Kantha Hand Stitching

Learn the art of Kantha Stitching and take your sewing with you on your Summer adventures this year! Kantha is the traditional Indian version of what you may know as Running Stitch, Sashiko or Big Stitch Quilting. It’s super-easy, enjoyable and perfect for taking along. I’ve found a couple of great projects to get you started!

You’re going to love the Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Thread I now use for Kantha Stitching! It’s a 6 weight thread that makes wonderfully distinct stitches, doesn’t tangle and is really a total joy to use. It’s become my standard for stitching embellishments and I love all 12 colors! It comes in three different variety packs of four colors each, so you’ll always have great choices.

Image courtesy of Radiant Home Studio blog

On the Radiant Home Studio blog, I found this absolutely gorgeous, Kantha Pocket Tote. It’s a marvelously clever upgrade to a pre-purchased tote and a wonderful way to use Kantha Stitching. Sara’s instructions are very clear and she gives plenty of tips for success along the way. This is a two part project with the pocket directions in Post One and the strap directions in Post Two. One can never have too many pockets and adding them creatively to a “blank” tote is brilliant. I love it that Sara didn’t stop there, but also created new straps that are secured in trendy grommets on the front and back of the tote. And, then there’s the lovely coordinating border added around the top. Everything here is just stunning!

This tote is so magical, that I just had to create my own. Since I have a passion for linen, I chose several different colors for my own tote upgrade. Although Sara calls for Embroidery Floss for the stitching, I chose my new hand stitching love, Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Craft Thread for my version.

I sewed strips of linen together to create the same size pocket found in the tutorial and gave it a good pressing. Then I took it with me on a trip to local Puget Sound and spent a lovely afternoon stitching!

Sara’s instructions call for a mid-weight interfacing between the pieced front and solid pocket back. I decided on Warm & Natural batting instead of the interfacing for a more dimensional look. It was a good choice for the Linen. I began my stitching close to one of the strip seams so that I had a mostly straight baseline to work from.

Once the pocket was stitched, I followed the strap and finishing instructions in Sara’s second post. I created pieced Linen strips and again used Tim Holtz Craft Thread for my Kantha stitching.

Sara used great looking Metal Grommets on her tote and gives excellent instructions on how to insert them. I decided on Dritz Curtain Grommets for my version to complement the bold look of the Linen I used.  These super-sturdy, plastic grommets are applied without tools and I’m pleased with how they look on my tote.

The tutorial also gives great directions for adding a border strip to the top edge of the tote. I padded mine with a little batting leftover from my pocket and chose to top stitch it on the machine. Using my walking foot made sewing through all the layers easy. Since Saras’ tote used lovely cotton quilting fabrics, I think her choice to finish the top border with fusible seam tape was brilliant! I just don’t think it would have worked well on my heavier Linen.

And, there it is! My version of Sara’s Kantha Pocket Tote Upgrade – I’m thrilled! Click here for Sara’s tutorial on her Radiant Home blog and look for the strap and finishing link at the bottom of the post.

Image courtesy of Radiant Home Blog

Browsing further through the Radiant Home Studio blog, I found this little Hand Stitched beauty, too. And, again, the 12 colors of Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Craft Thread would be perfect for the stitching. You could purchase one of the four packs and use just the colors included!.  Click here for Sara’s Running Stitch tote tutorial and enjoy your Summer Kantha Stitching take alongs!

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