Banging my head against a problem over and over.

Diane is a bible scholar and a good friend. I have made at least three tallitot for her.  The year my father was dying, Diane came up with another idea for a tallit. My husband couldn’t understand why Diane would want yet another tallit, let alone, another made by me.  Diane’s mother came from the Syrian Jewish community. Diane wanted the tallit  to honor her past. She hoped that I could make the tallit in the form of a Moroccan star. Something like this.
moroccan star
( Image source )

I loved the idea. Then it got a little complicated. Diane wanted the tallit made out of one layer of pieced silks, no lining. She wanted the tallit made out of crayon- bright colors. My other problem is figuring out how to do the geometry in my math challenged brain. Diane was kind enough to realize that while my father was dying, I simply didn’t have enough brain power left to figure out how to  make the tallit. Diane was kind enough to allow the project to sit on the shelf until I did have enough brain power to figure it out.

We did however, go fabric shopping. We went to Rosen & Chadick and bought a selection of eye searing silks. I made one attempt to piece the silks. It was a complete ( and expensive and dispiriting ) disaster.  I put the bag of colorful silk away for  many months. I kept thinking about how to create this pieced tallit in one layer and not have me kill myself.  Another complication, I know my work is pretty, but precision is not my natural way to do things.  I kept trying to figure out  how to make this tallit in my head. Mostly, thinking about this tallit made my head hurt.  I would get my head partially around a solution and then it would slip away. It felt like I was doing calculus.

After a very long time, I had an epiphany. I decided to pieced the tallit onto a base of silk organza.  The organza is stiff.  Creating a Moroccan star is easy if you fold paper into squares and then on the diagonals. I pressed the organza to help create the shapes I needed and then marked the shapes I wanted with a Sharpee.

So, after a long long time for mulling, the center motif is done.  Once all of the silk is pieced, I will cut away the organza and cover all of the joins with black ribbon.
Diane tallit3
diane tallit back1
diane tallit back 2
I’m so relieved that I finally got my pea brain to figure this out.


  1. oh well done! that is great! I was going to say you might look at pieced stars from quilters. but I love your solution.

    I know you said you were going to trim away the organza, but I wonder if it would just serve to give strenght to the seams. After all they are very shreddy - as I am sure you know.
    but then again, if you are leaving a margin of the organza in the SA and covering it with ribbon, those would give strength, too.

    I am getting frustrated with a make it up in my head thing tonight, too. But I have got past it enough that it won't be in my head when I go to bed. which I should have done by now.
    All the best.


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