Every Lenten season, I take a break from my current quilting projects to feast into creativity. The first year, this meant a 12"x 12" mini quilt every week (hence the original name "Lenten Twelves"). The next year was a series of baby quilts. Last year was a series of printed quilts. This Lenten season, I am exploring double wedding ring quilt blocks and the stations of the cross.
The double wedding ring block carries double meaning for me. For one, it has significance as I plan my wedding and prepare for marriage. However, it also feels like an apt block to explore during Lent as we contemplate Jesus coming to the world to take the church as his bride.
While visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC last fall, I came across Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross. Minimal in black and white, the room was incredibly meditative, and I have mulling over their simple power ever since gallery. With Barnett as inspiration, I am spending this Lent working in shades of black and white and loosely exploring the stations of the cross. The 14 stations of the cross are intended to be meditations that center around the day of Jesus crucifixion, following the story from when he is condemned to die to when he is placed in his tomb.
My first block is titled: Prayers in Gethsemane.
At this moment in the story, Jesus has finished the Last Supper with his friends, and the full weight of what awaits him next is sinking in. Since he is God, he knows that he needs to die in order to atone for the sins of the world, but he is also human and is overwhelmed at the thought of being crucified. Together with his friends, he goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and asks them to stay awake with him as he contemplates his impending death.
"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.' Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?' he asked Peter . . .
He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.' When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy." - Matthew 26: 36–40, 42–43
When Jesus needs his friends' support, they fall asleep. This block depicts the twelve sleeping disciples in grey with Jesus awake at the center. Dark printed foliage covers the entire piece, obscuring the disciples and blending into the night sky.
Check out previous year's Lenten Twelves series.