I don't have time to make quilts any more. And yet mysteriously there appears to be another quilt-in-progress on the sofa this morning.
I have been yearning for a Kantha type quilt for ages, and last night I just snapped and pulled out my sewing machine, grabbed a fairly random selection of fabrics off my shelf, and began cutting and sewing.
Kantha quilts are traditional Bengali quilts, made from large blocks of bright sari fabric, stitched together with tight rows of running stitch and other embroidered motifs. They're all about colour and embroidery. They are also made without wadding - just from layers of cotton cloth. This is one of the reasons I wanted to make one, because even though I used the lightest wadding I could find for my quilt, it is still too warm on top of a duvet.
My new Kantha quilt is simply a top pieced from a mixture of vintage and quilting cottons, and a back of plain, unbleached calico. No wadding in the middle at all. I sewed the top and back right-sides-together and left a gap for turning, so there is no need for binding either. The top is nice and bright and true to the Kantha style in shades of pink and blue, but I left the back deliberately plain because I think when all th embroidery is done, it will show off the stitching beautifully. Plus I love the way that plain calico shrinks and puckers when it is washed - it will really add to the wrinkly, faded feel of my quilt.
I have no doubt at all that I will spend years doing all the embroidery; the quilt is massive. But I can use use it in the meantime, because it doesn't need binding and there are no pins in it. I spread it out over my side of the bed last night, and I wasn't too warm at all. It made me smile this morning too, when I woke up to to rain and wind lashing against the windows but sunny pink fabric spread out over me, as if spring was already here.