...to a simple background white background with the stripe and lining fabric selected by the client:
...to a more intricate cutout - this one's made from six shades of hand-dyed cotton....
...and this one's in dupioni silk...
...to something really complex involving photographs and piecing, like this tallit for my son, with NASA space photography...
...and this one for another young man, a Beatles and rock guitarist, modeled by my DD...whole story).
I've made so many tallitot (the plural), that you can imagine how excited I was to get an assignment from a different religion!
My friend Marian Sunabe attends the historic Evergreen Baptist Church in Los Angeles, founded by the Japanese-American community in 1925. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, a notice of eviction was posted by the government on the church's door - and many of their members were shipped to internment camps in remote, harsh locations. Sensitivity to this shameful episode made this church outspoken during the Civil Rights era and to this day, as it serves a diverse Asian-American community.
A happy occasion was coming up this summer: installation of their new pastor Jason, a delightful person, who is also one of my Artist Trading Card swap partners. (He made me a lovely woodburned tree ATC a couple of years ago, here.)
Marian asked me if I would help her make what she called a "stole" - a word I always associated with last-century mink neck wraps worn by my elderly relatives! But as it turned out, a stole is just a variation of a tallit!
The downside was that they needed it soon, I was about to go on vacation. I would be returning home on Friday, and the installation was Sunday. Marian was rightfully anxious, but I wasn't - barring flight delays, and with a little preparation, I knew that we could churn it out in an afternoon.
Jason wanted historic photos on his tallit, er, stole, and I was out of pretreated photo fabric sheets (my favorites are favorite EQ Printables Cotton Satin sheets), so I asked Marian to buy a bunch. I was expecting her to come back with a pack of flat sheets, but she bought this:
The stole would need to be 92" long - far longer than my longest tallit (they usually run about 70") - and merely 5" wide - way narrower than any tallit I'd ever made. So I sized the photos to 4.75" square (to fit two on a page), and printed them onto the fabric sheets. Here are some of the historic images Jason wanted on the scarf. First, the civil order removing Japanese Americans from their homes.
Next, a harrowing image of the Japanese community lining up for trains to the camps, an image which resonates so deeply with me as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor,
This picture of Sunday School at an internment camp,photo:
I arranged the photos two to a page in my graphic design program (CorelDraw, but you could do it in Word), and then printed them out onto the Blumenthal sheets, before I left on vacation. Marian also brought over a stack of glorious Japanese fabrics - most from vintage kimono - that one of the congregants donated to the project. OMG I was in love. We made a tentative plan.
Marian came up with the color scheme, dark navy with shots of burgundy-reddish-purple - so elegant in subdued, spectacular Japanese prints and wovens.
It probably took us about 4 hours. Once the top strip was stitched together, we pinned it right sides together against the backing, sewed all the way around with a quarter-inch seam allowance, leaving a turning hole of 5" along one edge.
Then we turned the whole thing to the right side, pressed it, and did a topstitch all the way around the edges. The sun was still up when Marian modeled the results.
She sent me pictures from the installation ceremony the next day:
What could be sweeter?
Good heavens, I love my life!