Twenty quilt blocks later, we begin the next book in the Bible. Genesis ended with Joseph moving his Hebrew family to Egypt to wait out the years of famine. His family, remember, is father Jacob and the eleven brothers who eventually grow the twelve tribes of Israel. His beloved mother, Rachel, had already passed away before the family reunion.
Well, hundreds of years have passed and the Hebrews have made the mistake of overstaying their welcome in Egypt. The new Pharoah has no history with long-forgotten Joseph, and he only sees the millions of strong, prosperous Hebrews as a threat. Now the children of Israel find themselves enslaved in the land of Goshen.
Children of Israel
There’s only two ways I like to sew: Alone or With Somebody. I know.
Paper piecing takes a long time and has tricky parts, like those infernal Y-seams, so I usually work on this project in solitude. When I’m sewing with friends, I have easier projects to bring along.
Alone in my sewing room, I listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Sometimes I prefer silence. I can think about the Bible passages. What did it feel like to know that you were a child of Israel, born into the race that He chose for His own? Wait, I am! Jesus made us fellow heirs of His kingdom. Reading through the Word is faith-affirming.
I think about the soul who created the block design. I think about the people who named it, passed it on, and renamed it. If only those blocks could talk . . .
According to Quilters Newsletter, the Children of Israel block was first published in a 1935 book, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America by Carrie Hall and Rose Kretsinger. I wonder how they came upon the block?
I recognize the name Rose Kretsinger. She has a role in a podcast I follow, Quiltfiction. If you would enjoy immersing yourself in the 1930s, then I would suggest you give it a listen. Even if you don’t think you’d appreciate stories from that time, I believe you’d like what you hear. There’s quilting and friendship and connection, which are all timeless after all.