When I was young, I remember our church would celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with what was called a “Thanksgiving Banner Service.” The idea was that each family (or fellowship group, if you were single) would make a banner that illustrated all the things they were thankful for and present it in a mini parade at the service before Thanksgiving. The banners were always colorful and creative. Some families used paper and markers, others made three-dimensional banners with glue and felt, and still others used fabric and paint. There was no limit to what you could do with your banner.
As I got older, moved away, and attended churches apart from my family, I found that this wasn’t an event isolated to our own fellowship. In fact, I was surprised that so many different congregations and denominations held their own versions of the Thanksgiving Banner Service. While attending college, I joined a church with my roommate. This was the first place I remember seeing a different kind of banner during a Thanksgiving Banner Service: a religious quilt banner!
Those quilted banners immediately sprang to mind when I first saw Jaynette Huff’s new book of paper piecing for quilts. She’s created a beautiful treasury of faith quilts and representational blocks in Paper Piecing Quilts of Praise—I just can’t help but think that the elegant designs would be perfect for one of those Thanksgiving banners I so fondly remember.
Left: Nativity block, inspired by Christmas carols “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Joy to the World.” Right: Palm Branches block, inspired by the hymn “All Glory, Laud, and Honor to Thee, Redeemer King!”
Paper Piecing Quilts of Praise includes 18 foundation-pieced blocks, each inspired by a hymn. There are lovely blocks for Communion, Christmas, and Palm Sunday—and five quilt patterns to showcase one or more of the blocks.
Whether for a Christmas church service or to hang in your home year-round, these quilts are undeniably beautiful. Jaynette’s blocks are unique and elegant, eloquently reflecting the hymns that have inspired them.
Left: Rose block, inspired by the Advent hymn “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.” Right: Descending Dove and Flames block, inspired by the hymns “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place” and “Spirit of the Living God.”
Do you have a favorite block or quilt from Paper Piecing Quilts of Praise (see above and the slideshow below)? Tell us which is your favorite in the comments,
and you could win a copy of the Paper Piecing Quilts of Praise eBook. We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. Good luck!
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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Linda, who writes:
“Gosh! How can I possibly pick one I like best??!? They’re all so beautiful – in form and in symbolism. I’ve been wanting to make something for our church family to give back some of the love they’ve extended to me. This book may be the inspiration and direction I’ve needed. Thank you, Janette Huff, for putting these lovely patterns all in one place for us.”
Linda, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!