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Posts from the ‘fabric’ Category

The Kantha – an education

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You ever heard of a kantha quilt? Yeah, a year ago we hadn’t either. Oh, we had seen them; we just didn’t know what to call them. Let’s break the phrase up for analysis.  Kantha refers to a type of embroidery, a simple primitive stitch–most frequently a long running stitch. And quilt, well, I guess not much analysis is needed on that subject.  So a Kantha quilt is a quilt made using this kantha stitching, capeesh??

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Kantha embroidery is used to bind colorful cottons in every pattern or hue you can imagine. What do you do with one of these things? Kantha quilts are used–by us, anyway–for throws or coverlets, and pillow covers. A few months ago, we covered a wall in them. Who knows what we will come up with next? As for you, we completely trust your creativity in purposing or repurposing these quilts.

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Here, in the US, the quilts are beginning to pop up here and there. And one of those here’s is here at Simple Things. We have sort of fallen in love with these things. We love the texture, the color, the size, the way they can add a strong and fresh dose of color to a room. We love them so much, we really stocked up. You know how we love a collection. And just one, or two, or fifty of something is sometimes not enough to suffice. And so, of course, we brought home 340. Did you get that – 340?? Do you have any idea what that looks like? Well, it’s a lot. We are guessing that we have the biggest selection of kantha quilts in the country and maybe even further–there is no research data to confirm this, but we defy you to find a larger stash.

Here are approximately 20 kantha quilts that our lovely assistant is holding. The stack is in the neighborhood of 36″. So mathematically (and with math help from a recent high school graduate), our stack of kanthas would be 51 feet high! That’s like a building – a 4-ish story building. That wouldn’t fit in our clerestory. Somebody call the Guinness book.

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What relevance does the size of this gargantuan pile mean for you? Glad you asked – This means we have the exact color you are looking for, because honestly, we have every color in the rainbow. Every single one. Really.

And here’s the really cool thing about OUR kantha quilts. We pre-washed every single one. That’s right. We laundered all 340. So when you come pick yours out, it will be clean and soft and perfect.

And one more note. We have been displaying them for the last week or so, and they are trickling out of here. When you swing by to pick yours up, ask to see them…although, you might find them with very little assistance, since you literally run into them as soon as you walk in the door, neatly contained in the biggest armoire you have ever seen.

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*This photograph contains a part of our inventory. A part. Seriously, we have a lot.

Just in – Pillows

So, a guy came to our store a couple of days ago – a California guy, no less. He came to show us some of his pillows – turns out, his super cool California pillows. We were completely blown away. So as of today, we are fully stocked up.

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These pillows are made from amazing fabrics – some vintage, some hand-dyed. They are super-soft washed linens and cottons. Some great detailing too – patched, pieced and embroidered. Here a sampling of what you’ll find.

We love finding items to sell in our store that are made by craftsmen. Unique pieces that are beautifully made by someone who loves what they do. These pillows fit the bill – and have made themselves right at home at Simple Things. We are in love.

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New Season – New Fabrics

Every few months we take on the task of ordering a new crop of furniture for the store. It involves us all gathering around the long table by the fabric racks – you know, the 13′ foot table that looks like the dining table in the servants hall at Downton Abbey.

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We start out putting the catalogs out to see our frame choices, we start pulling fabrics and tossing them in a pile. We want a mix of frames – different arms, traditional and modern, formal and casual. We need a selection of fabrics – solids, neutrals, and prints, in linen, cotton, velvet, blends. We toss in a leather or two. we try to get a mix of slipcovers and tight upholstery. It doesn’t end there either. we have to decide about the stain color of any exposed wood. Do we want piping or no piping? How about topstitching – what color? what size thread? We choose nailhead for a few pieces – and there are choices there too – we have to choose color and size. 

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It sounds like fun, right? …..It’s not. Let’s just say we have a lot of personalities that work here, each with their own opinion…..about everything. It can be a volatile combo. it can get ugly. If you come to the table, you come with a tough skin ready to defend your choices. It’s not unlike The Hunger Games.

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In the end though, we are left with a nice stack of fabrics and a full order. Then begins the self-congratulations. And finally the worst part – waiting for it to arrive.

Here’s what we finally came up with this time :

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Why do we torture ourselves in this way you may ask? Well, as trite as it may sound, it’s for you – when you come into our store, we want you to be able to see examples of all these choices and options. We want you to be able to try out chairs, cushion types, tight backs and down cushions. We want you to see frames with solids, stripes, ikats, etc. We want you to see a rumpled washed slipcover and a tight formal velvet. We want to educate you and help you make choices for your home, your space.

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