Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Serendipity, and a Thanksgivvukah Quilt in a Day

A Thanksgivukkah* quilt in a day? If I can do it, you can too! But you have to take tomorrow off, no time to cook or travel, and you must have a large stash of Judaic fabric, plus one small fabric turkey.

I personally had no intention of making a Chanukah/Thanksgiving quilt, (crochet is enough) right up until two nights ago. That's when - rifling through a pile of fusible-backed scraps for a totally different project - I came across this eons-old cut-out, maybe 3" high.
He came from one of those tacky preprinted fabric panels that has all the pieces you need to cut out, stitch and stuff a toy. Specifically, this: 
A 100% vegetarian, fully stuffed turkey, about 14" high. Since assembling him two decades ago, we've displayed him at every Thanksgiving dinner - which wildly entertains the whole family (we're easily amused). 

So, when I came across the mini-version (which was an illustration from the directions) in my scrap box Sunday night, I realized that this week might be his last best chance to fulfill a truly remarkable destiny - to star in the rare, 1-in-77,000 years cosmic convergence of Chanukah with Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28, 2013. So, yesterday morning, I sprang into action.

It used to be difficult to find a Judaic fabric that didn't have blue-and-white dreidels and menorahs on it. So I have a lot.  The first thing I did was cut 7" x 40" strips from those fabrics. I stitched them together, from dark to light.
I also have a new, beautiful pile of  assorted 7" squares of Jewish holiday fabric - that I received  at the recent Pomegranate Guild conference. A stack was donated to all the attendees by the generous Lauree of www.1-800-dreidel.com, one of the world's best sources of Judaic novelty fabric.

So I added the 7" x 7" squares in descending value order, to the left of the bars. I fused the turkey to the topmost fabric (which is a subtle white-dreidels-on-white fabric - if you examine the first picture in this post you might be able to detect the design). 
I looked at what I'd stitched for a while, and then I had a hunch. Count the strips, the voice of serendipity whispered. Could it be? Yes it was! NINE strips! NINE!!!

Why the excitement? Nine of ANYTHING makes a menorah! That inspired me to add the yellow stripe, in gradations, moving to the darkest and richest color at the top. 
The yellow rectangles are candle flames! See, if you hang this thing sideways, it's a menorah! 
OMG! I'm going to play with that idea. I expect to get rich on it. (You're free to adapt the idea, of course.)

I cut 3 1/2" off the right edge, and brought it over to the left edge, hanging it from light to dark. So here's the finished product: 
I did a pillowcase finish, no batting - I'm thinking it's a tablecloth or a banner, but not a quilt.  

One more detail: I love this candle-box fabric. 

I put an all-Jewish holiday fabric on the back, so it can be used for other occasions.
Here's a closeup of the back. This is one of the best Judaic fabrics ever made! 
Underneath the turkey, I'm going to stencil or applique 'Thanksgivukkah 2013'.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, holiday season!

* I've been informed that Thanksgivukkah should have two "v"s and one "k". I did the opposite in the headline, but have corrected it throughout the article. (I can't change the headline for a while, or it will mess up people trying to find this page!)


  1. NICE, Cathy. I NEED the fabric you used for backing.Where can I find it? Been looking for years. Second hand would be great! It came in another colorway, also. I'm good for either or both. Elizabeth Janowitz

  2. I also would like to get the backing fabric. It is one I haven't seen.

  3. The fabric is long out of print, Judi! You might check with 1800dreidel.com to see if there's any left!


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