Sunday, May 10, 2015

Recently Remembered Quilt: Running Around Like Cubic Chickens

You know those famous newsmen who got into trouble recently for claiming they were in combat, when they actually weren't?

Well, I sympathize, because I thought I was selling this quilt as a pattern, and just discovered that I'm not: 
 I made this quilt  around 2003, using mostly batik fabrics, paper foundation piecing, and bleach discharge. The words read "Shabbat Shalom." meaning a peaceful Sabbath.

Poetic Rabbi Abraham Joshu Heschel explained: "Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul….Six days a week we seek to dominate the world; on the seventh we try to dominate the self."

From the sublime to the ridiculous, I interpreted it visually this way: Six days a week we run back and forth, from right to left, like abstract rectangular cubic chickens. On the seventh, as the sun  sets, we  stop, take a deep breath, and look at a candle flame and think deeper.

The blocks are all paper foundation pieced. For the lettering, I cut Hebrew letters from freezer paper, and ironed them to a black fabric strip. Then I painted the strip with dishwasher gel. (These days, you're better off using Decoulerant - much less toxic). In five minute increments, I washed more and more of the gel off the strip. Yes, it was a mess! But it worked, with a nice gradated result.

I liked this quilt so much that I drafted an 8-page single spaced pattern for this quilt. I churned out 10 dense, single-spaced pages of directions, including this map:
And paper-piecing patterns for the blocks: 
A wonderful quilter named Joan Garland of Georgia, even tested it for me! 
She found some errors, which I am pretty sure I corrected. Thank you Joan!

I hadn't thought much about this quilt for a long time, but quite by accident this week, I came across photos. My first thought was, "Didn't I make a pattern from this quilt?" My second thought was, "I don't think it's been selling very well." So I checked my my pattern page to see if it's for sale - but it wasn't! Hmmm, that probably explains why sales have been so slow. 

A dozen years later, I know I will never wring profit from this pattern. So I think I'll donate it to the archives of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework (pomegranateguild.org. Unpaid endorsement!)  But in order to do that, it needs many hours of fixing up. Are enough people interested? Is it worth my time?

11 comments:

  1. wonderful article article Cathy And thanks so much for posting a photo of me and your wonderful Shabbat Shalom Wall Hanging. It certainly was a huge challenge for me at the time. I gave that wall hanging to a Rabbi here in Atlanta. I think you should sell the pattern, it's a beautiful work of art. Joan

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    1. Joan, thank you so much for braving those incredibly dense directions!!! You did a great job, and I am sure the giftee appreciates all of our mutual hard work that went into it! Hugs!

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  2. If it is a passion project for you, then it is worth it.

    Hugs,
    Kay

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    1. It is indeed a passion project, Kay! I'm starting to fix it up....wow, was I verbose!

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  3. Cathy -- As usual, it is fabulous. Don't know if I'd ever make it, but I would buy it. Too big for a challah cover, but truly beautiful. Sure, put it out there!
    Marla

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  4. Thanks for your thoughts and your vote, Marla. Yes, it's way too big for a challah cover (except maybe at large wedding/bar mitzvah?)

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  5. Catherine RosingMay 11, 2015 at 6:23 AM

    Love this pattern!! I am curious though, why not six lines which lead to Shabbat? I live in the metro Atlanta area and would love to know which Rabbi was the lucky recipient of the quilt!

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  6. Catherine, it is six rows of regular cubes that lead to the special seventh. Unless I messed up? Which is possible?!

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  7. I think the quilt is lovely and would consider the pattern . Love the story behind it

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    1. Marsha, thanks for your vote! I'll let you know when the pattern is ready.

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    2. Marsha, email me if you're interested in a copy of the pattern.

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