In Hali, curator Darielle Mason explains that planning and stitching a traditional kantha (an embroidered Indian quilt made from the remnants of old clothes) took months if not a year and the designs were typically composed by one embroiderer. That's where the intrigue comes in. Although classic regional motifs such as the lotus roundel or fruit-and-flower-laden trees are omnipresent in old kanthas, embroiderers were also able to uses stitching as a form of self-expression. So, basically women were sharing stories, or something about their inner world, through their designs.
Update: Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris will now remain on view through May 2 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.