Monday, October 7, 2013

Portholes

A lovely class with Lucie Summers at the Fat Quarterly retreat in July yielded these three "Porthole" blocks which I love. Spending a couple of hours learning from Lu was a real treat. She is so much fun, completely unpretentious and hilarious and most importantly for a teacher, really instills a "you can do this" feeling in her students.

Porthole Table Runner by Poppyprint

I wanted to complete a small project with the blocks and keep them together as a technique sample. I love the finished edge and texture that this technique provides. It's not difficult, you just have to be extra careful while trimming away seam allowances from the back!

Porthole Table Runner by Poppyprint

Lu also taught a wonderful improv piecing class (which I wasn't in), then the next day demonstrated the kantha-style running stitch in a hand-quilting session.  I love kantha stitching and felt it was a great way to show off these blocks and provide lots of texture to the table runner. It's a great feeling to create running stitches freehand, just rocking your needle up and down across fabric without trying to follow lines or worrying about keeping your stitches consistent.  Katha stitching also marries well with the block-printed linens I used from Maiwa Handprints. Some of them may even be from Bengal, where Kantha embroidery originated!

Porthole Table Runner by Poppyprint
A triple porthole!

At retreat, Alex Veronelli of Aurifil shared some wooden spools of his linen thread for people to try. The natural colour and texture (it's a bit nubbly and the thickness varies) is just perfect here. I loved it.  I think initially Alex was hoping people could put this thread through their machines. I haven't tried, but having stitched with it by hand, I am pretty sure my machine's tension discs, and machine needles, wouldn't appreciate the varying thickness and natural imperfections in the thread.  For hand-sewing an organic running stitch however, it's ideal.  I'm sorry but I don't know if this thread is available commercially.

Porthole Table Runner by Poppyprint

The runner is only 10" by 33" so it's a bit teeny for our big dining room table. I may end up hanging it on a narrow wall area. I will definitely display it somewhere because I'm super pleased with this project.

15 comments:

Leanne said...

This is really lovely, I love the fabrics and the stitching!

What Comes Next? said...

the kantha stitching is the perfect finish for this. Looks fabulous, and I would definitely hang it on the wall for all to see1

Elsa said...

How great to take a class with Lucie Summers! Love the things she makes.
Your hanging turned out really lovely and I like the hand stitching you did!

Flying Blind... said...

Looks brilliant love xxx

Catherine said...

Love it and what a great reminder of a fabulous weekend

Svetlana said...

wow, such wonderful blocks!!! And those kantha stitches, totally amazing.

Dianne said...

I love the stitching Krista, especially the blue crosses. Hopefully oneday you will demo this technique at stitch.

Isisjem said...

Looks fab. Love the stitching and cross detailing.

dutchcomfort said...

So lovely Krista!
I didn’t know it was called Kantha stitching. Love it when I learn new to me words!

Carol Browne said...

Wow. I love, love, love this! So beautiful and the running stitch? Divine.

Katy Cameron said...

Lu is an absolute hoot! Love what you made with her :o)

myBearpaw said...

Love it Krista, the textures work so well together and especially love your line of cross stitches - must try some of these out on my next hand quiltimg project!

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop said...

That's beautiful! Love the look of the quilting.
Carol

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is just lovely. I think the hand stitching is the BEST. I would love to try that thread some time. It sounds interesting.

Michele Pacey said...

Oo, I love the texture of the free-handed running stitch. Right up my alley. Gorgeous work Krista. :)