>> Monday, May 10, 2010
About a week and a half ago, the "intentionally dedicate my time to something else" won out over writing my last-ever class paper. It was a Thursday night and I was having people over for Shabbat dinner on Friday. After making challah and soup, I sat down to write....and found myself trolling the internet. I stopped and realized I wanted a new challah cover, a more spring/summery one. And so I decided to make myself one. Three and a half hours later I ended up with a fun sherberty-orange zig-zaggy challah cover.
Inspired by all sorts of zig-zag quilts I saw on flickr (e.g., here, here, and here), I knew I wanted to do a few things: use vertical zig-zags, use three fabrics similar in hue but different in design (Amy Butler's Lotus dots, Sandi Henderson's Darmer's Market Peach Medallion Bloom, and a Michael Miller trellis print), place the orange zig-zags next to one another, and have a fair amount of negative space. Originally I wasn't sure about the size, so I started by making the half-square triangles (HST) with the white solid and Lotus dots and then decided how many I liked. From there, I made the rest of the HSTs and laid out the full design. I tried to be very deliberate in creating piles and keeping the correct pairs together but the seam ripper was called into service when I sewed a right side of fabric to a wrong side of fabric in one set of HSTs.
I could tell you that in terms of making the challah cover, I was working symbolically: I used three orange fabrics for the three orange zig-zags and, in Hebrew, shabbat has three letters. If oriented in one way, the zig-zags move left to right, as Hebrew does, into the larger negative space. However, I just thought of all that now. However, I was purposeful in other ways: I quilted the zig-zags and followed the patter (imperfectly) into the negative space. Moreover, I deliberately chose a bright green binding (brighter in person, than in the image; the fabric is from Erin McMorris' Wildwood collection). I think one of the ways in which my quilting design has grown significantly over the past year is in making color choices that allow the quilt to zing or pop or choose your favorite onomatopoeia verb. In the past I probably would have opted for a safe choice -- one of the oranges; it would have been fine, but just fine. I think the green really elevates this challah cover in ways an orange binding would not.
And the back: some more fun orange (Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market Petal Party). I used this challah cover last week, and it was well-received by my guests. I may be making some more similar ones in the future. If you'd like to get in line and order one, be in touch!