Monday, January 28, 2019
Alice #2 Treasure Quilt: Epiphany or the Coming of the Wise Men
I wasn't happy with my first quilt, and since I'd not yet notified Randy that the Reveal day had come and passed (and he'd not yet constructed our composite), I decided to make a substitute quilt. I'll take down my first quilt, since I really did not like it at all! (This is the one I wanted all along to make but thought I didn't have time!)
This quilt was inspired, like the first, on the Three Wise Men who visited the Christ child, bringing gifts that were truly TREASURES, gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Wise Men had been told that the Christ child had been born and that they should follow a star to go to him. Although many depictions of the newborn baby Jesus in the manger show not only his parents, Mary and Joseph, shepherds (who'd been told of his birth by angels), and also the Wise Men, the inclusion of the Wise Men at the stable is not really biblical! A careful reading of the biblical account of the early life of Jesus reveals that the Wise Men came sometime later, and thus didn't see the child when he was a newborn.
In many Christian traditions, this current season of the church year, the season following Advent, is called Epiphany. One definition of the word epiphany that I found recently is one I really like: "a moment of sudden insight that is usually a great revelation." Thus we can see why this time of year in many Christian traditions is called the Epiphany season. For the Wise Men, seeing the child Jesus was a revelation, a true epiphany.
My quilt depicts the three Wise Men (or three kings or three Magi as they are often called) with their costly gifts. As I explained in my narrative about the first quilt I made, frankincense and myrrh were used as incense in biblical times, with myrrh often used in burial rites. In another interpretation of the gifts, gold symbolized the kingship of Jesus; frankincense, his priestly role; and myrrh, his death. These gifts were literal treasures!
I drew and then cut out a paper pattern for the wise men and cut the body of their robes and sleeves from different fabrics, after applying fusible to the fabrics. In a similar manner I cut out their faces, crowns, and the gifts they are carrying. These were fused to the starry background fabric. I also fused on a brighter star, to stand for the star that guided the Wise Men. I echo-quilted minimally around the appliqués on the background fabric.
The 12"x12" quilt is layered with backing and batting and bound conventionally. I am much happier now, with this quilt, the one I really wanted to make!