I began sewing at the age of nine with my grandmother, Etta, in her attic sewing room. When she turned 75, and I, 15, we both learned to quilt. For many years, I meticulously followed commercial patterns, matching colors and designs as closely as I could to the originals. It was a leap of faith to finally try out my own ideas with art quilts, choose my own colors, dye my own fabrics.
My first venture into Judaic fiber art was making my son’s tallit, the prayer shawl that a Jewish child wears for the first time as he/she becomes a bar/bat mitzvah. Since then, I have used quilting as a tool to explore my adopted religion. I can express my spirituality through the medium of textiles, almost like a prayer.
I have found machine quilting to be the most cathartic part of creating a quilt. It is a little like meditating—my mind turns off, and the motion of the needle and the hum of the machine take over. I have also come to appreciate and even enjoy mistakes—I can always count on making them (!), and they add excitement and challenge to the project.
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