Scraps. Lots and lots of them. Fabrics piled according to color are starting to commandeer an entire corner of my workroom. Recycled, discarded, second-hands and third-hands, the entire lot has come from being something else. This idea sits well with me and I think I could spend the rest of my life and never touch new cloth again.
Stitching a few bits & pieces together now, making "components" for use in the upcoming Cloth to Cloth workshop, taught by Jude Hill. Still working with raw, torn edges...admitting here that I am completely smitten with all things frayed.
Also smitten with the simple running stitch. What a restful enterprise coming from a stitch named for so much movement! Nosed around, trying to learn more about it & came upon this magnificent book:
Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal
from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz and the Stella Kramrisch Collections
It's the catalog from an exhibition I wish I hadn't missed, on display earlier in the year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This is the first book-length study on kanthas published outside of South Asia - 304 pages of gloriously illustrated splendor. More examples from the exhibition can be found on the museum site here.
Some potent words from Darielle Mason, the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalyan Art, who organized the exhibition,
"Like American patchwork quilts, kanthas are about memory.
They connect families and generations and they connect
the present with the past.
The everyday lives of Bengali women were seldom recorded
prior to the late 20th century, so kanthas are often
the only surviving physical traces of women's presence,
and the only way their personal voices may be heard."