Nakshi Kantha

On a visit to Cardiff M.A.D.E. the owner Zoe showed me a part worked quilt and invited me along to the communal stitching of it. On Saturday afternoons the quilt is brought out along with the threads, very long needles and scissors and people can stitch as much or as little as they like.

I learnt that this is a long term project; it took months to draw the traditional Bangladeshi designs onto the plain white fabric. There are three layers in total, in the past old saris would have been used for the middle layer – a great way to recycle textiles. The colours of the thread also seem to have been handed down from generation to generation. But even in Bangladesh a quilt would have taken months, if not years to complete as it was worked during the odd spare minutes the women had between their day-to-day work.

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I enjoyed my time so much as the afternoon proved to be a relaxing one – a chance to dip into and out of conversations with the other stitchers, a great way to connect with the tradition of communal quilt making which can be found in most places around the world.

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