Kantha-Style Stitched Cushion

I love lots of stitchy quilty dimpled texture in my projects. I'm very tactile and love running my hands over these sorts of projects. Marie Kondo might find joy in neat minimalist drawers, but I find joy in quilty dimpled textile projects.

Over the weekend I finished this kantha-style cushion. It is made with Japanese lawn fabric which is very thin and soft and lovely to work with (plus it's readily available at my local Spotlight store).


I made up the panel and spent lots of happy hours, stitching the running stitches back and forth and back and forth using Aurifil cotton in 12 weight in three different colours. 

I've made these kanth inspired projects in the past using perle 8 cotton which is a teeny bit thicker and they work out very nicely too, but the Aurifil 12 wt is just so much easier to thread through the eye of the needle.

I posted this stitching reel on instagram.



One of the main questions I was asked was about the marks and keeping my stitches straight. My favourite tool for this is the hera marker and ruler.

I mark out lines in varying widths between 1/4" and 1/2" and prepare a whole heap in advance so that I can sit and stitch while watching something on the telly. Here's a picture of the stitching from the back (on the batting side). 



When making a cushion, after sewing the layers together right about the edge, I like to sew a zig-zag stitch right around to keep everything in place and help it stop any fraying.  Do you do this too? I honestly don't know how helpful this is, but in my mind, I feel like it is :)



When I posted on IG, I was also asked about the type of needle I use. Personally, I generally use a crewel (embroidery) needle as they're a good length, they're strong and the eye of the needle is of a decent size to thread the thicker cottons. 

I had someone question my crewel option as they thought that they're not sharp enough - so I went and found the packet to make sure that they were indeed called crewel needles. I wonder if the person was thinking tapestry needle when she saw I'd written embroidery? Or possibly Crewel needles could be called something else in other countries? International friends, I'd love to know if you too call these crewel needles or something else?

I used a brown shot cotton for the back of the cushion - and I even added a zip. Yep, just call me Mrs Zipper-lady. It's true what they say about practice. I'm not saying it's perfect, but I'm not afraid to add a zipper to a project, so there's that ;-)


I really enjoyed creating this little dimpled cushion and I was sad that it was finished so quickly. Perhaps I'll be brave and make an actual quilt in this style - sometime.



22 comments

Kay said...

This is so pretty. I really like the texture given by the stitching.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

embroidery/crewel here in the states are sharp thicker needles with a larger eye - tapestry needles are blunt point not sharp. I love that pillow - I normally never make pillows but I like yours - it looks like you do two layers front and batting I do three front, batting and backing like you would a normal quilt so I don't zigzag the edges.

smithcindyk said...

Love all your Kantha-style projects. I take that back. I pretty much enjoy everything you do!

Cheryl Smith said...

I love all the prints! This would make a lovely quilt and I may have to see just what I have on hand to make my own version of this pillow. I haven't done hand quilting... ever, but this could be just the slow project I need to give it a try.

Fiona said...

lovely cushion...
Hugz

brenda said...

i am going to search the Kantha style to see if it is something i can figure out how to do.
all your projects are so very well executed and seem to have so much heart in them as well. thank you for sharing.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Thanks very much Kay :)

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

I contemplated adding a backing layer but figured it was just going to be covered up, so I went without it. And yes, here in Australia, we call our needles the same :)

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Awww thanks very much. That's lovely of you to say :)

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

I think it would make a lovely quilt too... perhaps one day I'll have a go at making one too. If you've not hand-quilted before, this is a great way to start practising as it's quite forgiving and rhythmic. Happy stitching :)

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Thanks Fiona (and Happy Birthday!!!)

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment.
I love looking at all of the kantha inspired projects on pinterest.

piecefulwendy said...

Love the soft colors and all that texture! I really need to try a zipper closure on a pillow sometime. It looks so neat and tidy!

Karen's Korner said...

A lovely snuggly up to cushion.

Janice said...

Didn’t it turn out beautifully. I can fully understand that you keep want to run your hand over the simply goodness. Crewel needles are perfect for that type of stitching.

Nancy McFarland said...

I love the quiling and the stitches! I am going to have to try one of these! Thank you!

Tigerkat said...

VERY NICE! Love the mix of colors and patterns! Thanks for sharing!

Joy from Days Filled With Joy said...

Very pretty! I must try this one day.. maybe start with a cushion cover like you've done.. thanks for all the tips! xx

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Such a super finish! The Hera marker & ruler worked well, my stitches would end up more organic I think!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

I understand what you mean about texture--I just want to run my hands all over that cushion! So lovely. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Pink Rose said...

Hi Anorina wow I love your new cushion,it’s a beauty ,well done on your beautiful work 💕

Kathleen said...

I love your pillow. I was surprised to see how you made it. I'm not familiar with Japanese lawn fabric, though I have seen this type of stitching before. I was wondering if this fabric shrinks a lot. I looked it up and it says it's similar to "handkerchief linen". I have plenty of old hankies from my grandmother and I notice that those don't shrink, only wrinkle. I may have to try this myself :) I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!