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The Kantha – an education


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??


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.


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.


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.


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

A Bedding Refill

So, Caroline is our bedding expert. She orders it, opens the boxes, checks it in, stocks the shelves, makes the beds….. well, you get it. Periodically we need a major refill of our bedding. It dwindles down to a low level, and we place an order, and weeks later it arrives. It is truly an exciting day for us…what that says about us, I’ll let you be the judge. Okay, I’ll say it – We are total furnishings geeks.

Since we find this day so exciting, we thought maybe we’d share with you – a day in the life of a bunch of hopeless fabric nerds.

First, the boxes come. This time the order consisted of several cases. Of course, we just want to rip the boxes open and dig through them and ooh and aah over colors and fabrics, but oh no, that’s not the protocol. And there is definitely a protocol. I won’t bore you with that. Except the opening of the boxes :


Here’s Caroline working her way through the boxes :


Then after a lengthy process of checking a list and marking stuff down, blah, blah, blah… comes the tagging. We don’t just stick a tag on anything here at simple things. Tags are little works of art – please take note next time you’re in. The bedding tags are tea-stained, stamped, written on and attached with satin ribbon.


Then comes the fun part – filling the shelves. It’s very exciting to see well stocked shelves. It’s all organized by color, but the textures are all jumbled together, making for an artful display.

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I guess we should tell you a little bit about Bella Notte. For those of you not in the know, Bella Notte is a bedding company that we have carried for the last 11 years. They make what we would describe as elegantly faded, vintage washed, highly textural, beautifully colored, basically perfect bedding – sheets, shams, duvet covers, bedspreads, bed skirts, throw pillows and throw blankets in satin, cotton, linen, velvet, and lace.

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Bella Notte are masters of mixing textures to make a beautiful bed. And then we have Caroline to knock it out of the park with her artfully made displays. Check them out on instagram – her beds continually get the most likes.


So, finally I get to the point – if you need bedding, now’s a great time to come in. You can walk right in and have your pick of a great selection of bits and pieces…. or call and make an appointment with our bedding guru, Caroline – she will make up a beautiful bed just for you right before your eyes.

And, just in case you need one, we can order you a new bed – iron, upholstered, slipcovered… but that’s a whole other post.

What’s new?

IMG_0407 - Version 2

Usually we like to share new items and cool stuff by Facebook and instagram (why yes, we do use instagram – you should absolutely follow us). But we decided this recent collection was blog-worthy – it’s just that cool.

These are all items that were gathered up on a recent buying trip. They are vastly different in their textures but all have a wonderful organic quality – low metal benches, teak root balls, wood blocks. The table in the photo is a long pine coffee table – 112″ long to be exact. There’s also a great french chair upholstered in patchwork vintage ticking, and some fantastic chandeliers in a primitive metal. The photo only shows a few of the items – you’ll have to drop in and see the tree root bench and tree stump tables and a few other goodies. Who knows, you might come away with a Christmas gift or two.