xvi) matzah and afikomen

PROJECT: Make an afikomen cloth and a 3-tiered matzah cloth for next year’s Pesach seder.


5 November: For those of you who saw the original project I had here, I had to change it. It just wasn’t working at all. I’m creating something in that “area”, but not like a 25reasons project.

So, I came across an afikomen pattern from Molly’s Sketchbook on the The Purl Bee blog. I’ve wanted to make a matzah “dekl” since mine went missing a couple of years ago. I just hadn’t found the right design. This pattern I found is just for the afikomen, but I’m going to create a pattern based on this and make them both for this project. Think I’ll use a liberty print in blue hues? Maybe. I’ll see what inspires me next time I’m at Amitié.

fabric for matza and afikomen cloths

fabric for matza and afikomen cloths

7 November: Wouldn’t you know it! After searching through the shelves at Amitié and not really settling on anything, I came home empty-handed. As I was looking through my Liberty prints, I came across a white paper bag (you can see it in the hall cupboard photo on the “how it all began” post) and in there is a stash of absolutely stunning fabric, perfect for pesach sewing! I think I’ll have the larger print for the top layer, and then use the smaller print for the inside “shelves”, and then perhaps use that gorgeous blue fabric to appliqué the hebrew letters for “matza” on the top. I have some fabulous matching navy trim, and I might get some small pom pom trim to sew around the outside. I’ll see. Now I just need to work out the “logistics” of how to sew this together. Oh, and I even have some fantastic matching fabric that I can fussy cut to make beautiful quilted coasters for the kiddush cups! Fantastic!

28 November: Finally I can show you my “on the couch recuperating from my operation” work!

I first printed my hebrew letters spelling out “matzah” on plain paper, and traced over them using some vliesofix.

Next, I ironed them onto the reverse side of my blue fabric, cut them out, and ironed the letters onto my floral fabric panel. Using a light blue cotton, I embroidered the edges with a small blanket stitch.

Once that was complete, I took a darker blue embroidery thread and stitched a daisy chain over the top of the blanket stitch. With a gorgeous Madeira metallic gold thread, I then did a slip stitch through the daisy chain stitches to create a kind of rope stitch look.

Next, I cut strips of blue fabric to create a frame for the panel, and hand-stitched them on. Now I was ready to stitch the panel onto the front of the matzah cover. I added a gold trim that I found in my stash to accentuate the inside of the frame. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough for the outside of the frame, so I’ll have to see if I can find some in the shops. I think it needs it, don’t you?

So here’s the front of my matzah cover nearly complete.

I still have to work out how to assemble all the pieces. Probably will deal with that at our next quilting class with Trish.

13 December: After Dad died, after the funeral, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t leave the house to go to Dad’s where Yvonne was sitting shiva, I was exhausted. I decided to sit shiva at home. But then, here I was, with nothing to do, with no one here except Moshe and Sarah most of the time, , and I thought I’d go nuts. So I sewed. I know, I shouldn’t be sewing if I’m sitting shiva. Too bad.

First, I cut a second piece from the patterned fabric for the bottom of the matzah cover, and then ironed on the fusible interfacing to the wrong side. I’d bought a nice thick one to give some weight and substance.

thick fusible interfacing

thick fusible interfacing

Next, I sewed a piece of the white fabric along the front edge of the bottom fabric to create a lining.

lining the bottom layer

lining the bottom layer

I then took two pieces of the white fabric and hemmed one side, and topstitched in blue cotton to create a pretty edge.

inner fabric layers

inner fabric layers

Next, I compiled the layers into a stack. I had the bottom (lined), then two pieces of white fabric, and then the lined top, creating three pockets in all. I pinned the edges ready to sew, and ruled straight lines with my fancy pink tailors chalk retractable pencil to create a guide for the stitching line. Then I machine sewed approximately 1/8″ inside my lines around three sides, leaving the front of the cover open for placing three sheets of matzah inside.

stacked and pinned

stitched together and ready for finishing the edges

As you can see, I went slightly off on my second corner. Perhaps I should have tacked the layers before machining? One of my downfalls as a sewer is I get too excited sometimes and cut corners, skipping important steps that would add that professional touch of perfection. Never mind, I say. It creates a hand-made, one-of-a-kind look.



No problem, I compensated for the error by ruling a new chalk line for the third side. I’m now ready to trim and edge the whole cover with the blue fabric. Trish found some fabulous gold fringing for me that I’ll sew on once I pick it up from her at class. I also asked her to pick up another length of the fine gold hat-elastic trimming that I’ll stitch around the outside edge of my feature panel on the top of the cover.

14 December: << Someone just asked me why I’ve written “matzah” on the front, and not “pesach”, as every single other matzah cover has. I didn’t think much about it, thinking that it was fine, no rules, but now I’m concerned, so I’ve texted my cousins to ask the authorities. I’ll get back to you as soon as I have an answer. Here’s hoping, cos right now, I can’t confront having to change it! >>

OK, so in the meantime, I can get started on the Afikomen cloth. Cool.

<< and i just heard back… I can say anything I like. Even Shavuot if I wanted to. There’s no significance at all. “It’s a labour of love, so anything is fine”, according to Arnold. Thanks cuz! >>

Following the brilliantly clear instructions on Molly’s Sketchbook, I cut out the fabric, 20″ x 20″, from both the top patterned fabric and the blue lining.

fabric cut out and ready to sew

fabric cut out and ready to sew

Now pinned, basting the two squares together.

pinned and basting

pinned and basting

OK, now here’s where I stray a little from Molly’s instructions. Her fabric has a definite pattern that works for the embroidery. Mine doesn’t. So what I think I’m going to do is simply quilt it in crosshatch stitching. But here’s a question… in blue thread or gold metallic thread???

While I’m deciding, I ruled up the crosshatch pattern using my pencil.

ruled lines

ruled lines

Now, I learned two new things today…

  1. having your pencil really sharp doe make a difference – the lines didn’t end up so thick because I didn’t have to go back and forth and back and forth a million times!
  2. when ruling the lines, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a cutting mat that’s a million inches by a million inches – I only have to true up the lines against the lines on my see-through ruler, not the mat!

Now don’t laugh! It’s amazing what you work out when you have to.

OK, you can laugh. Like you were waiting for me to give you permission!

Here’s something really funny. Look at my dog. Look where he pushed himself into to sleep while I’m working away. He crept into the deepest darkest spot in my room, under my desk. Right in the corner. And see his head? Tommy you’re so funny. I love you.



Cornflower blue, cobalt blue, or metallic gold? Oh dear. I can’t work it out. Although I’m pretty sure I don’t want the gold. It’s a much harder thread, and will make the cloth harder in hand. The cornflower is very pretty. And light, which I like. The cobalt is much darker of course, and stands out more. I’m leaning towards the cornflower, but your thoughts will be appreciated. My head is still not terribly clear after the last few days. And I know, the image isn’t very clear, especially where I’ve put the cornflower blue thread. Write me a comment?

cornflower, cobalt or metallic gold?

cornflower, cobalt or metallic gold?

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