Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Fire Within

This is a quilt that has been years in the making. The design started with an idea to make a magen david out of a single Judaica fabric. I intended to cut all the yardage into triangles, sewing them back together into a mostly white quilt which would morph elegantly in and out of a central magen david.

When I started arranging the triangles on my design wall the effect I had been after eluded me. From a single fabric quilt it ended up including triangles from many, many green, indigo red and orange batiks.

As I worked on it I visualized it hanging in the sanctuary of our synagogue.  I chose the name "The Fire Within" from the many wonderful suggestions I received.

Sandy Lindal did a spectacular job of quilting it but I still had to figure out how to make it rigid enough to hang. I also wanted to make it light to transport and simple to take down and store. I kept dreaming about a plastic hexagonal "chupchik" from which dowels would radiate outwards.

While the quilt languished in my UFO cupboard I wondered what material the dowels would be made of.  I wondered how to custom order the "chupchik".  I contacted a very kind and patient kite expert who pointed me in the direction of bamboo stakes from Chinatown. All of a sudden I realized that a better way to have the points remain rigid was to have the poles cross in the middle like a star.

I sewed a triangular pocket onto each point and three years after starting to sew all those triangles together the quilt was finally ready to bind. Each pole slips into one large pocket first and then is bent slightly to fit into the small pocket on the opposite point. It has been recommended to me that I tie the poles together in the middle. As my congregation meets in a church sanctuary because we don't have a permanent home I prefer to leave it loose to make it easier to take apart for storage and put back together to display.

Now that it is done it bounces from room to room in my house while I wait to find out if it will have a permanent home with the congregation. It is too big for one room and too brightly coloured for another.

My sweet son is not sure that he can bear to just see it when we go to shul and thinks that he'd like to keep it for himself. It's light enough to suspend over his bed like a chuppah.  Like a star.


the cape on the corner said...

love that, it's beautiful and so colorful!

Carolyn Dube said...

What a beautiful quilt-how generous of you to share it & no wonder he wants to keep it!

Tamar said...

beautiful quilt,I love the colors.

Judy said...

That's very inspiring Mitzi!

Cheryl said...

This is a beautiful piece with such meaning and what a clever solution for hanging it.