From Quilts to Kanthas
My Favorite Obsession
I have always loved quilts…it’s part of my adult DNA. When I was a young mom, I learned to make them for my “babies” and give as gifts. This lead to me launching my first business (BH, Before Hammertown), Patchworks by Joan in the mid 1970’s. I pieced and quilted baby bibs, purses, pillows and bedding which I sold to specialty stores and I also made the rounds to craft fairs. It was my very first entrepreneurial venture and I was hooked!
In the beginning, I collected American quilts and textiles. These pieces represented comfort, love and home. Each square design had history and meaning and was hand-stitched by someone with care and love. While my American collection remains, over time Indian Kantha quilts have become my favorite.
As any visitor to our stores can attest, these textiles have become staple pieces in any Hammertown interior. I love them on beds, made into pillows or used to upholster furniture. But honestly, in their basic true form, they are the best. Thrown over the back of a sofa or end of a bed, one Kantha can make the entire interior sing.
I started collecting Kanthas over 18 years ago when I was going through a difficult time in my life and they are held near and dear to my heart. Kanthas originate from Bangladesh and the eastern states of India where women stitch layer upon layer of old saris and cloth scraps to create the throws used in blankets and cushions. I have spent hours combing through piles of these lovely textiles when buying at trade shows and have developed wonderful relationships with the vendors who supply them.
My daughter and I have bonded over these sessions. We’ve created some lovely shared memories finding just the right Kanthas to bring back to our stores. That’s not to say that I don’t become attached to them — the ones I find really special become “keepers” and I love giving them as gifts as well. Each quilt tells a different story, and now they have become part of my own life’s patchwork. Nugget of happiness to be sure!
Hammertown has a great collection of Kanthas at all stores. We look forward to a time when you can come and explore for yourselves and start creating your own special memories.
Please email us for any details on current stock. We are working mostly away from our stores now right now and in the process of getting them up online soon, so stay tuned!
Hope to see you all safely again soon!