Resources and Links
Here are some of my favorite resources. If you have more to add to the list, please email me at email@example.com.
(formerly called 'Judaica') has a website at http://www.nvo.com/1800dreidel.
I believe that this is the only source for the commercial matzoh fabric.
The telephone number is indeed 1-800-Dreidel. Service is friendly and
reliable. Tell Lori I sent you !
Shop If you shop at a good quilt shop, you will be sure of getting high-quality fabric
(and knowledgeable staff). Talk to your local quilt shop owner and tell her that you are interested in Jewish-themed fabric. Be sure that you and your friends patronize that store when they do order it.
Chain Fabric Stores The quality of the fabric often isn't as good as at quilt shops, so this is
not the ideal source for heirloom projects. Staff is often confused. But it is a good source for notions,
particularly batting, fusible interfacing, paper-backed fusible adhesives,
etc. Tip: To find the Jewish fabric, scour the Christmas fabric section! (often on the bottom shelf, aka the 'secret annex.').
local shops don't have what I want, I look online. Here are some of my favorite sites. (Warning: This section could keep you up way past your bedtime.)
For locating Jewish-themed fabrics, use keywords like "Jewish" "Hebrew"
"Hanukah (Channukah, Chanukah, Hannukah, Hannuka, etc.)". Scour
'Holiday' and Christmas sections, too.
Not just matzoh fabric! 1800Dreidel, the first shop listed above, has one of
the best selections of Judaic themed fabric anywhere.
Quiltshops.com Address: http://quiltshops.com/search.htm. This isn't a store---it's a search engine for more than 50 quilt shops which sell via Internet. It does take a few minutes, but when the results come up, you see snapshots of all the fabric on one page!!! Price variations are fascinating. Making a 'plague' matzoh cover? Type in the word 'Frogs,' and see what happens!
EQuilter.com. Huge selection---great place to find
novelty and theme fabrics for every topic under the sun (from Bingo to
Zorro), at fine quilt shop prices (plus shipping).
Quiltconn.com. Great selection, service and reasonable prices.
LunnFabrics.com Address: http://lunnfabrics.com. Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka, who run the site, are fiber artists as well as quiltmakers, and specialize in hand-dyed, unusual, and one-of a kind fabrics. The intense 'locust' fabric featured in many of my matzoh covers came from them. Some prices are quite high, but there are frequent sales.
www.Gloriouspatchwork.com This website highlights the fabrics designed by color genius Kaffe Fassett. His striped fabrics are sublime, great for tallitot, and remniscent of biblical stripes, and, as the website explains, are woven by people who need the work in India (making their use a sort of a mitzveh). The bad news: I've heard that delivery of fabric ordered directly from his website takes forever. You can actually get Kaffe Fassett fabric at similar prices at your local
fine quilt shop, or some of the other Internet shops listed above.
RITUAL ITEMS AND SUPPLIES
Plain white tallitot (for embellishment), tzitzit (untied or tied) and decorative atarot can be purchased from many different Jewish book and supply stores, or through mail order. The company I've used to buy tzitzit and atarot is Ziontalis, 29 W. 35th St., New York, NY 10001. Telephone 1800 219 9809. You have to call for a catalogue, and tell them what you're interested in. They did not have a website when I last checked.
TALLIT INFORMATION: History, plus how-to-tie a tzittzit information at
Also, in the famous book by Richard Siegal et al., 'The Jewish
Catalogue, a Do It Yourself Kit,' The Jewish Publication Society of America.
INTENTIONALLY JEWISH QUILT, ART AND CRAFT BOOKS
- Tupa, May Rockland, The New Work of Our Hands, Contemporary Jewish Needlework and Quilts,Chilton Book Company, Radnor PA, 1994. The only book about Jewish quilting, this book was my first inspiration. Favorite chapters including one on Jewish symbols you may not have known about (hearts, angels, wreathes, elephants, snakes and more); several Hebrew alphabets for use in your projects; wonderful examples of matzoh covers, huppot, challah covers, etc. A must-havefor
the Jewish quilter. The earlier edition of the book, The Work of Our Hands; Jewish Needlecraft for Today (Schocken Books, New York, 1973), covers some of the same territory, but also has some different projects (including dolls).
- Aber, Ita, The Art of Judaic Needlework, (Charles Scribners' Sons). Not focused on quilting, but has some quilted projects and many great ideas for Jewish textile projects in general. I believe it's out of print (see box, below, 'Where to
Buy out of print books.')
- Frankel, Ellen and Teutsch, Betsy Platkin,
Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols, (Jason Aronson, Inc., 1995.)
I refer to this small paperback book constantly for background information on Jewish objects, holidays, and symbols.
- Siegel, Richard, et.al., The Jewish Catalogue: A Do-It-Yourself Kit, The Jewish Publication Society of America. Clear tallit making and tzit-tzit tying information .
JEWISH QUILT BOOKS AND RESOURCES
Six-Pointed Star Designs
See my Six Pointed Star page
for more information about
some of these books.
- Reynolds, Bethany, Magic Stack'n'Whack Quilts, (American Quilter's Society, 1998).
Make lots of kaleidoscopic six pointed stars in not much time. A little
quilting experience is a good idea before tackling this book (not much).
- Squier Craig, Sharyn, Pyramids Plus, (Chitra Publications, 1997). Six-pointed star sewing, simplified. Similar to Nephew's approach.
- Nephew, Sara, Sensational 6-Pointed Stars, (Clearview Triangle, 1999); Equilateral Triangle Patchwork, (originally published as Quilts from a Different Angle), (Dover Books, 1986); Stars and Flowers, (Clearview Triangle, 1989.)
- Johannah, Barbara, Barbara Johannah's Crystal Piecing. (Chilton, 1993) Complex, interesting six pointed star designs. Not for beginners.
- Daniel, Nancy Brenan, Stitch it, Snip it & Flip It, (American School of Needlework, 1993).
Neat technique for making six-pointed stars from squares and half square triangles.
- Poster, Donna,
Stars Galore and Even More, (Chilton Book Company, 1995.)
- Finklestein, Sheila, Magic Mandala Quilts
- Phillips, Cheryl, with Linda Pysto, WedgeWorks (Phillips Fiber Arts, 1997)
Learn To Quilt Books (Great for total beginners)
- Burns, Eleanor,
An Amish Quilt in a Day, Quilt in a Day, 1986. This is the first quilt book I ever owned and used, and it got me completely and utterly hooked on quilting---for good reason. Burns emphasizes the simplest fastest techniques for the
way-coolest results. Her books feature extraordinarily clear directions, and every
possible shortcut. The Quilt in a Day series books are all
excellent. Also good for beginners: her Irish Chain, Log Cabin, and other books.
Jewish Reference Books
- Diamant, Anita, The New Jewish Wedding, Simon and Schuster, 1985.
- Frankel, Ellen, and Teutcsch, Betsy Platkin, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols, Jason Aronson Inc., 1995.
- Salkin, Rabbi Jeffrey K., Putting God on the Guest List; How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
(Jewish Lights Publishing, 1996) Nothing about quilts per se, but lots of
excellent food for anyone making a quilt for a bar or bat mitzvah child.
- Your rabbi, or the rabbi of the people for whom you are making the
quilt. If you have any specific concerns about ritual or religious items,
it's a good idea to talk to the relevant rabbi first. The Jewish community
is incredibly diverse, and what's okay in one synagogue is definitely not
in another. (The understatement of the millenium, nu?)
- CD ROM Bible. I recently bought the Davka Corporation CD ROM Judaic Classics Library Bible ("The Complete Hebrew/English Bible on CD Rom with Powerful Search Program."), which I purchased from 'The Source for Everything Jewish' (http://www.jewishsource.com).
I could also have gotten it directly from Davka (www.Davka.com). It allows me to find the passages I need
www.jewishencyclopedia.com. The good news: The 12-volume Jewish
encyclopedia, first published in 1901, is now available online. Vast
amounts of information. The bad news: It's 100 years old and hasn't been
updated yet. No Israel. No Blueberry Bagels.
The conservative and observant author presents predominantly orthodox
perspectives and traditions. A handy modern Jewish
encyclopedia on one site.
Great site! Lots of interesting information, article, mini-courses,
quizes, discussions, recipes, etc. A wide range of transdenominational
perspectives on Jewish topics, presented by Hebrew College in Newton
Centre, Mass, and Jewish Family & Life!,
Interesting website explaining many Jewish rituals and traditions.
- www.askmoses.com. Well, okay,
maybe not Moses himself, but at least this site tells me what the
Lubavitcher Hasids, men and women, think on any given topic.
- http://uahc.org/search/ This
search engine will help you find out what the Reform movement thinks.
Out-of-Print Book Shopping
Some of the best books for
information about Judaica are out-of-print or hard to locate. When I want to
find a book---Jewish, quilting, or whatever, and my local independent quiltshop or bookstore doesn't sell it, here's where I look:
Tools and Gadgets
Magic Star 6 Template. This thing is brilliant. It a thick acrylic template in a sort-of diamond shape. It allows you to make kaleidoscopic 6-pointed star, neatly finished all around the edges, ready for a fast hand- or machine-applique. (You could even glue it down if your sewing machine breaks and the wedding is tomorrow). Makes the fastest huppa in the west. Buy the tool, mirror, point turner, and book (all reasonably priced) from the inventor, Mace McElligot, Mace Motif, 106 Manito Rd., Manasquan, NJ. Tel. 908 223 4434. For more information, see
Six Pointed Stars page.
Marilyn Doheney Rulers. Well, doctor, it all started
a couple of years ago, in March, when I took a class from Marilyn Doheney at the Glendale Quilt show. We learned to use her angular ruler make strip pieced circles. By June, I 'd made 3 1/2 Marilyn Doheney quilts, which is to say quilts which feature complex looking stars and circles, but were actually incredibly easy. Doheney doesn't have any books about how to do this, but she does sell several sizes of rulers, which include some instructions. And someone else---Sheila Finklestein---has written excellent book on using Doheney's and others' rulers to make circular and star shapes. Highly recommended! Finkelstein's book is Magic Mandala Quilts (see above).
Quilting Websites of Interest
The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework.
. This nonprofit international organization
is a fabulous resource.
Batts in the
Attic. some simple Judaic patterns including Hannukiah wall hanging and a Passover set (afikomen bag and cover), and Spinning
Dreidels. Quilt artist Paula Reid.
Oy Vey! Quilt Designs
Lovely aleph bet sampler, 'Shalom banner,' challah cover, Mazel Tov newleyweds under a huppah
wallhanging, 'lightable' menorah, and matzoh cover patterns.
Quilters Newsletter Magazine. This magazine's website has a free pattern for Rachel's Star, a gorgeous piece. Find it at
Paula Nadelstern makes the most astonishing kaleidoscopic stars
imaginable, including many based on a 6 pointed star. Visit her website is
. Her quilt, Kaleidoscopic IV, The Crystal Canopy, is a Huppa.
Jeanette Kuvin Oren and N. Amanda Ford make a variety of quilted Judaica
Richard Caro specilizes in huppot.See them at
Quiltworx.com, Judy Niemeyer Quilting. Check out the patttern 'Diamond Wedding Ring,' an
incredibly beautiful quilt which combines the traditional American double
wedding ring pattern with six pointed stars, and a floral applique
border. This would make a glorious huppah. Her website, this and many other
fabulous patterns, is at
http://www.kayewood.com/sm.html. The reknowned TV quilter offers several wonderful six-pointed star patterns, and a plastic template for making them.
Keepsake Quilting, 1 800 865 9458. This
famous New Hampshire quilt shop offers a fabulous, free catalogue that's
like a quilt book, packed with fabrics, patterns, , kits, notions, etc.,
including occasional Judaic fabrics, and quilt patterns by Cheryl Lynch (see
Oy Vey quilts, above), Elizabeth Rosenberg (I'm still looking for her
website), and others. Lots of quilt ideas to appeal to many different
Here are some places to buy Jewish-themed rubber stamps.
General Jewish Crafts
A real inspiration. Sandra Lynne's Gallery at
. Everything and more.
has many kid- and senior- friendly craft project ideas, directions, and
TRANSFERRING PHOTOS AND OTHER IMAGES
Bubble Jet Set(TM). Bubble
Jet Set is a fluid chemical product. You soak your fabric in this fluid for five minutes, pull it out, hang it to dry (over something clean and plastic---untreated wood or rope
can leave a stain), then iron the fabric to the waxy side of Reynolds freezer paper (available in quilt stores and some supermarkets).
Trim fabric and paper carefully to 8 1/2" by 11". Or,
for extra insurance (and slightly more expense), adhere your fabric to 8 1/2 x 11" Avery Labels
instead of freezer paper. Next, put the paper-backed
fabric through your computer printer, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't jam and help it out. Let it
cure for a half hour, rinse Bubble Jet Rinse , to
make the ink even more permanent, dry, and it's ready to sew. Any image you can scan into a computer, or glean from the Internet or any other computer source (being respectful of copyrights,
or asking permission if you're uncertain, of course), you can now get onto fabric! It leaves the fabric soft. The possibilities are infinite. For more information and inspiration, go to the Bubble Jet Set page offered by
reknowned art quilter Caryl Bryer-Fallert, at http://www.bryerpatch.com/faq/bjs.htm. She also sells the product at reasonable prices. It can be found at many quilt stores too.
Warning: Don't pour the used the Bubble Jet Set back into the bottle for use again. After one use, it is oxygenated, and won't make your computer ink permanent any more. Also, don't pour used Bubble Jet Set onto backyard bushes. It will kill them. I learned all this the hard way. Gloves are a very, very good idea. And obviously, keep way out of reach of children.
Cost per 8 1/2 by 11" sheet of
fabric will run about 25 cents.
Heat Transfer Paper.
Various manufacturers, available in stationary and craft stores, quilt
stores and quilting and sewing catalogues . This works great---for my friend Sue. She scans
photos into her computer, plays with them in Photoshop, including
flipping to a mirror image. (A copy store can do this, too). Then she loads
the transfer paper into her computer printer, and prints the image. Next, she
irons the image onto fabric. (It's the ironing part that doesn't work for
me---no matter how long or hard I iron, I can't get the image to transfer
all the way. I think my iron is flawed). But Sue's images are
beautiful. It does stiffen the fabric slightly, which can be an advantage or
a disadvantage (advantage: It prevents edges from ravelling, so you can do
raw edge applique. Disadvantage; feels bad).
Along with the difficulty of complete transfer, I have one other problem with this method: You cannot iron the fabric with the image afterward (for fear of lifting it off), which means you can't put fusible web on the back. This is not the case with Bubble Jet Set.
Cost per sheet of heat
transfer paper dependson the manufacturer, but $2 is about average.
The most expensive option, though potentially
the fastest. This is fabric which has been treated by the manufacturer so
that images printed on it---with a copier or a home computer printer---are
permanent. Be sure to read the label carefully to make sure the fabric can
be washed in water afterwards (some can only be drycleaned). Cost can run $3
a sheet and up.
Other methods: If you don't have a computer or scanner at home, you can bring heat transfer paper to a copy shop. In theory, they will copy your image onto your paper in their machine (though I've heard that some copy shops balk). A copy shop that offers tee-shirt making services
is a better bet, and they may have their own heat transfer paper that they
trust. They might also be willing to do the pressing for you, on one of their heavy duty high-pressure presses, which will do a better ironing job that you would at home (I have had a shop do this for me).
Bring your own fabric. They may charge a few bucks, depending on how
friendly they are.
Some quilt shops and catalogues sell pre-treated fabrics that can be run through a printer, and will hold the images permanently. I haven't tried this, but it seems
far more convenient---and far less economical---than the Bubble Jet Set method. Less color choice
for the fabric, obviously. Good if you're in a big hurry.
'Picture This' Way back in the old days---1998---this product was what I used to get pictures onto fabric. It's a white gluelike substance that you paint over a
photocopy of your photo (mirror imaged, in color or black and white). Then you push the fabric on top of the gluey stuff, let it dry for a day, and spend about a year (ok, an hour) rubbing the paper off the back of the fabric. You are left with a photograph
on fabric, with a slightly sticky, leatherlike consistency, which could be useful for some purposes (like beading for jewelry), but in general isn't too pleasant. It does, however, work.
For more ideas, a bible on this topic is Imagery On Fabric,
A Complete Surface Design Handbook, Jean Ray Laury (C&T Publishing,
WORDS ONTO QUILTS
Hebrew or English words onto your quilts, there many possible approaches.The
fastest and most flexible that I've found is to use a Hebrew font program (I
use Davka's products, below). I choose the font I like and figure out
the wording and the size. I then print it out onto paper, and use that
printout as a pattern for cutting fabric. (I often tape the paper to a
window, tape fabric over it, and trace the letters onto fabric).
Sometimes I even print the words directly onto fabric treated with Bubble
Jet Set, described above. If you prefer heat transfer sheets, you can print
directly onto those off your computer, too (be sure to mirror the iword,
because they will be flipped when pressed onto the fabric).
the book and/or the font you want is copyrighted (like a Haggadah by a
modern artist), you will need to contact the publisher for permissions to
use it on a quilt. (If in doubt, drop them a note, especially if you plan to
show or sell the quilt, and wait to see if they grant permission).
* Hebrew Rubber Stamps.
A rubber stamp Hebrew alphabet set is available
from Addicted to Rubber Stamps, at
www.addictedtorubberstamps.com. Search under alphabets. This set
includes vowels.There's also a set, which
includes vowels, available from 1-800-Dreidel http://www.nvo.com/1800dreidel,
though it's not always on their online catalogue (you can call them or order
their print catalogue for details). Also, there's a set available from
the Source for Everything Jewish, in
their print and online catalogue (http://www.jewishsource.com).
1 800 476 2388 . However, their set is geared toward exploring the 'mystical
meaning' of letters, and lacks final consonants or vowels. With your
stamps, be sure to use an ink or paint which specifies that it is
permanent on fabric. You may need to heat set it with an iron.
* English alphabet rubber stamp sets are widely available, of course, in many fonts, at craft and rubber stamping stores.
FONTS FOR THE COMPUTER
The great thing about having a lot of Hebrew
fonts on your computer is, 1. You have a lot to choose from, and 2. You can
write and resize the text as needed.
There are many places to buy fonts,
solo and in groups, but my favorite is Davka Corporation, which makes
several Hebrew font CDs for Macs and PCs.
I have the Hebrew Font Gallery (1995)
(see the fonts at
http://www.davka.com/Images/hfg/all_font.jpg.), and one of these days
I'm going to buy the Hebrew Font Gallery Deluxe (more fonts, more bells and
whistles). They also made my searchable CD Torah. Find all their neat
products (including Hebrew/Jewish clipart), at
www.davka.com. I have spoken with
them about using their fonts in my quilts which will be shown, books, etc.,
and they told me this is not a problem.
OTHER LETTERING IDEAS
* You can use a computerized sewing machine to embroider Hebrew. I've heard that Pfaff offers CDs for computerized sewing machines, with the Hebrew alphabets. If anyone can confirm, or send me more information & sources, please do!
* Stencil. Find a Hebrew alphabet font you like, enlarge as needed, then trace onto freezer paper or clear Contac paper. You can then paint with fabric paints; bleach out each letter
with dishwasher detergent and/or sew around each letter with a decorative contrasting thread.
I did a reverse bleachout technique for the lettering on my
Seventh Day Shabbat quilt.