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JewishQuilter.com

About the author and this Site

My name is Cathy Perlmutter, and if I'm any kind of an 'artist,'  leading any kind of a Jewish life, I can assure  you that it  happened by accident.  

I was a  journalist, and a non-religious rationalist, from my teen years through my mid-thirties. I started quilting a decade ago to save my sanity during a long illness.  Completely unexpectedly, quilting became something more than a distraction. It became a powerful vehicle  for developing my spirituality, and for learning more about my Jewish heritage.   Have I mentioned that this journey has taken me completely by surprise? 

   Regardless of religion, I have seen that quilting has a power to enrich people's lives on many levels. Not least of these ways is that it can be a form of prayer or meditation. Even while it fills the cabinets with fabric (!)  the process of quilting empties and focuses the mind,   which allows us to make higher connections--- to our best selves, to others, to a heritage, and maybe even to God. Also, to Ikea, for bigger cabinets.  Hey, if it works for me, it can work for anyone!

   Both the process and the product of quilting dovetails beautifully with Jewish ritual and history. As in most cultures, Judaism involves a lot of textiles, whether for daily use, holidays, and for  lifecycle milestones.   These textiles have been crafted for millennia by Jewish men and women, for the same reasons that we make them today. But today, the techniques are a lot easier!  Learning about the history and meaning of these textiles in Judaism has been one of the most fascinating parts of my journey. 

Then, of course,  there are so many PRACTICAL reasons to make quilted Judaica.  Baby blankets and wimpels for naming ceremonies....tallisim for bar or bat mitzvah's....huppot for weddings.  Not to mention Passover---let's say your politically delusional in-laws are coming to the Seder, and you need a matzoh cover that subtly makes a political statement right in their face without their noticing, so you can chortle over it silently while they  are lecturing you about the correctness of their neanderthal views!   Thanks to new quilting techniques, you can make all this stuff and more within your lifetime, and also raise children and keep your day job!  How? That's what this website is about.  

I also hope you will share your work with others on these pages. I am setting up Gallery page, and I'd welcome samples of your work, and links to your webpage if you have them. There is a real scarcity of information, resources, and inspiration for Jewish quilts, so let's get our act together!

   I do teach quilt classes and seminars. I will also custom-make  Judaica and other quilted items for special occasions.  I will also consult on your heirloom quilting project, and for a reasonable fee, can provide limited services (such as photo-to-fabric transfer, or finishing). Feel free to ask.  My email address is ajwcjp@aol.com. 

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JewishQuilter.com - All images and text copyright (c) Cathy Perlmutter, ajwcjp@aol.com 1996-2003