Shekinah and The House of Representatives


Sewing on 102 buttons, representing the 102 women in the House of Representative.

The first time I saw the horseshoe graphic of the House of the Representatives and the orange dots representing the one hundred and two women who are now in it, I knew I wanted to use it somewhere on my fabric painting.

I wasn’t sure how it would work, but there was something about the horseshoe shape and the dots that grabbed me.

So this morning I went into my studio with the intention of finding just how and where the image would work on my fabric painting.

I walked up to the old quilt, that I’m now calling Shekinah, hanging on my wall and there it was, right in front of me.

Two hand quilted flowers, cut in half by the red border, creating a shape close to a horseshoe, facing not the House of Representative way, but with the prongs of the horse shoe up.  The way old horseshoes are  hung for good luck.

Using purple thread I hand stitched over the old quilting and outlined the flower/horseshoe shape.  Then, with green thread, I sewed 102 buttons inside each shape.

This is  what Shekinah  looked like at the end of the day.  Not yet finished, I don’t think, but close.

15 thoughts on “Shekinah and The House of Representatives

  1. Truly magical how this work unfolded, Maria.
    Whenever I come across a table full of buttons for sale, I end up hypnotized for an hour.
    One clerk got a little nervous, asking 8 times if I was finding what I wanted. But really she was probably wondering if I was shoplifting.
    I wouldn’t sell this gem if I were you, but if you are– I’m probably the eighth person (at least) to say I would love to look to hang this in my house…

    1. I can just imagine the clerk not understanding your fascination with the buttons. It must have freaked her out! I will be selling it Jackie, and have some interest already, It’s so nice to hear you’re interest too.

  2. Divine instruction to the earthbound. “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” From Shekinah’s lips to Congresswomen’s ears. “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

  3. Oh Maria…………this is so much fun, watching this old quilt take on another life. This quilt was originally given to me by my sister. It came to her from her husbands family’s house (several generations older) that was a huge stately Victorian in the Haight District in San Franciso. The family thought most of the contents (sterling, beautiful fancy golden oak furniture, stunning linens, etc) were old junk and they were only interested in the cash from the sale of the house. So my sister brought home beautiful furniture and filled an entire trunk of glassware and linens for me. We’ve had so much enjoyment over the years from every piece of it. And now………once again, more enjoyment!! Thanks, Linda

    1. Your story gives the quilt and Shekinah a whole other dimension Linda. That it came out of a Victorian home and then was unwanted and rediscovered by your sister. Thanks for sharing the story and of course the quilt!!

  4. Wow, Maria, I do feel that this lovely piece of creation should go to an American buyer because of its reference to the 102 representatives, but if not I’d love to be able to admire it every single day on the walls of our new home (still looking…but then i’d be looking for a new home that fits around Shekinah! Speaks to me as a manifestation of female divinity rather than to my Jewish roots, interesting….and thank you to Linda for adding the back story to the quilt! So now l will read backwards and find out how it happened that it landed in your artistic and capable hands :-)
    Buttons; interesting link for you about our First Nations’s people use of buttons on blankets and clothes:

    1. It is so the much about female divinity Sabina. I will let you know if it’s available. And thank you for the blog on the Button Blankets. I never heard of them before, but this afternoon I was looking through my button and picked out all the shell buttons and arranged them on the dining room table. Also, I’m reading the book “There, There” by Tommy Orange. It’s about contemporary Native Americans living in Oakland CA. All the characters we get to know end up at the same Pow wow. But I have’t gotten to that point yet. I know the story of these blankets will stay with me.

  5. What a wonderful link to the story of the button blankets. I do feel that since all of your blankets carry a story that they are cousins of those button blankets. Living on the West Coast in way Northern CA I have seen Native American regalia and know a bit about how special it is and I have seen buttons on some of it.

    1. I used some more buttons on the piece today Linda. Shell buttons which reminded me of the ones used on the blankets. It’s didn’t take long for the video to work it’s magic.

  6. Good morning, Maria – I have a few days off allowing me to catch up with your blog entries…thank you for your response – I noticed that I never receive notifications of follow-up emails even though I click on the option, so l didn’t find out about/see your response from Feb 13 until today when l visited your blog again.
    Oh my, this particular quilt gave me such a pleasant feeling (similar to an Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia and may overlap with frisson.) when looking at it, can’t quite explain it. I’m sure it will be treasured by its care taker and admirer(s). Warm greetings from the pacific west coast!

    1. Sabina, I’m going to let me web designer know about the email follow-ups, thanks so letting me know. And thank you so much for telling me about your response to my ‘Shekinah”. I couldn’t’ ask for someone to feel anymore than that from a piece of my art. I know the woman who bought it was very excited to get it. Thanks for writing and I’ll be in touch about the email followup.

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