Coming Soon (I Hope)

A few months ago, I sewed together some strips of fabric I had collected (the patterned pieces were bought in Senegal, the blues are leftover from an exhibit at The Textile Museum that I took home when I interned there, and the red was a Christmas present from my brother last year, purchased in Nepal) into a modified log-cabin pattern quilt. Since the pattern was so simple, the top of the quilt was finished in a few hours, and left without a backing on our couch until now, when I felt inspired to do something about it.

Rather than buy quilt batting for the inside, I decided to use the big scraps and leftover pieces of fabric I had lying around as the filler. Last year, Joe and I went to Philadelphia to see the kantha exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum, and I have been thinking about trying something like it (although 1000 times simpler) since. A kantha is a traditional quilt from West Bengal, India, where scraps of old clothes and fabric are sewn together and embroidered to turn them into a thick quilt. By using thousands of stitches, all the layers of fabric are secured together to single piece of fabric.

The tiny stitches are decorative but also functional (excuse the blurry exhibit picture). I won't be attempting anything on this scale, but I want to cover the top of the quilt in stitches to bind all the layers together.

The first step was to cut and sew all the inner layers together (since the top was already finished). I just laid the quilt on the floor, and then laid the inner pieces on top to fit them together.

Once all the pieces were laid out, I pinned them together and sewed a border and some criss-crossing lines to hold them all in place.

I had originally thought I could cut down the total time of this project by doing all the embroidery on the sewing machine, but it only took a few stitches to figure out that that was not going to work. The quilt is way too thick, with all ten layers of fabric inside, to fit into my standard sewing machine. So rather than being a quick one-day project, this is now going to take months. But that's ok! Now I have something to do while watching Law and Order: SVU. So I will (hopefully) have more pictures of this project to post soon.


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Notes From The Studio