Glorious Kantha

The third and final post in our series featuring the work of The Kaffe Collective highlights the practice of Kantha style stitching. Kantha is a type of embroidery that originated centuries ago in the eastern regions of India. Traditional Kantha involves the use of a running stitch across the full width of the quilt. It is a basic hand stitching technique that is perfect for both beginner and expert quilters and produces a highly artistic result. (video via QuiltMania)

Kantha is one of Kaffe Fassett’s go-to quilting techniques and he collaborates with designer Liza Lucy on many a quilt. They’ve been working with Aurifil 12wt, in a wide range of rich and bold colors and it’s been a delight to watch the progress. For this collection, they selected 20 colors to coordinate with the bold colors in the fabrics of The Kaffe Collective, all available on small spools. The collection is truly a must-have for anyone interested in hand-quilting with Kaffe’s fabrics.

Most recently, Kaffe pulled a stunning green (#2892) from the Glorious Kantha collection for some stitching on a quilt in progress.

Liza worked up a stunning scarf that was on display at our booth at our Fall Quilt Market launch last Fall and is featured in the label art for the collection. We just love how the stitches both complement and highlight the patterns in the fabric.

We featured an introductory interview in our first post. To check that out, head here.

Glorious Kantha features 12wt threads for handstitching. What is it that you love most about the process of hand stitching and do you have any tips for those just getting started?
Kaffe here: If I do hand quilting, I like the thread to show – it’s half the effect. That textured veil over your quilt.These good strong colours work well for this effect.

Liza here:  For the past for years I have become more and more interested in doing “slow stitching” for effect. Kantha, the Indian traditional running stitch style of quilting, really appeals to me. I like its imperfection and simplicity. The Aurifil 12wt is perfect for doing this kind of primitive quilting. It is thin enough to pull through a quilt “sandwich” and thick enough to be an embellishment that is easily seen. I have tried all kinds of needles and have settled on size 24 Chenille as the one to use for Kantha style stitching using this thread. I don’t like using a thimble and that needle is long and thick enough to manage without one. I like to use a homespun or handwoven fabric like our Indian Shot Cotton or Woven Stripes as the backing. The looser weave works well with the thicker thread. For the whole cloth baby quilt I did using the 12 weight, I used a thin cotton batting. For the scarves and shawls I have been doing I haven’t used batting. No hoop or frame is necessary.

It has been an absolute delight to share these three collections with you over the past few weeks and we hope that you’re as excited about them as we are. Check in with your favorite local quilt shop to grab your Aurifil thread collections + Free Spirit fabrics.

THANK YOU to Kaffe Fassett, Liza Lucy, and Kim McLean for sharing some of their inspirations! <3 Stay tuned for exclusive projects from both Liza & Kim over the next few months!


To enter-to-win one of THREE Kaffe Collective Prize Packages, click here or on the image above to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, February 17! Three winners (receiving one thread collection each) will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, February 18. Good luck!

Kaffe Fassett & Liza Lucy
The Kaffe Collective

100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools
1104 – 2588 – 2520 – 5005 – 2135 – 2860 – 1231 – 2725 – 6736 – 2610 – 5021 – 2600

Glorious Kantha
100% Aurifil 12wt, 20 Small Spools
2260 – 2395 – 1104 – 2235 – 2145 – 2120 – 5022 – 2479 – 2530 – 4020
2892 – 4093 – 2860 – 1231 – 2535 – 2520 – 2805 – 1320 – 2725 – 2780

Liza Lucy & Kim McLean
Glorious Handwork
100% Aurifil 80wt, 20 Small Spools
4241 – 2026 – 2315 – 2340 – 2360 – 2615 – 2610 – 5004 – 2783 – 2725
2805 – 2810 – 2890 – 1231 – 5022 – 1135 – 1154 – 2479 – 2260 – 1243

To view these collections on our website, click on the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.


Kaffe Fassett has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to the world of Knitting, Needlepoint and Patchwork, promoting these crafts through his own work and encouraging others to find their own creativity. He has produced over 30 publications from ‘how to books’ to colour in design, and also tours internationally giving workshops, lectures and museum exhibitions. [For a full bio, please visit Kaffe’s website here]


CreativeBug produced a gorgeous video all about the amazing Liza Lucy. We felt it made sense to let her tell her story in her own words.

Click HERE to read a wonderful article about Kaffe & Liza via Quiltworks Today.

**Images & text courtesy of Kaffe Fassett, Liza Lucy, and The Kaffe Collective (thank you, Rosie!)
** Liza Lucy bio video by CreativeBug


  1. I have begin to experiment with bolder hand quilting, so thank you for this just now. Heading to the store to try 12 wt cotton!

  2. With all due respect, may I ask why Liza Lucy says she uses a #8 perle cotton for her Kantha work that does not appear to be Aurifil? She takes out a spool from her bag that looks like a brand other than Aurifil. Just wondering.

  3. I really love all the colors in these collections: Especially the Kantha collection! I am starting to do more hand embroidery & quilting and I find the Aurifil 12 wt and floss ideal for both

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