Saturday, September 29, 2018

CRCNA Quilt Block

I was just finishing a quilt this week--yes I was sewing the binding to the back by hand--when I got an email from one of the ministry directors of my church. She had attached a request for quilt blocks for a group quilt for one of our denominational offices. A block request? Oh, yes. That squirrel got me to chase it right then and there.

I belong to a rather small protestant denomination called the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA, for short).  As a binational denomination, it comprises about 1000 congregations in the US and Canada and has denominational offices in both countries. This year, the Canadian office in Burlington, Ontario, has been undergoing a renovation, and the staff is now collecting artwork for the decor. One piece of art they would like to display is a quilt made by members of the domination to reflect the diversity and breadth of membership and symbolize a "welcoming embrace" to all who worship.

The requested block is a simple one--a log cabin with a large, rich purple center (centre, in Canada, eh?) square to represent Christ the King as the center of hearts, homes and churches. The rest of the block is up to the maker, with four light and four dark logs. 

Here is my completed block. 

Picking out the purple square was easy for me, as I don't have many fabrics of that color to pick from. I chose Marbella Purple from the Wanderlust Collection by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex. (I had won this in a giveaway awhile back. Thanks, Sandra!) At first I was going to use other gorgeous fabrics from this line because they are all so pretty together, but then I slowed down to become more intentional about what colors I wanted to use. I thought about what colors were meaningful to my congregation, and decided to focus primarily on the liturgical colors we use to celebrate the different seasons of the church year. These colors also appear in a set of five stained glass windows our church commissioned a few years ago. (You can see the windows here at Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc if you'd like.) The colors also appear in various shades in the ministry logos on our church bulletin and other printed materials. 

I auditioned a lot of different fabrics to get the mix I wanted, and in a short time, my work space went from this:
to this: 

Squirrels are messy!!

I'd like to say this took no time at all. After all, it is just a log cabin block. But in truth, it took me the better part of an afternoon and evening, auditioning fabrics and then making sure my block was square, precise, and (always an issue when I'm sending a block to someone else) neat on the back as I sewed. 

My favorite part of the block is the little butterfly in the middle of the top log. I found it as I was searching through pale blue scraps, and it immediately reminded me of the year our sanctuary was decorated with ethereal butterflies for Easter as a symbol of resurrection and transformation. 

I hope this block uniquely represents my congregation as part of the denominational quilt. A quilter in Edmonton, Alberta, will be making the quilt from the diverse blocks. I hope she receives lots of blocks from across the two countries. (And hey, if you are a quilter and happen to attend one of the CRCNA churches, I hope you are participating.) I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of the whole quilt when it's finished. 

I'm linking up with Sandra at mmm! quilts today for her DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it) linky party because this certainly was an insistent little squirrel. I'm glad I chased it. 
And I do have a finish this week (nearly 3 years from the beginning!), but I'll save it to share next week. 

Have a good weekend! (And watch out for squirrels.)


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Squirrels are definitely messy, but a neat reason for one! I'm glad it was so meaningful for you to make this block!

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

A lovely block, with great sentiments. Squirrels can be so much fun!

Linda said...

Your block is so meaningful and beautiful! It is so interesting to read about your denomination and the special meaning to your particular congregation. Be sure and post a photo of the finished quilt!
It would have taken me a long time to complete a block because I am the same as you about making sure a block is neat and "clean" when I'm giving it away. ;)

Bernie Kringel said...

Hmmm, I was wondering about those photos when you posted on IG earlier. The block is beautiful and the sentiment with it makes it so very special. Your ability to slow your process down to really contemplate the meaning and intention you want to put into it shows in your work. I love the use of the liturgical colors and the reasoning behind including the butterfly. It is so meaningful to you and even if those looking at the quilt as a whole don't ever know what you based your block on, it makes the quilt that much more special.

PaulaB quilts said...

The fabrics you chose are very rich, like Christ the King. In your other pale strip there seem to be plants with seeds, symbolizing sowing the seeds of the Gospel. When my daughter was just three (now fifty three) we sent her to the local Christian Reformed Church for vacation bible school. When they gave a final presentation she stood there singing and it still moves me to tears. That was the beginning of her Christian experience.

Kathleen said...

Nice job chasing that squirrel! The block is beautiful and I think well represents what you intended.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

These colors work pretty well all together, lovely block!

KaHolly said...

It’s a lovely block! The church will be very pleased. Do hope you’ll show the whole quilt upon completion.

Janice Holton said...

What a great theme for a quilt! I like your squirrel. :) I hope you'll be able to share what the completed quilt looks like.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

From looking at that big array of fabrics, I would say that block took quite a while to be completed! Sometimes picking the fabrics is the hardest part. The colours all do look like stained glass