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!
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!
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.
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.