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Thread: Menorah or cross manipulation?

  1. #1
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Menorah or cross manipulation?

    Though I consider myself spiritual, I am not particularly religious and I have a question for quilters who might have a view on this. I like to make table toppers in kaleidoscope & Spirograph type patterns, fussy cutting geometric prints. I've also done several fussy cut mariners star toppers using the same principle. I have some beautiful menorah fabric that I'd like to try with this model but I'm wondering if it is people consider it offensive to manipulate religious symbols such as menorahs or crosses. I sell on Etsy and don't want to upset anyone but I think the result could be very pretty. Thoughts, anyone?
    Shannon

  2. #2
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I don't feel that you would be manipulating symbols at all. Some people like things like that and would probably want to buy them from you.

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    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    different people will have different perspectives, most likely. i will have to watch this thread to make sure comments stay on point.

    i don't personally think manipulating the judaic symbols would be offensive so long as you didn't mix them with symbols from other religions or do it in any other way that would be very obviously disrespectful.

    i can't speak to the issue of crosses.
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    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    My thoughts would be you are walking on thin ice!

    While I am sure some/many would think no harm and might even say how unique,
    I would suspect/fear there will be some/others/few or even just one, that may ruin the experience.

    I'm definitely not saying, "don't do it" ... just if you do, be prepared for what could happen.

    Guess it depends on how thick/thin skinned you are,
    and how devastating a worst case scenario would be to you.

    Good Luck!
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  5. #5
    IQ2
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    I don't think it's sacrilegious at all. I wouldn't be in the least offended.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    I think we worry too much about offending somebody else. There’s no end to it. Life doesn’t stop because somebody has a different thought from yours. My thought is it’s just fabric. Do your thing & enjoy it. If somebody has an issue with it, they can keep marching on.

  7. #7
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I think Patrice is right and QuiltE makes a good point too. Different people will view it in different ways. I am of the opinion that a Menorah is not a super sacred symbol in Judaism. It represents the miracle of the lamps but I don't think it would be offensive to cut the fabric up like you describe. As long as the resulting pattern doesn't end up forming a swastika which then I think many people of the Jewish faith would find that offensive. A cross is a tougher call. I am religious and a Christian. I don't think I would be offended at all seeing a fabric that features crosses cut up and put into a kaleidoscope style quilt but I try to not be thin skinned when it comes to that kind of thing. For the most part, if I find some form of art disrespectful to my beliefs I don't get offended so much as I am deeply saddened by it. I would not purchase anything from the seller's site though. Even if they had other products I liked.

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    I second what feline fanatic said. While I am a Christian and cherish the meaning of the cross, I don't wear crosses because it was an instrument of torture. But I'm not offended when others do because they are proclaiming their love for Jesus, I believe. By the same token, we don't decorate our home with a cross anywhere. I have Jewish ancestors who suffered in the Holocaust, and some died, so I despise even the quilt block that looks like a swastika. I know it's not supposed to be that, but since it resembles it, it makes me cringe.

    I would not personally be offended by fabric displaying the cross or menorah. I've made Hanukkah gifts with menorah fabric, but haven't made anything with cross fabric. I'm not easily offended, but I am easily saddened, if that makes sense.

  9. #9
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    If anything, I think using the fabric in your designs shows a type of embracing of the religions. If it were my “thing” I think I would seek out interesting art made from my religious symbols.
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    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    If you are questioning it...don’t do it. I am not Jewish...I do know what a Mennorah is. To some, they may just see a pretty candle holder. I don’t know what to tell you. I would like to see a photo of the fabric.
    Sandygirl

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    I guess I'd have to see the finished product. I've seen many things and have had to be told "that is such and such." Half the time I don't know what I'm looking at. A cross is in essence a "T". I've seen many variations used in a quilt design. I don't get offended. I can appreciate another's point of view, and artistic interpretation. Might not like it, but appreciate it none the less. Perhaps make one and post here for comments.

  12. #12
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    No more insulting than cutting up prints of our national flag. I would try to center a cross, star of david, or candle in each kaleidoscope segment, for example, but that is more to emphasize the symbol than to be PC.
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    Iíd say no just to protect yourself from s barrage of comments. If you have a business you donít want to risk offending any one group even a small one. Customer service is your lifeline. Once itís done you canít unring that bell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat G View Post
    I think we worry too much about offending somebody else. Thereís no end to it. Life doesnít stop because somebody has a different thought from yours. My thought is itís just fabric. Do your thing & enjoy it. If somebody has an issue with it, they can keep marching on.
    I agree. However, we are living in strange times. There's that recent stink about "Cultural appropriation" when that girl wore a Japanese styled dress to her prom. Just be prepared to get zapped if you do it. I actually don't think many/any Jewish people would be offended, but then, I don't think any/many Japanese people were offended by the prom dress.

    Echoing what someone else said, I wouldn't mix it with other religious symbols, unless the symbols are also Jewish.

    If it were me, I'd make the quilt, but I don't sell quilts. I think the online part is the issue. A lot more people will see your quilt than would see mine.

    bkay

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    I think some people just look for things to "be offended at". I would do what you want and don't react to those who like to try to get under our skin.

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    My opinion is better to not turn menorahs into crosses. You could think of it another way, such as would you use marijuana printed fabric?

  17. #17
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the thoughtful and respectful comments. I think I will play with the piecing and post it here. Now if I could just remember where I put that beautiful fabric!
    Shannon

  18. #18
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamelaOry View Post
    If anything, I think using the fabric in your designs shows a type of embracing of the religions. If it were my “thing” I think I would seek out interesting art made from my religious symbols.
    This is more what I'm going for. Embracing & honoring. I see so much decor available for Christmas and so little for Jewish Holidays. And this pattern is my style.
    Shannon

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    The cross and the menorah are symbols with deep meaning, but it is on fabric. If it is just the cross, no figure of Christ on it, go ahead and cut it. Seeing Christ cut up, I know I wouldn't be upset or angry about it, just not buying your table runner. Still it would be interesting to see. You sound like a very talented quilter and I hope you will post a pictures soon.

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    The cross may be a symbol of torture, but it is also a symbol of salvation, mercy, forgiveness, eternal love. The menorah is a symbol of a miracle that occurred, thru God,during a time of crisis. It matters not how you use the fabric, it will be a symbol of your skill.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamelaOry View Post
    If anything, I think using the fabric in your designs shows a type of embracing of the religions. If it were my “thing” I think I would seek out interesting art made from my religious symbols.
    I think this closely describes what I feel about it.
    Anna Quilts

  22. #22
    Super Member beatys9's Avatar
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    So it turns out that cutting up the menorah fabric was the least of my issues... Getting my topper to lay flat is turning into a major challenge though. I'll need to do more quilting than planned. Attached are photos the topper in the baste stitches & the original fabric. I've done this pattern a few times before but not in a while so I must have gotten a little sloppy on cutting...
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Shannon

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Nicely Done!!!

    After all the discussions, the results are quite showy, and definitely no disrespect.
    The Menorah are whole and work so perfectly with that kaleido design, as do the Jewish Stars.
    Great job on all the FC work!
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    Your work is beautiful and something that I would display all year. The star of David is perfectly placed, and your 7 candle menorah, although not the 9 candle Hanukkah menorah, is the likeness of the 7 candle sanctuary menorah and a symbol of Israel. Really well done and very complimentary of our faith, in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthiesRetreat3 View Post
    The cross may be a symbol of torture, but it is also a symbol of salvation, mercy, forgiveness, eternal love. The menorah is a symbol of a miracle that occurred, thru God,during a time of crisis. ...
    IMHO Because of the deeply held beliefs of many people, both Christians and Jews, I would be hesitant about using these symbols in any way that may offend anyone. I am a Christian and some "modern art" is offensive. If I were thinking about doing what you are suggesting, I would think very carefully about it and, maybe even talk to a priest, pastor and rabbi about it. Better safe than sorry.

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