A visit to Philadelphia through the week included a viewing of the exhibit of Kantha stitched quilts currently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building.
There is the quality of life springing from these works, which are created using myriad coloured stitches that play upon a plain ground cloth; typically white remnants of garments, or rags. These were transformed into celebratory quilts for special family events. The stitches are tiny and prolific, and create beautiful surface textures in addition to providing colour and shape.
Most of the pieces in this show are from the nineteenth century. Motifs are often, but not always, either of vegetation or religious subjects; Hindu and Islam. Sometimes the pattern has grown directly out of the imagination of it’s maker; whimsical drawings revealing the occasional creature-with-character, people or whimsical story-lines amongst the flowers.