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With an abundance of fine needle-women, Gujarat also produces its own variety of patchwork quilting. Like quilts from all around the world, theirs are made using applique work and the use of small scraps sewn together. In India the traditions of make do and mend are still rife in the tribal and village communities, where they like to use up scraps of torn old fabrics and turn them into an expression of personal creativity.
The techniques may be the same but the overall look of the Indian quilt is very different. The colour palette is much richer and the themes quite different here in Gujarat.
This area of India had a fine tradition of ornamental household goods. From ancient times its people have delighted in being surrounded by the most beautiful and ornamental home accents. The torans (doorway hangings) and quilts showcase the best in ornamentation techniques. Far from the stark patchwork quilts of the Amish, their quilts are covered in embroidery and applique worked in rich red cotton against a white background. These become family heirlooms and can be found stacked and covered with a gorgeous elaborate dharaniya throw full of mirrors.
Around India quilt making varies enormously and in the Odisha region and West Bengal the Kantha quilt has become a worldwide must have item.
Kantha is the name of a running stitch and here the quilts do not take their beauty from fancy embroidery or applique but the simple joining together of layers with a single long stitch. They are primarily recycled saris made of cotton and vary in size from a blanket to a throw. The entire cloth is covered with the running stitches giving the finished item a wrinkled wavy effect.