Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sacred Threads

Shabbat Blessings by Susan L. Robbins

 Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to see a fantastic quilt show called Sacred Threads. This show was started in 1999 by a small group of quilt artists interested in creating quilts that focused on spirituality and inspiration. At the time, there were not many opportunities for quilt artists whose work focused on these themes. Below is a description of the show from their website:

For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood.  The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships. It has attracted a wide array of visitors and has proved appropriate for all ages from young teens to seniors. The exhibit is a positive influence on the human spirit, giving joy as well as addressing concerns of the soul and mind.

I found the entire exhibit very inspirational and moving. If you live in Northern Virginia, you simply must get yourself over to this exhibit before it closes on Sunday, July 28th.

There were many quilts that caught my attention, for various reasons. I was able to take some photographs, though without being able to use a flash, not all of them turned out as well as I had hoped. Fortunately, there is a printed catalog with all the quilts and the artists' stories as well as a CD that has all the quilts along with the voices of the artists telling a bit more about what inspired the quilt.

This small quilt by Maryland artist, Susan L. Robbins, really sang out to me. It is the Hebrew blessings for Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath). The story Susan tells is her memory of her mother placing her hand on Susan's head during the blessings. She remembers watching the candle light dance. What is amazing about this story is that Susan is deaf.

Detail from Shabbat Blessings by Susan L. Robbins.

I was especially intrigued by the Hebrew letters. They are, in fact, dimensional. I'm not sure if they are made from paper or some sort of interfacing...but they are truly beautiful.

This exhibit made me realize that I really do want to make art pieces that are spiritual and healing. I am still thinking about the format, but this idea is something that has been pulling at me for a while now.

Thank you Susan for your Shabbat Blessings.


  1. I have seen some of the exhibits from the show on other blogs but not this one. A beautiful piece, and a touching story.

    1. There were so many amazing quilts in this exhibit. This one just spoke to me.