|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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.