Zachary is my neighbor. He’s a really delightful kid. We met before his bar mitzvah to learn a bit about tallit. Zachary wore his deceased grandfather’s tallit at his bar mitzvah.
Zachary and I discussed what I could make for him as a gift. He needed a bag for his t’fillin. I suggested a text,that is recited while wrapping the straps of the t’fillin.
I will betroth you to me forever
I will betroth you to me with righteousness and justice and with mercy.
I will betroth you to me with faithfulness
I painted the text onto heavy weight black satin in gold paint. I just used the words “ I will betroth” once.
I shadow quilted the borders. For you non schmatta geeks, that means decorative stitching in the same color as the face fabric with a heavy filling beneath the face fabric. the heavy filer in this case was an old heavy weight wool skirt.
This is the back of the bag.
I painted the gold vines and then did diamond quilting with gold metallic thread. I didn’t measure the lines but simply eyeballed the placement of the stitches. I would not suggest that you measure the spacing with a ruler, but visually it reads as regular and that’s good enough for me.
Doing that sort of decorative stitching always seems like a great idea before I begin. Usually about half way through I realize that I must have been crazy to come up with an idea that is both time consuming and incredibly boring. This time I didn’t get cranky. I think allowing myself the freedom to eyeball the stitches meant that more of my brain was engaged in the process. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t ready to commit murder by the time I was done. Instead I had entered a happy little Zen zone.
Zachary had requested that his t’fillin bag be yellow and black. I couldn’t quite figure out how to do that and have the bag stay on this side of tasteful. I did the lettering and all of the other decorations in a yellow gold, but I knew I had to include some actual yellow in the bag.
I lined the bag in this wonderful yellow striped tie silk. The sharp eyed among you can see the teeny dots of hand stitching near the zipper.
I gave Zachary his t’fillin bag last night. He was genuinely pleased. I love how enthusiastic he was about the verse. His mother loved the obsessive stitching. The yellow silk lining was the icing on the cake.
I have the feeling that most kids don’t expect to see their desires listened to and made into an actual object.