Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

September 3, 2012

Hi friends! How are you today? I’m back to blogging regularly after taking August off and I’m glad to be back because I love connecting with all of you as we share inspiring things that fuel us. It really keeps me going and that is why I blog, it’s an affordable therapist. :) Whether it’s pretty homewares, inspiring colors or how we feel about our life and career – it’s so wonderful to have you to connect to daily via decor8 and I’m happy to be back despite how I’m still trying to navigate a few things in my personal life – but who isn’t?

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

I definitely learned during my month off that my blog FUELS my creative spirit. When I’m not writing regularly, I go inward a bit and over-think things. Analysis paralysis is a term I often refer to when I’m lecturing or teaching a class because it’s exactly what happens to me when I think too much. I think myself almost into a hole or a corner and become paralyzed.

Writing gets me back out again and for me, is such a huge creative release and exercise – it’s like working out – when you stop doing regular exercise you feel a huge dip in your overall feeling of well being. Same for me and my personal creativity – primarily tapped into through writing and photography. I never realized until I took a month away from blogging just how vital is was for my well being and how healing to my soul.

No matter what I go through in my personal life, blogging about design, creative things, art, our community, blog topics, crafts, travel… All of this sharing and processing of ideas helps me to concentrate on positive things that make me happy. This act of giving and receiving makes a difference in my life. In fact, taking a month off made me realize all of this – I have been thinking all weekend about why August was a hard month for me and it really came down to that – blogging is more than just posting “pretty things” or tossing up some pictures with a few sentences. It is my version of painting – and it digs me out of holes and keeps me feeling energized and refreshed.

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Now, onto the subject of inspiring objects and beautiful things because when I did research on these quilts today I actually began to feel better because the research gave me the feeling like I had traveled – and now I know more about these quilts and want to share them with you if you’re not too familiar with these beauties.

First, they originate from India and Bangladesh. I like them because they’re reversible and lightweight but more than that, these cotton quilts are usually quite colorful with gorgeous patterns and patches. They are constructed by hand by sewing layers of cloth and often vintage saris together and then stitched using a traditional, delicate “Kantha” stitch. They have become more and more popular over the past several years in western interiors and you can find them online in these shops listed below in case you fancy owning one (or ten).

I want to own several and stack them on top of my white wooden cabinet in my sitting room – then they are available for warmth when snuggling on the sofa at night and by day, add color to the room and a jolt of personality.

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Sources for Kantha quilts, both new and vintage, online include:

The Family Love Tree
Connected Goods
Rajasthan Royals
Niki Jones

Are you a fan of Kantha quilts from India, too? Now I really want to go to India! :)

(images: from shops above.)


  • Reply jane September 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I love Kanta quilts and also own a few, some bought in India and two in London. I lived in India and was hoping to see this quilts everywhere but alas it took some hunting…..great post.

  • Reply Mervi (aka tasselflower) September 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I like the term “analysis paralysis”! I’ve got that too and know it way too well. Sharing helps, yes. At that point it’s all out and no more in my head.

  • Reply Jo Seaquist September 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I’m glad you found your epiphany! And isn’t it funny when what you were looking for was right there in front of you? For me that’s usually the case.

    I have to write regularly or my balance gets thrown off. There’s a clarity to it, connects the inner and outer, and it closes the gap between thinking and doing.

  • Reply Dara September 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging – it’s always refreshing to hear about people who love what they do!

  • Reply cassie September 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    welcome back! i LOVE LOVE LOVE these quilts…. i know i do not comment often, if ever, but wanted to say i adore your blog, style, and have been reading for a long long time! thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Nathalie -worldly treasury- September 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I could have written the ‘blogging thoughts’ part myself. I feel exactly the same. Not only about writing but doing creative things in general. Besides writing I also can’t live without my camera and jewelry making stuff.
    Good thing you’re back to inspire us :-)

  • Reply laurie September 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Welcome back, Holly! So good to have you back. So get the “analysis paralysis” that you can fall into. But maybe the vacation was just what was needed to be re-inspired and re-focused. That’s what happened to me this summer and I feel more invigorated, inspired, focused, and committed to my projects than ever before. I’ve missed you!

  • Reply Artsy Forager September 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Blogging is definite therapy.. even when not consciously aware of it, I find myself working things out through my thoughts on the artwork I feature.

    PS– completely in love with these quilts! Quilts always feel like just the perfect weight– not too light, not too heavy, just right for optimal sleeping. And these are heavenly!

  • Reply Jillian September 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    These are so pretty and colorful. I’d love to use one as the starting point for a bedroom or living room design.

  • Reply Chris Olson September 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Holly! So glad to see your new posts on one of my very favorite blogs again! Every day I use something I learned from your awesome BYW 2.O class. Thank you so much for all the inspiration. xo

  • Reply iHanna September 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Fan of the quilt, fan of the stitching and fan of the colours of India. Yes to all. :-)

  • Reply Inge September 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Welcome back Holly! Hope your break did bring much relaxation, although I could totally relate to your words and thoughts on blogging and how much you miss it when taking a break.
    It was only when I first gave birth to Jules, my son, that I realized I missed something. And I always loved writing and reading, I always said I wanted to be a writer of children’s books… Roald Dahl was my true source of inspiration when I was younger. And that ambition lingered on in the back of my mind, but I just wouldn’t let it come closer thinking I was not good enough.

    And it was only when I became a mother I gave up the insecure thoughts about how others think of my style and writing. It’s so liberating to blog about what I love… it does make you happy! And most importantly: it makes me feel a bit “me” again! Thanks for this post, I love how you make us think about ourselves… x

  • Reply my hyggelig September 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I have been blogging for 5 1/2 years and many times I have thought to myself – why am I doing this? And then someone else shares something meaningful, something beautiful, something thoughtful that I benefit from – and I remember why I keep coming back. I like to share, reflect, meditate… In fact, yesterday I posted and thought – will this be my last post? I have thought this many times before. And then…someone else shares and inspires me. Thank you for putting yourself out there. Blogging still has a place out there for us all to talk more about than a sentence, a passing thought – it is a place for us to go deeper and connect.

  • Reply Igor September 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Beautiful & happy quilts indeed! And I am absolutely with you regarding the creativity fuel called blogging. It is one of the happiest moments of a day when I sit down to blog!

  • Reply Kate September 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    so glad to have you back, Holly! was a little bit lost without you blogging. had to carry your book around to keep me inspired ;)

  • Reply Eleanor September 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I love these! and I’m glad to learn they have an actual name. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now, but didn’t realize there was so much variety! I’ve only seen the ones with flowers up until now. Beautiful.

  • Reply Rachel September 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Welcome back Holly – so happy to have you back and hope you enjoyed your time off. I love Kantha Quilts – I am sitting on my couch on a lazy Sunday with one as we speak – it is by Jeanette Farrier – you should check out her collection ( We actually just started carrying some of her Kantha scarves at my shop in NYC. Always love reading your blog and connecting. xx
    p.s. India is on my bucket list!

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily September 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Welcome back Holly. These quilts are just so wonderful. I too find that blogging has brought my creative world back to life and fuels it beyond belief. Before your course I had no idea how to jump back into my ‘old’ world pre-kids and now I’m able to discover a bit more of the old me day-by-day and develop in new and exciting areas-so thank you! The blogging community is a wonderful world to be a part of :-)

  • Reply Sandra Zerahn September 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I love these! The colors are so beautiful and warm, I would love these to warm up the Scandinavian winter

  • Reply Brooke September 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks Holly, great post and so awesome to see some Australian shops profiled! Love to see more from Australia and New Zealand :)

  • Reply Jessica @shimmerkai September 4, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Gorgeous quilts! I love the pink wave motif. And thank you so much for sharing your perspective…I totally agree re:traveling. I just returned from Thailand and there is nothing like it for some distance and renewed inspiration!

  • Reply Desha Peacock September 4, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Welcome back Holly, I missed you! Really and truly, so glad to see you back. Whatever is going on in your personal life, I’m glad that you appreciate that your writing/sharing soothes you- and me! Reading your blog is like curling up with one of these lovely handmade quilts- it’s comforting.

  • Reply l o v e l y t h i n g s September 4, 2012 at 3:18 am

    These are all so beautiful…I think they are all my favorite and how wonderful that would be to have a stack to display by day and use by evening…just as you suggested. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the creative process of blogging…We recently moved and by way of dealing with a move from Southern California to Connecticut…I’ve realized how much I miss “regular” days that mean I have time to explore, cook something beautiful or arrange something lovely. Although everytime I came to your blog during the month of August and realized you were still on break, it gave me a chance to go back and read old posts…to inspire me for my new (very old) house,

  • Reply Carol September 4, 2012 at 3:27 am

    The colors of the quilts are lovely but the bedhead is gorgeous!

  • Reply ketaki September 4, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Hi Hollly!! Come over to India.. i will show you around..
    Well Kantha is a craftform from Rajasthan. You would know major part of Rajasthan is a desert and it is assumed that since the terrain and the surrounding is soo dull, major of the bright colors dyeing happens in that part of India. There are two kinds of such art form one is kantha and other is katran.
    Both of these form originated when the waste pieces from the were joined together to form another piece of cloth. Kantha as you know is made out of various pieces of cotton fabric layered together in geometric pattern. While the katran is made out of colorful and richly embriodered or intricately worked on fabrics.i will send you some pics if you are intrested.
    i go to Jaipur often for work and i love the numbar of art forms that florish there.

  • Reply tasmia September 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Hi. I love your blog.These quilts are so wonderful. I am from Bangladesh; we use this “Kantha” stitch in our dress, sari, bed sheet, pilow, you just name it. Its a very traditional design and village girls actually make this quilts(and other stuff)after complete their household works, at leisure time.So wonderful to see these stuff in your blog.

  • Reply Stephanie Ryan September 4, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Glad your back Holly! Love the quilts!

  • Reply Angelatutu September 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Welcome back! I love your blog and read it everyday! I’m from Shanghai, China! :)

  • Reply Kavita September 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Beautiful Post, I am from India and have been following your blog for some time.. Mostly I do not comment but could not resist commenting on this post as this relates to India! ;) Kantha work quilts are surely very colorful and beautiful, it is a form of embroidery practised mostly in Gujarat state of India, ladies in the village sit together and sew these with hand.. Infact I love kanthawork sarees even more.. Gujarat and Rajasthan truly have the most interesting embroidery and artwork to offer..

  • Reply Shivani September 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

    It’s so good to have you back Holly:) You read my mind on how blogging can be a vital part of ones life, I feel exactly the same. It provides me, too, solace and comfort in the middle of all the chaos of everyday fast paced life. You accurately gave words to how I am feeling right now. Again, welcome back!

    I am from India and have seen Kantha handmade quilts at fairs and they are far more gorgeous in person. You should go to India, you’ll love it :)

  • Reply clarissa homediy blogger September 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I am exactly the same with regards to over-thinking and it’s only writing that helps me over come my ‘analysis paralysis’ (I like that term). Love those quilts, such lovely vibrant colours!

  • Reply Sophie Guha September 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    You can find more Kantha at Jeanette used to be in costume design and came across these textiles while traveling. She commissions women in Kolkata to produce these wonderful textiles.

  • Reply Sincerely Jill September 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I recently bought some suzzanis from ebay, and they smell to high heaven. I thought to worry about smell didn’t even cross my mind before purchasing. So far I have had them dry cleaned, but they are still bad bad. Any advice?

  • Reply Chloe and the Chimera September 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I do think these quilts are lovely, but I think what I like about them is more to do with the way they are styled. I’m not normally one for busy patterns, but most of these are styled with block colour, the blue chair, the red cushion, and, my favourite, the green Buddha, or even the yellow flowers. These combinations don’t calm down the quilts, but they bring to the fore a particular colour in the quilt which helps me to digest the business!

  • Reply Amy @ PaintWineRepeat September 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Wow. Gorgeous quilts and glad you are back!!

  • Reply Pilar September 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I love what you wrote about blogging, I’m starting to feel just the same! :) so happy!
    I really hope you could check my blog and listen to your opinion.. thank you very much!

  • Reply Jessica September 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Very inspiring! Thank you so much!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente September 5, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Such a fan! Love these picks and loooove these quilts. Sigh…another beauty to add to my wishlist. :) Thanks hun, for the reminder!

  • Reply Marnie Byod September 5, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Oh I love these pieces of works..
    So adorable and perfect for cool season.

  • Reply Laura September 5, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Hi Holly and decor8 fans! Laura here from Fossik. Thank you sooooo much for featuring my quilts on your blog – it was such a delightful surprise (amidst an otherwise very trying week)!

    I also wanted to remind your readers that we do ship worldwide!

    Thanks again and have a lovely week.


  • Reply Mat September 5, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Holly glad you are back…I am glad you realized what your passion is(or actually reconfirmed) and you should stay intact with what makes you happy in this life… if writing is your oxygen you should do it endlessly until you cant breath anymore… and why shouldn’t you ; you are amazing on it!…… your Kantha quilts are amazing!India and Bangladesh are known for this type of work something that requires a lot of patience and imagination……. the vintage Kantha are the best in designs… great post!

  • Reply Lakshmi September 5, 2012 at 5:48 am

    It’s good to have you back, Holly. You should come then, to India, I mean. Especially the second half of the year is when you got to see a lot of colors in the country – thanks to festivals, weddings and the numerous art and craft fairs that happen around the country.

  • Reply Kelsea September 5, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I love Sari Bari for hand-stitched Kantha quilts, baby blankets, bags, and more:

    The mission of Sari Bari is to offer freedom to women who are trapped in the sex trade and to provide opportunity to women who are vulnerable to trafficking. They providing employment in a safe, loving environment, where women are trained as artisans. The women create beautiful, sustainable, handmade products, while making their lives new.

    It is a joy to buy from a business like this!

  • Reply Maria @ All Things Luxurious September 5, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Oh, my — these are beautiful! I don’t know how I would ever choose. Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration! :-) So glad you are back.

  • Reply Tracy A. September 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Welcome back – the quilts, and their colors are spectacular!

  • Reply Lucianna Samu September 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I love that you consider blogging your art! and I love these quilts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Amy September 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    In India – quilts were made using old “cotton” saris\bed sheets which were worn out in many places and “razai” as we call them were used as mattress in hot and humid places and “chaddars ( “covers” ) in colder places up north.

    Recycling and Upcycling is a traditional aspect in India. We will find that all over – except for the richie rich who want to use and throw !

  • Reply Ruthie September 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Holly!

    I am a huge fan of kantha blankets and bought my first one during my last trip to India earlier this year. My blanket has quite dark colours, reds, yellows and oranges and features elephants. Like you I keep it handy for snuggling with in the evenings. India is an amazing place. My husband is Indian so we have family to visit. I’d like to settle there one day. Here’s hoping! :)

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister September 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Ahhh…. welcome back Holly:) Glad you are in good spirits and happy to be here. It’s a good feeling when we realize what truly makes us content and for that to be exactly where we are. I love these quilts and was really tempted by the bright pink and apple green one but didn’t get it- now I’m pining for it with this post! Have a great week back in the blogosphere! It’s my turn to reappear too, I’ve been MIA too but loving the break with my kids! Miss you:(

  • Reply Lucia September 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I couldn’t resists to those kantha!. I was looking for adding some splash of colour to my neutral palette living room and your post came just on time for that. I have pick some cushions made of kantha from ebay. Can’t wait to see how they look at home!

  • Reply Danny Caplan September 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    What an amazing kaleidoscope of colours on the quilts and showing you can freshen things up with those fantastic details in a room.

  • Reply Polly Granville September 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Oh, I absolutely love these – the problem is I have never bought one as each is so unique I am terrified to buy one in case I see one I love just that tiny bit more the next week!

  • Reply Laura September 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    To celebrate Fossik’s appearance on decor8 we’re offering all readers 10% off! Simply enter the promo code decor8 to receive your discount. For a limited time only so act fast!

  • Reply Kate September 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Holly

    This and your last post hit a nerve for me. I turned the big four zero in July and the months leading up to it were torture. What have I done with my life? Where am I going? Am I happy? All those big questions spinning around my head.

    These questions revolved around my career. I stepped down to a lesser job when I had my kids. They are now getting older and my brain has the space to think about this decision. I work as a scientist but have a big creative streak as well, that does not get fulfilled by my job.

    My solution was to finally start a garden design blog, having being an avid blog reader and meaning to do it for, oh, just the past 5 years. Its early days yet but it really has healed that hole and I only have positive thoughts for the months and years ahead.

  • Reply Laura M M Johnson September 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I am so glad you’re back at the blog. You keep so many inspired through your posts- not only through your posts on design, but also through your posts on processing life.

    I look forward to each new post. Thank you for being here and sharing yourself with us daily.

  • Reply Jen O September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    such lovely colors and prints– how can anyone make a choice here? the stacks of quilts are the best (one to go with every mood)!

  • Reply Zepequeña September 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm



  • Reply stephanie @ Baba Souk September 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    oh gosh. How lovely are these!! rad rad rad

  • Reply Renee September 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    These quilts are absolutely stunning! I thrilled that you’re back to regular posting. Hope you had an amazing summer :)

  • Reply Carla Sonheim September 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Love these so much, and am so glad you’re “back” — yay!

  • Reply Noorieke September 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Holly, you are the best. And so is your timing. I was just surfing the web looking for a quilt/ bedspread to spruce up our bedroom. Could not find anything I especially liked. These look really great! I’m happy you are back to blogging after taking a month off. I missed you. I’ve been a follower of your blog for years without ever leaving a comment (not much of a writer). I feel a little guilty about that. I really want you to know that you are a huge inspiration to me. Not just because off all the inspiring and beautifull posts but also because of your energy and courage in taking up al sorts of endeavors. I wish you all the best!

  • Reply Melanie September 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Welcome back, Holly! I honestly can’t imagine not blogging for a month. I get up every day excited to do it and it would be so weird not to have that outlet. I haven’t had the blogging burnout that a lot of my friends have been going through this year, but maybe that’s just because I’m finally able to devote more time to it and work on ideas that I’ve been saving up for “when I have more time.”

    We’ve missed you! xo

  • Reply Pretty Dandy Homewares September 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    LOVE all of these quilts, so beautifully produced – just like your thoughts on blogging. Lovely read.

  • Reply fräuleinwunder September 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    i realy like the colors and the prints…and: the combination! ! it´s so inspiring- thx suse

  • Reply Elena September 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I absolutely love Kantha quilts, I must get one!
    India is such a great font of inspiration. It helped me a few years ago to turn my life around and when I came back I got pregnant, quit my far too demanding and stressful job working for a well known italian interior designer, create a blog and start working free-lance. Now I look myself in the mirror and I can see that I’m happy and in peace with myself, even if I don’t have a secure fat salary anymore.
    When you go to India don’t miss the amazing vintage shops in Uddaipur, Rajastan!

  • Reply Aleta September 25, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I LOVE these quilts, I own several and have given them as wedding and baby gifts too. You should check out the beautiful kantha quilts over at … it’s a nonprofit supporting women and girls who are at risk of being trafficked. Their quilts are beautiful!!

  • Reply Glennette Haynes October 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    OK, I so feel your pain, I am addicted to these cloths as I have 12 of them and still adding to my collection. I get them with the intention of passing them on to my clients but as of now I have NOT done such a thing…

  • Reply sungogle December 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Wow That is absolutely awesome….. It’s such a pretty Kantha work pattern!

  • Reply ipshita singh December 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Im a big fan of Vintage Kantha too so Im having a little market stall for these lovely throws and pillow covers. Find me in Old Spitalfeilds Market on 16th Dec, Sunday.

  • Reply Emma July 4, 2013 at 1:53 am

    FYI – here’s a New Zealand store stocking Kantha quilts and other amazing Kantha produsts:

  • Reply cynthia November 5, 2013 at 12:33 am

    lovely quilts!

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