Further adventures on Mimi's tallit

Earlier this week, or perhaps it was last week, I had cut stencils for the lettering on Mimi’s tallit.  I applied the letters using oil paint sticks in a mix of copper, gold and blue. The letters didn’t quite stand out enough from the deep blue o the silk so I then painted the outlines with a fine brush. it’s better, but still not quite right.

So now, it’s onto the next step. I underlined the silk with cotton flannel, and am satin stitching around the letters with the dark bronze metallic thread. the thread is not really a sewing thread but a lurex thread meant to be used in a knitting machine. The thread is persnickety but the results are worth the additional effort.  I now have four letters completed , but you can see how much better the letters look with the metallic stitching.
When I work, I often have music or the radio going in the background. It keeps me on track. I often find that the music threads through my work. This is especially true be cause I often listen to  Chassidic music as I sew. 
I felt that connection especially poignantly today as I was working. Earlier today I read this beautiful essay On being an unofficial mourner, by the lovely Anya Manning about the death of her future brother in law.  Anya’s in laws are very dear friends of ours. The friendship goes back decades.  As I read Anya’s essay, and as I was working and thinking about her essay, I was listening to a Bobov recording that included an especially haunting version of the melody that is traditionally sung during the veiling of the bride at Jewish wedding.

It brought me back to Anya’s wedding where all of us were filled with both deep joy and fathomless sadness. I have never heard that melody sung with as much intensity or with as many tears.  Some of that intensity of feeling is being sewn into Mimi’s tallit.

Shavuot begins right after Shabbat. If you want to make blintzes I posted this Anarchist blintzes recipe previously. The recipe comes from an almost relative ( my aunt's best friend who married a cousin) who came from a family of anarchists.  It's nice to have such illustrious relatives.


  1. Like those colors Sarah and am asking how you fasten off the satin stitching with the metallic thread so neatly?? I have a hard time with satin stitching.

  2. Margie- I hadn't yet done it in the photo but I generally thread the loose thread onto a needle and tie it off on the back. I think it alos helps that the silk is backed with flannel. the additional layer makes the stitching a bit less testy.

    Also, I have had lots of practice, which I think ultimately is what gets you good at something. if you actually examined my stitching with a ruler you wouls see that it isn't really even, but at this point I can create the illusion of tidy even stitches, even if they are not really quite so perfect.


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