Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Chuppah Adventure

The next item on my "to do" list is a chuppah.  It is a wedding canopy that is a traditional part of a Jewish wedding ceremony.  Why is a chuppah on my "to do" list?  My youngest son is getting married at the end of June.  He and his wife really want to get married under a chuppah.

So this mother is making one.  I am creating it as a quilt so they can hang it on the wall after the ceremony.  I envision a design with a tree and leaves.  The tree of life is a very important Jewish symbol. To make the chuppah personal and meaningful to the wedding couple, I sent out leaves (backed with fusible web)  with pens for people to write their  good wishes.

A traditional chuppah measures 6 foot square.  Since my design is very symmetrical, I have decided to make it in quadrants as 36" squares.  For the most part they will be identical. 

The first step is to quilt the background.  I will do this before I add the fusible applique.  I didn't think a 36" square would be that big, until I cut it out and spray basted it to the batting.  It is pretty big.

So far I have quilted 2 of the squares, which means I am halfway there.  Since I am doing straight line quilting, it is not very challenging at this point.  This gives me lots of time to think.

  The wedding is taking place at our summer home on a tiny lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  We have been spending summers there since this son was 3 years old.  He will be 27 by the time of the wedding.
I hope to set the chuppah up on our dock using a couple of quilt stands. 
 (The logistics are my husband's job.)

The vision of this couple being married by Rabbi Peter Hyman, who has become a family friend, on Whitney Lake, that is so beautiful and has been a part of our family life for 23 years, brings tears to my eyes.  Maybe I'll get all the crying out of the way now!

I can't show you the design yet.  I don't want to spoil the surprise for the bride.  I am planning on unveiling the chuppah at the rehearsal dinner, so stay tuned until the end of June.  I promise to share.


  1. Great ideas with the leaves, Cheryl! Keep us posted with the progress. It's really soon!

  2. Cheryl,
    You are so good at combining symbolism and family and friends into your quilts. I know this one will also be beautiful and meaningful to the bride and groom. What a good idea to make the chuppah so they can hang it on the wall afterward. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt in the future.
    I hope you are having a Happy Passover too!

  3. I can hardly wait to see the finished project! Looks like a beautiful place!

  4. Oh Cheryl, this is such a lovely story. What a blessed family you are and the newly married couple are going to start life together surrounded by such love in such a meaningful setting. I just can't imagine a more perfect way to start married life. You go ahead and cry (just don't stain that beautiful Chuppah!) I can't wait to see the final results, the leaves are such a great idea! I hope you'll post wedding photos in July!


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