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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Gilaf: More Kantha Embroidery

I jumped at the chance to do another Kantha class with Barbara Mullan when it was offered as part of the Embroiderers' Guild Autumn class offering. The project looked enticing. I couldn't see how we would get the stitching pattern in the photo.

Our preparation instructions were to prepare a piece of felt (preferably nuno) or wool or cotton and bring threads in two colour ways. I left the fabric to the last minute. I had no suitable felt in my stash and the wool blanketing I had seemed a bit thick. I ended up buying a piece of doctor's flannel and another remnant of blanketing (bound to come in handy!). 

I decided on the doctor's flannel and transferred the design - a six pointed star in the centre of the fabric piece.

The class was over two consecutive Sunday's. I was going to be away for the second class but wanted to do it so much I enrolled anyway. Barbara offered to help me when I got back if I was in strife.
It was such an enjoyable class - five students all keen on Kantha and a really expert, flexible teacher.

I should have checked my Kantha Bible before attending.
The answer to the puzzle of how we could get the pattern of stitches was, of course,  - ants!                                                                                            For those unfamiliar with Kantha embroidery, there are a number of traditional stitch patterns using running stitch. One such pattern is called 'ants' because it resembles an army of ants on the move - rows of running stitch advancing in a regular or semi- regular manner. By working the pattern segment by segment you achieve a continuous waving line  and the regular organising structure disappears.
Alternating colour ways adds to the effect. I find it addictive. After the class I couldn't stop doing it. For several days I abandoned all other projects and stitched ants at every opportunity.
I finished the ant centrepiece before I left for 10 days in Sydney and Canberra, taking it with me in the hope of working on the border.
I'm really sorry to miss the second day of the class. I think if I had to choose only one form of embroidery to work on a desert island it would be Kantha. 
Now for the border.


Monica said...

I love this, Jillian! I like your thread, I like the organic design, and I can see it must be fun to stitch. Plus, your book looks really interesting, I love that cover piece with the elephants. Love elephants! How nice to have so many great options. :D

Jillian said...

Thanks Monics. The threads are mostly Australian overdyed silks. There' a little Gloriana in there too. I tried orange-red and a pink-brown colourways to get the blending effect. You're right it's a versatile medium.

Monica said...

Now I look at the book again, I do not see elephants. Hmmm. Fat horses?

Obviously I must create my own elephant project. :D

margaret said...

The stitching is very nice, not a technique I have tried seeing this makes me think I shod have a go

Jillian said...

I have a feeling there is at least one elephant design in the book. I'll check it out when I get home.

Jillian said...

It's well worth it - but a teacher does help. As you can tell, I love it!

Lyn Warner said...

I love your colours and the wandering design looks fun to stitch.
I hadn't thought of ants and embroidery before. My ants are all over the kitchen:)

Jillian said...

It's an apt description for streams of running stitch. Much better in embroidery than the kitchen! Thanks for stopping by, Lyn.