Wednesday, 31 October 2007
FINALLY-----I can now unveil my 2007 journal quilt. The mandatory size was 17" X 22" and it had to include at least three techniques from the book Creative Quilting. Mine includes hand beading, hand and machine applique, machine embroidery, couching, needle felting, photo transfer onto sheer, fused sheer fabric, painted fabric, and a few other things.
This is my write-up on it:
The Three Mitzvot of Jewish Women
Creative Quilting techniques used: photo transfer on sheer fabric (p. 198); wool roving (p. 86); beading (p.216)
My participation in the journal quilt projects for the last four years has enabled me to grow as an artist. By working in a small format, I was less fearful about using “good” fabric and I became more willing to experiment with different techniques.
This year I chose to illustrate the three mitzvoth (commandments) which have been entrusted to Jewish women as a vehicle to create three vignettes using different techniques and to help teach others about a few Jewish customs. The three mitzvot entrusted to women are Challah (the making of bread and the separation and burning of a small piece of the dough to remind us of the offerings in the Temple), Nidah (the laws of family purity including the use of the Mikveh—a ritual bath whose design has not changed since Old Testament times), and Hadleek (the lighting and blessing of candles on Friday nights and Jewish festivals.) The acronym for these is Chanah----the name of a pious woman who prayed fervently until she bore Samuel.
Hadleek is illustrated with candles with beaded flames---as the lit candles become the centerpiece for Sabbath and holiday dinners, and a Kiddush cup to hold wine which is blessed before the meal. Mikveh’s are used after nightfall at a prescribed time during a woman’s menstrual cycle as part of the laws of family purity. They are also used by both men and women as part of conversion to Judaism, and at other times to indicate a change of state from “impure” to “pure.” A woman using it for family purity spends a long time preparing for the immersion, then emerges “like a bride” to re-unite with her husband during the rest of the month. The photograph taken by Lloyd Wolf, author of Jewish Mothers and Jewish Fathers is used with the author’s permission.
On Friday nights and Festivals Jewish dinner tables are adorned with two loaves of Challah, braided bread. Two loaves are used to represent the double portion of manna received on those days. Wool roving was braided and felted to represent the bread, and the portion burnt as “Challah” is represented by the ball and flames.