It’s that time of year when I start worrying about how I’m going to work with the lectionary for the next year (or three years)!
Two years ago, I began making 6″ quilt blocks with the lectionary. I started with Tula Pink‘s patterns because they were all straight lines and she invites you to make the square your own. I often used watercolor pencils to add figures and text to the squares. A lot of the fabric was surface designed with Golden’s fabric painting medium.
Last year, I decided to be more disciplined and selected Laurie Aaron Hird’s Farmer’s Wife Sampler and Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler. I used watercolor pencils and embroidery for details and occasionally I adjusted the pattern. Often my adjustments were color choices to make a theological point. The trick to adjusting is looking at the diagram in black-and-white. For instance, one square was two shades of a color on one half and two shades of a different color on the other half. By switching the dark crown-shaped squares to the opposite side I created a juxtaposition that echoed the biblical passage.
I played with a lot of dye this year. At one point I was using dyed white-on-white fabric but eventually preferred dying unbleached, bleached and tea-dyed muslin because by varying the water I can get 12 shades out of one dye batch. This year I may work with light gray, light brown and white. Although I really like the random pattern created by the unbleached muslin reacting to the dye.
This year, I’m considering creating one from each pattern series for each week. But I’m also considering appliqué details. Although, I’m thinking that would work best on 12″ squares instead of 6″ ones. For 6″ squares, I think fusible is the way to go because the images can be smaller.
One of the things I’ve done both years is to make sure my blocks have a cross pattern during Easter season. The rest of the year, I make sure there is not a cross unless the passage specifically mentions one. I like working with the seasons (Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Easter) with some sort of unifying technique or symbol to set it apart from Ordinary Time.
As I approach Advent, it means I may start out using something but then let it go after Christmas! And that’s always important to remember so the spiritual discipline doesn’t become too much work!