Family challah cover
Posted 12 June, 2013on:
Feel the urge to sew something useful and maybe a little bit fancy, but don’t think you have the stamina for a quilt? Think challah cover! Big enough to look impressive, small enough to finish in a relatively short space of time.
Our first challah cover was a wedding gift and has already given us 15 years good service, but we felt like a change. I made a new challah cover for Chanukah last year but I wanted a design which would be suitable for use year-round. Then an idea coalesced after I read a post on Sweet and Crunchy in which she made a mini-quilt featuring the outlines of her childrens’ hands.
I thought it would be lovely to capture an image of my daughter’s childsize hand next to those of her parents. Even when she grows up and leaves home, we can still have her with us on Shabbat. I was also reminded of a custom of our synagogue – when they say the blessing over the challah, everyone reaches out to touch the arm or shoulder of the person next to them, forming branching chains that reach towards the person in the centre who is holding the tray with the challah on it. If we have visitors who don’t know this custom, someone will usually call out “Everyone’s touching someone who’s touching the challah!”
So we traced around our hands (my husband and I are right-handed, our daughter is a “lefty”) and transferred the images to fabric in our favourite colours. I blanket stitched around each hand. In retrospect it might have been better if the arms went to the edge of the cover rather than looking like disembodied glovesl but I was making the pattern up as I went, and didn’t think of that until later.
Then I made some bias binding out of the three fabrics to use as a border, and stitched a gold ribbon into the seams when I put on the backing.
And here we are: everyone’s touching the challah cover that’s touching the challah.