Quilted prayer rugs

I sent off two prayer rugs to the Quilted Prayer Rug Initiative recently. These were contemplative smaller projects that rewarded thinking about materials and uses.

After the increased visibility of hateful speech and some hate crimes in the winter, I wanted to do something tangible to offer support rather than silence. I attended an open house at my local mosque, where scholars read from the writings of America’s founders and my neighbors spoke about their experiences. Around the same time, I read an article in Generation Q magazine, “Can a quilt be used as a prayer rug?” Turns out the answer was yes, so I pulled out some fabric and started sewing.

I wanted to make prayer rugs that were practical, but also beautiful and in harmony with their purpose. For the first, I used the pieces left from my Green Flash quilt: strong vintage silk and a cotton/linen chambray. For the second I modified Mister Domestic’s tumbling blocks fabric weaving tutorial to make a long internal panel. His instructions were useful and reassuring, and even though my specialty tools amounted to a large safety pin, it all worked out fine. It was a lot of effort and used a lot of fabric compared to standard piecing, but the texture is fabulous. I made sure the bindings and quilting were strong enough to stand up to frequent use and rolling.

I hope these find good new homes in Texas. My prayers go with them.


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