Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Lord!!

I'm not a particularly religious person but I'm a big fan of culture, tradition and community.
I think these are wonderful elements to incorporate into one's family life and for us, that means bringing our children up within the Jewish community.

We went away on a weekend retreat with our local synagogue community last year and I (perhaps stupidly) volunteered to run a "quilting workshop".

Well, that turned into a massively popular workshop where participants (young and old) used various materials to make blocks to be incorporated into a Bimah cover (and made by me).

I gave the theme "nature" so as to give some direction to those who would struggle with a totally open slate.

Materials / techniques used included:
  • Fabric markers
  • Applique using fusible webbing (and in some cases ... basic craft glue)
  • Machine piecing (some people learned to make pinwheels)
It was a challenge to bring more than 40 blocks together in some sort of harmonious way but I think I managed OK ...


The blocks became part of 4 panels hanging down from the table / Bimah with a plain fabric on the top so as not to distract from the reading of the Torah.

Here are some details of the many and varied blocks I had to work with:


When I said earlier that volunteering for this project may have been stupid, I don't think I really knew how much time and effort would go into putting it all together.

It has been such a challenge that it has sat untouched for months at a time in my WIP pile, as I have been too daunted to get stuck into it.

The final nudge came from a friend who's daughter is having her Bat-Mitzvah next week and asked if it could be ready for her ceremony. That was exactly the nudge I needed.

I think it will be well loved by the community.

Personally, I think it's wonderful but I'll be VERY glad to hand it over and not have to worry about it any more!!


Andi :-)

29 comments:

Leonie Guld said...

Its just FABULOUS!! I think you have done a magic job, one which everyone will enjoy for a long time. congratulations to you!! xx

noolygirl said...

absolutely gorgeous! the Bimah will be shining with pride! I love it!

Anonymous said...

it is wonderful Andi. It will be a very special to use it at my daughter's batmitzvah which is coming up. Remember the lovely time everyone had making the panels during our Warburton retreat last year. I asked you to come for a walk long after the end of the quilting session, when you had gone back to the sewing table ... and you told me that there was nothing you would rather be doing in life that what your were doing at that moment. I hope you continue to derive so much pleasure from your work. The community will enjoy using it.Thank you so much. Lauren L.

One Flew Over said...

Sensational Andi.

You and your family are so lucky to be part of wonderful traditions, community and culture.

I bet it will be treasured x

Tania said...

ARE YOU CRAZY WOMAN?! What am I saying? OF COURSE YOU ARE! But a grand job indeed. I reckon you should be glowing.

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

You are a very good girl!! And a super quilter!

trixi said...

What an incredible addition to your synagogue. How fornunate are the congregants that you put so much time into making this 'heirloom'.The authors of the 'Jewish Catalogue' would be cheering!

Marit said...

It looks wonderful, a true collaborate quilt. Love how you organized the 4 panels. Not an easy job - "sewing" it all together!

Deb said...

Oh my goodness Andi, you have done an amazing job. It is really a work of art... congratulations!

Barbara said...

That is absolutely magical in the artistic diversity of the various pieces - I love the hand-drawn yellow bird and Jerusalem -

the entire thing is magnificent and I hope that all of your work is appreciated by the congregation

Cindy said...

It is truly amazing and so generous of your time! Missed you tonight. Hope you are well and hope to see you next week
x

Leslie said...

this is quite impressive and gorgeous

two hippos said...

It's beautiful, and I love seeing quilted Judaica on blogs (such a rarity but such a treat).

audreypawdrey said...

This is beautiful! I know it was a lot of work, but you have created something that is gorgeous that will be treasured.

MichelleB said...

You did a wonderful job - but I can certainly see why it was a daunting task!

Kate said...

Oh my, it is soooo hard to try to bring together blocks like that, but you did an AMAZING job. It will be treasured for a very long time.

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

I understand your comment on culture, tradition and community. And even though my husband and I are not large fans of organised religion, we like the idea of giving our family a starting point from which to explore faith and spirituality. I find in my teaching that students without any cultural or religious upbringing find it difficult to explore these things.

Kate said...

Wow! I have been sitting here scrolling up and down the pictures for the last few minutes loking at all the blocks. You did the most fabulous job. What an increadible gift to your community. Truly inspiring. X

Gypsy said...

Wow it's amazing Andi! Great job!

Maree: said...

What a Wonderful Community Effort...all the Blocks look Fabulous and a Great Job done by You for putting it together...I'm sure it will be Treasured for a long time.
cheers

Annie said...

It's fabulous Andi - I've done similar ones at school and the kids love them. Well done for doing your bit for your community.

Adele said...

Andi, Well done for co-ordinating such a beautiful piece that was touched by so many hands. It was worth it!!

SweetPeaknits said...

Wow, thats amazing. Im sure it will be used for years and years. Well done.

ingrid said...

Wow is right! This is such an amazing piece with such wonderful meaning and stories behind it. Well done!

Corrie said...

beautiful! you are so generous to have completed it! I tend to keep quiet about my sewing skills especially after one of the old birds at church showed me the toys at the nativity scene and said I should make some for the church as the lady charges a fortune for them- yikes! saving myself for when they need sewers at school!

love it, the colours are so beautiful!

Corrie:)

Corrie said...

beautiful! you are so generous to have completed it! I just love it, the colours are so beautiful and vibrant!

I tend to keep quiet about my sewing skills especially after one of the old dears at church showed me the toys at the nativity scene and said I should make some for the church as the lady charges a fortune for them- yikes! saving myself for when they need sewers at school!

Corrie:)

Miri said...

Beautiful! It is so cheery and simply wonderful! What a fantastic change from the usual commercially embroidered covers.

Blueberry Park said...

Mazeltov on your daughter's Bat Mitzvah nextw eek, Andi. Hope you all have a wonderful time.

Your shul's Bimah cover is incredible. Congratulations on bringing it all together so beautifully and hopefully you will all derive so much pleasure from having it in shul. But please don't tell my synagogue over here that it's a possibility...xx

Cheryl Arkison said...

That looks gorgeous! You msut have the prettiest synagogue around.