So I have to admit I was holding off on showing you guys my finished kantha pillow. Why? Well there is a second on in the works and I wanted to share them together but it turns out I have zero ability to wait when I am excited about something. And I am so excited about this cushion!
I was mindlessly scrolling Instagram late last year when I saw a post about joining a kantha stitchalong. I was immediately excited because kantha has been on my creative to do list for a very long time. It was so great to have the perfect opportunity and excuse to play! The stitchalong has been hosted by Tin Cat Sew (www.instagram.com/tincatsew) with tutorials by Bessabo Studio (www.instagram.com/bessaboostudio) and Arabesque Scissors. I had so much fun seriously and loved that the simplicity of the technique was completely outshone by the results. I worked on the pillow in the morning and at nights around my orders, it was a lovely break that I looked forward to.
I chose to dive into my Liberty of London stash to make my cushion top. I had no plan at all and just cut and pieced until I had the right size. It was incredibly freeing to just see where the fabric would take me and I realised I don’t do it anywhere enough. I decided I wanted to make a cover for an existing cushion on my couch which was looking really shabby but I love the squishy softness of the duck down insert. This meant I had to piece a top that was approximately 24″x 16″ (60x43cm) so BIG! I wont lie, I kind of regretted the size of it at around the halfway mark when my fingers were crying.
For the kantha stitching I chose to use dmc embroidery floss and chose 6 different colours. I then alternated with 6 rows of each. I used 4 strands at a time which was the perfect thickness for me. I am very glad I started in the middle ( you can see the drawn line if you look closely) and worked my way out to each edge as it kept the top nice and straight. My stitches weren’t perfect, some of the lines were crazy wonky but once it was finished I couldn’t see any of the imperfections I was stressing about as I went. It was very much a lesson in letting go for the perfectionist in me. While not a hard thing to do at all it is definitely a work out for the fingers and my wrists. I really need to invest in a thimble soon if I want to keep making things like this!
Over 8500 stitches later my top was done! I ummed and aahed about adding embellishments like tassels and pom poms but decided I wanted to keep her simple, let the stitching shine and have her for daily use and love.
I used my favourite chambray from Ministry of Fabric for the back of the cushion. I made a simple cover that wasn’t removeable and ladder stitched the opening closed. On a whim I added in some dried peppermint just before I closed it up. Just because. It smells very pretty sitting next to me right now so was a good call.
And look there she is! Squishy, cuddly and perfectly placed among my handmade quilts and cushions. I want to make a million more of these and, like I said earlier, I am already on my second kantha project which involves vintage velvet for an entirely different look. I will make sure she gets her photo shoot on when done too!
Lots of incredible creatives have taken part in this stitchalong so if you want to have a look at the pieces created you can follow the hashtag #libertysocietykanthastitchalong – I will try to do a round up of my faves once my second one is completed and ready to share.