Anna Grossnickle Hines                                                                                   Home    Guide
Creating the
Hanukkah Quilt

Strip piecing was the first thing that came to mind for the eight candles in the menorah. I liked the idea of incorporating the Star of David into the design, too, and although I felt this double star was attractive, I had no idea how I would manage to do it with strip piecing.


All images and text © Anna Grossnickle Hines 2005

A border and some brighter colors liven the design up a bit, but it still lacks something.

I try moving the Star of David to the poem page and using a simple shape for the menorah.

I searched the web and tried a number of shapes for the menorah. This one, in gold, is better.

My editor is concerned that even with the dark Star of David worked into the background the poem side is still too plain. Maybe I can put the shamash, or helper candle, over there.

Still not right. Try again....

I put the shamash back where it belongs, come up with an interesting but simple menorah, vary the colors of the candles to liven them up a bit, and add a driedl in the lower corner. Enough to suggest some fun and make a more interesting design.

With the design finished, I add a layer in PhotoShop and trace the lines in red.

I "hide" the background, add some color to the guide me as I make the menorah, candles, and flames, and print out these two sections of the pattern. After measuring and drawing lines every half inch on my flannel batting, I trace the lines for these design elements in their places. I trace all these lines onto freezer paper to use in making my strips.

I baste my batting on which I have drawn the lines, onto to my backing fabric. Using paper-piecing I sew each strip, trim it to 1/4 inch seam allowances, and sew it onto the quilt, through the batting and backing, as I had done for my Lucia and Nian and Aurora quilts. By this time I had figured out all the tricks and gotten pretty good at keeping everything straight and in place.

Isn't it nice how much life and richness fabrics add to a simple design? I enjoyed working with all these beautiful blues. I did make a mistake in this quilt, though. I was so used to reversing my pattern to draw it on the back of muslin backing as I'd done for the WHISTLING quilts, that I reversed this pattern, even though I was drawing it on the front side of the batting. Luckily, it makes no difference for this design.

The final step was to embroider the Hebrew symbol on the driedl. I chose to do "gimel". In the game, the one who spins this symbol gets to "take all" the goodies in the pot.

On to quilt number ten, Kwanzaa.

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