ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Review of Inspiration Kantha

As promised, I am dropping by today with a review of "Inspiration Kantha" (Schiffer Publishing, 2017). Full disclosure here: I personally know author Anna Hergert from the Canadian teaching circuit. We have met numerous times at various teaching venues over the years. Sometimes we were both teaching there and sometimes she was judging and I was teaching. So when I opened this book and started reading, my first impression was that Anna was sitting right here beside me chatting with me. I especially feel this way in the section where she talks about personal exploration, something she is passionate about.

I knew little about Kantha before I opened this book. The concise history Anna provides, gave me a better understanding of this ancient needle art. Historically, traditional Kantha provided women from the Indian subcontinent with a thrifty method of binding together worn saris and giving them a new look as blankets and throws, etc.

The book provides an overview of traditional Kantha stitches and motifs, with clear instructions on how to achieve them. It also includes instructions for using them in several projects. Anna also provides ample encouragement to those who want to take Kantha beyond traditional interpretations, and shares an inspiring gallery of photographs showcasing her work and that of her students.

This book will appeal to those quilters and stitchers who want to broaden their stitching options, but especially those who have embraced the modern trend toward repurposing and upcycling. There is no doubt that hand-stitching is therapeutic to those who practice it, and this book will also appeal to those who have embraced the slow stitching movement.

I was feeling inspired to use some of my hand-dyed perle cottons while reading the book, but then I opened the page where Anna shows her white on white prairie landscapes, titled “Absence of Color”. How refreshing white can be! The texture is stunning.

With Anna's permission I am posting photos here of the Absence of Color series.They remind me so much of a day in the sand dunes at Death Valley Park, California. They also remind me of today's wintry weather. Enjoy!


  1. These are really lovely. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I will look into getting Anna's book.

  2. A follow up--just to say that I did order and have received Anna's book. Looking forward to some enjoyable stitching.

    1. Hope you enjoy the book Martha. I would love to use my hand-dyed threads for some kantha work.


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