Earlier this month, I worked with the Pre-K class at Kol Ami to create art about Jerusalem which was to be used as a Torah cover. (Click here to see pictures from that workshop.) Below are the steps taken to turn that Pre-K art work into a Torah cover that will be used each Shabbat at their Tot Shabbat service.
First, as I mentioned in the earlier blog post, I arranged their art on a light blue background and then ironed it in place.
Since this Torah cover will be used every Shabbat for, hopefully, years to come, I had to make sure it was durable. While I love Steam-a-Seam 2 as a fusible for workshops, it wouldn’t hold up to this kind of use so I used a zig-zag stitch in clear thread to sew all the pieces in place. Some of the pieces started to fray as I was sewing so I decided to make sure each and every fabric piece was completely stitched down all the way around. That way, the fraying would be minimized and there would be no loose pieces. Since this piece had a tight deadline, I was doing a little sewing while my kids played with their father and they came upstairs to check on my progress. My 3-year-old decided that the piece needed a couple more clouds, so she helped add them. And my 1.5-year-old thought banging a pencil sharpener on the piece might be helpful, too. Thankfully, it was an empty sharpener with no batteries in it.
Below are pictures of the front and back of the piece fully stitched.
The next step was to add a layer of flannel and start quilting to add extra stitching and some texture. I had forgotten that I changed the tension when using the clear thread, so the initial sewing with green didn’t go well. Once the tension problems were fixed, I got back to work quilting the Jerusalem hills, gate, and houses.
I didn’t want to quilt the Kotel (Western Wall) too much and thought it could use some plants, so instead of quilting that section, I used free-motion stitching with variegated green thread. Unfortunately, the fabric got folded under when I was sewing the last plant. Oops. It was just the edge of the fabric, though and didn’t want to rip out the stitching, so I cut around it as closely as I could. That small patch of blue would be covered by the lining anyway (don’t tell anyone)! Then it was time to sew gold cording to the top edge.
Once the main part of the cover was done, I had to get the top ready. I used variegated blue thread to quilt a piece of matching blue fabric and stapled it to the wood piece I purchased (with rings) from a Judaica shop.
Then I added the rings using the special metal rings that came with the wood set and some wood glue.
With all the pieces done, I pinned the Jerusalem scene to the top, checked to make sure it was positioned correctly, and started hand stitching them together with a curved needle. (Thank you Jeanette Kuvin Oren for teaching me how to do this all those years ago!)
With just a label to hand stitch on the inside, the cover was done!
Just in time to show the Pre-K class how their work was used. They were so excited and proud to see their work on the cover and we put it on the Torah together in the sanctuary. I hope they use the cover with pride for many years to come!