Sunday, August 24, 2014

DESIGN: What a Summer! & Kantha Vest

Art is the only way to run away
without leaving home ~Twyla Tharp
My poor blog!  It has become so neglected this summer, but it has been an unexpectedly busy summer revolving around my dear family.

First, my niece that lives in Phoenix acquired Guillain-Barré syndrome which is a serious disorder that occurs when the body's defense (immune) system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. This leads to nerve inflammation that causes muscle weakness and other symptoms. My niece is paralyzed from the chest down with very limited use of her arms.  My sister (my niece's mom) and I have traveled to Phoenix four times this summer. We leave again tomorrow to move my niece and her two children to Michigan.  Here is a photo of my great niece and great nephew- they have stolen my heart this summer!
The second thing that took some time was helping my other sister with her wedding business; she decorates wedding and reception venues.  Obviously, this has been a busy time of the year, so I have been lending a helping hand.  Here are some photos of what they do:

Here is their Etsy store that has lots of their printed paper products and here is their Facebook page with LOTS more photos.

I have always been very close to my two sisters, this summer has made us even closer!

Now back to my quote at the beginning, Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.  This week I am running away to India; I love Kantha! Kantha is a type of embroidery popular in eastern South Asia, especially Bangladesh and the Indian. Kantha stitching is also used to make simple quilts  Kantha comprises of the simplest stitch in the language of embroidery - the running stitch.  

Here is my Kantha board on Pinterest. For a long, long time, I have wanted to make a piece of clothing with Kantha stitching. With all the hours on airplanes this summer, it was the perfect time to embroider.

I pieced the vest sections together using a combination of Kaffe Fassett fabric and some of my own hand-dyes. For the quilting layers, I did not use batting, I wanted a thinner sandwich, so I used flannel instead.
My dilemma was how to make sure that my stitching lines were straight and evenly apart.  I considered marking tools, but felt this would be tough because most marking tools wear off as you work the piece AND I really could not mark the sections on a plane.  I finally decided that I would baste the lines in place; it worked like a charm!  I could easily remove the basting thread as I began stitching a row, in fact, there were needle holes left from the basting making it easy to space the stitches.

Here my vest! 


  1. I love this vest, Kathy. So glad I got to see it in person last week!