Building an Ark

Rainbow, Morrisville, VT

It’s been rainy here in Vermont this summer. But even with all the dark days, we’ve seen several beautiful rainbows, each one a promise that the earth will never be totally destroyed by water again. What a precious promise that is.

And somehow, I have found myself building an ark. This one is certainly not of the magnitude that Noah was charged with, and it will accommodate only a tiny fraction of the animals and people the original ark carried. But I needed a home for pairs of knitted animals and their keepers. It’s a long story, starting with a library find by my daughter Ellen: a book by Fiona Goble called Noah’s Knits. In it are patterns for 14 pairs of animals and Mr and Mrs Noah, complete with appropriate rain gear. Also included in the back of the book is a paper facade of an ark meant to stand up and enhance the play.

After a good bit of discussion, Ellen and I decided on a joint venture to knit the animals and purchased two copies of the book. Now I guess all those little animals could live in a draw string sack or a zippered bag, but my mind kept running to a three dimensional ark for storage and story telling fun. Could I make one? If so, how would I go about it? How big should it be? Would it be big enough? Do I have the materials I need? How will I engineer everything to accomplish my vision?

A quick assessment showed that my stash of “ark” fabrics was sorely lacking in terms of yardage and variety. Off I went to see if I could find something suitable. I came home with two different wood grained prints, just what I needed to go with the small scraps I already had. I set about drafting a pattern loosely based on the paper facade. I made a muslin to be sure my pattern pieces fit together correctly and made adjustments. Then I set to work. Using a stiff batting, I quilted each of the pieces before sewing them together. All seams are bound, some on the inside and some on the outside for architectural details. Some of the seams needed to be stitched by hand because it would not fit under the machine presser foot. That was difficult work.

Noah's ark 1

Noah's ark 2Noah's ark 3

Noah's ark 4Noah's ark 5

Noah's ark 6

Noah's ark 7

Noah's ark 8

Meanwhile, I was knitting away at my share of the animals. My Friday quilting group wanted to know if Mr and Mrs Noah would get a quilt for their sleeping quarters. Silly people. No. But then I got to thinking… Now there is a rainbow Around the World quilt to cover them as they rest in their little house on the deck.

Noah's quilt

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3 Responses to “Building an Ark”


  1. 1 Laurie March 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I bought this book too! I have no intentions of making an ark though. I have finished the alligator, the giraffe is on the needles (have been for a while). I am also not planning on doing them all. I just love giraffes and alligators.

  2. 2 Laurie March 5, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Love the rainbow quilt.


  1. 1 More Animals for the Ark | Mountain Vistas Trackback on February 28, 2016 at 9:40 pm

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