanks for linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Linda Dutch says:

    Lovely ‘kantha’ stitching! I too am having a littlke play with this simple way of stitching and love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. tialys says:

    More lovely stitching from you – this will make a lovely complement piece to your quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh I loved reading this Margaret, for two reasons, the first is that I love India and though I had never heard of this style before have actually seen pieces stitched like this whilst visiting India. The 2nd reason we have just returned from a week in Norfolk. Having never been there before we had a fun time “chasing” the Norfolk Hares. There is currently an exhibition of painted hares in Norwich (50 in all) and you can get a map and go and hunt them down – a fun way to discover a city you do not know. There were also a further 18 “Star Gazing” hares out in the countryside towns of Norfolk, and although we did not chase these we did see a number of them on our travels. Yours looks just the same as they did. If you are interested I shall probably be putting some pictures into my blog during the week (if I can get them from the i-pad to the computer lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Quadnines says:

    They make me think of scenes from Watership Down. Beautiful stitching!

    Liked by 1 person

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