Thursday, September 9, 2010

IQ: Carpenter's Squares

From my latest IQ (infant quilt) class comes Carpenter's Squares. Based on a traditional quilt block rich in symbolism, the design has been enlarged and modernized. The L shaped tool known as a carpenter’s square has been used for centuries to help square-up and measure in carpentry. Early quilters of the traditional (much smaller) block recorded their beliefs in this block, referencing Jesus as The Carpenter. Harking back to traditions in early Gaelic Christianity, Celtic interlace represented the way in which all life is woven together. The interlace patterns represented in this design symbolize the idea that the afterlife (heaven) and this present world (earth) intersect creating a pattern that, at least for now, only God the Creator sees the whole of.

The use of triple bands to create the interlace in this design also suggests the Trinity, a concept of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together as One. Another use of religious symbolism is seen in the repetition of the four isolated background squares in each corner. This design feature suggests a relationship to the idea of the “foursquare gospel” (meaning a good foundation for one's faith), terminology borrowed from the Biblical book of Revelations.

To make the quilt shown in this post I used a dark purple reproduction fabric from P&B for the background, with a Michael Miller Asian print and one of Northcott's Quilt for A Cure(TM) fabrics as the bands. Machine quilted in a random free-motion swirliness. The combination of these fabrics, I think, is visually striking but also speaks to diversity -- reminding me that there are many different people with many different backgrounds, talents, and gifts who come together to make up the beauty of the body of believers.

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