The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework - http://www.pomegranateguild.org/ This organization has chapters in nine U.S. states, and Canada, plus independent members around the world. Founded in 1977, all members receive a newsletter called 'The Paper Pomegranate', with inspiring pictures, projects and reports. Membership info is at http://www.pomegranateguild.org/join.html.
The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles, Toronto, Canada - Totally seperate from the organization above, this group has its own activities and website for Toronto members. http://www.pomegranateguild.ca/.
The Six Million Stitches Project - Rita Lenkins Hawkins, of blessed memory, ran an online Jewish needlework group, and launched the Six Million Stitches Project. The website, at http://6millionstitches.clicksitebuilder.com/index.html, showcases projects that came out of her passion. The site asks for a $1.00 donation to the U.S. Holocaust museum, in Rita's memory, for every project downloaded.
Fay Nicoll Judaica Designs -www.faynicolljudaicadesigns.com, presents unique Jewish fabric lines, patterns, kits, jelly rolls, fat quarter bundles, charm packs, mugs, Jewish note cards, Bar & Bat Mitzvah cards, holiday cards, quilt hangers & stands, linens, baby rattle cubes and laser cuts of Hebrew letters, sayings, and designs. Fay is the owner of Sunshine Sewing & Quilting, www.sunhinesewing.com, the largest quilt and sew shop in south Florida.
Shema quilt - Deb Mishael, a Houston-based Jewish educator, offers a free, no-sew 'Shema' quilt pattern geared to classrooms. Directions at http://www.debimishael.com/CAJE_art.html. Many other resources for Jewish education, plus hand-made greeting cards.
Irit Art - http://www.iritart.com/ena. Israel's largest manufacturer of Jewish stickers. They can also print their designs on fabric. For more information, contact Eitan Poplinger, their export manager, at Eitan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joy of Silk - www.joyofsilk.com. Massachusetts artist Joy Chertow is a silk painter who sometimes collaborates with quilter Elana Schreiber. Check out the magnificent tallitot, and torah covers (in the 'Temple Photos'). She also offers tallit workshops for youngsters.
Art & Remembrance -http://www.artandremembrance.org. Poignant tapestries of Esther Nizenthal Krinitz, a child Holocaust survivor who, at 50, began stitching her memories into needlework collages. There's a book about Esther and her art.
Batts in the Attic - www.battsintheattic.com. Simple Judaic patterns including Hannukiah wall hanging, Passover set (afikomen bag and cover), and more. Made by quilt artist Paula Reid.
Richard Caro - He makes glorious custom huppot (and has a fascinating lineage - yes, THAT Caro).
DesignsSewJewish - http://members.shaw.ca/sewjewish/SEWJEW Stephanie Shaeffer, in Alberta, Canada, sells quilted Judaica, as well as patterns for Judaic projects, including holiday table runners, baby quilts, etc.
Fancy Delancy - Their printed catalogue has pieced and foundation-pieced patterns, including an aleph-bet, a "Shalom Y'all" wall hanging, a challah cover, matzoh cover, etc. For a catalogue, email email@example.com, telephone 303 (893)6942, fax 303 893 1447; or write them at 1635 Osceola St., Denver, CO. 808204.
Judaica by Marilyn - The Tallit Lady. Marilyn's quilting specialty is watercolor quilts; but she also makes glorious, peronalized tallitot, chuppot, kippot, baby gifts, and much more. http://www.levyjudaica.homestead.com/.
Paula Nadelstern -The most astonishing kaleidoscopic stars imaginable, including many based on a 6-pointed star. Website at http://www.paulanadelstern.com/. Her quilt, Kaleidoscopic IV, The Crystal Canopy, is a huppa.
Oy Vey! Quilt Designs http://www.geocities.com/oyveyquilts/. Cheryl Lynch offers a kippah pattern, a lovely aleph-bet sampler; 'Shalom banner'; challah cover; newlyweds under a chuppah wallhanging; 'lightable' menorah, matzoh cover patterns, and much more! Say "Hi" from me!
Quilters Newsletter Magazine - This magazine's website has a free pattern for Rachel's Star, a lovely wallhanging. (You'll also see a version of it in the 'Gallery', made by Elizabeth Janowitz). Find the pattern by entering the words "Rachel's Star' in the search box at www.quiltersnewsletter.com/qnm/feature20.htm
Quiltworx.com - Judy Niemeyer Quilting. Check out the 'Diamond Wedding Ring' pattern, which combines the traditional American double-wedding ring pattern with six-pointed stars, and a floral appliqué border.
Adam Rhine - He paints luminous Jewish mandala and calligraphy designs; some have been adapted to needlepoint. kits. Very inspiring. See his work at www.hebrewart.com,
Melanie Siegel - Not a quilter, but uses textiles and beads in fascinating ways. One of my favorites is her 'Tent of Abraham and Sarah.' It's in the 'Textile' section of her site at http://18.104.22.168/msiegel/enter/ .
Biblical Proportions - Women of Biblical Proportions, and Men of Biblical Proportions. http://www.wobp-mobp.org/. I was privileged to participate in one of these fascinating traveling quilt exhibitions (see Passover II).
Clearview Triangles - Sara Nephew's 60-degree triangle tools are well-marked and adaptable to any quilting system. She also sells isometric graph paper, and many inspiring books, at http://www.clearviewtriangle.com.
Debra Gabel/Zebra Patterns - Debra is an art quilter with a wonderful eye for color. She offers a lovely Bible story quilt pattern, at http://www.zebrapatterns.com/.
Kits Place - If you're in England and need Jewish crafts items, shop here. They have Jewish-themed fabrics, rubber stamps, charms, etc. http://www.kits-place.com/.
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. Includes Jewish symbols you may not have known about (hearts, angels, wreathes, elephants, snakes!); and several Hebrew alphabets. 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 includes 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. (See below, 'Where to buy out-of-print books.')
Frankel, Ellen and Teutsch, Betsy Platkin, The 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.
Causee, Linda, Symbols of Faith, (American School of Needlework, 2002). True, there's a large crucifix on the cover of this book, But if you read it the Hebrew way, from back to front, it transforms into a Judaic resource! The back cover is all Jewish blocks. And, of the 44 7" blocks within this book, at least a quarter are Judaic The Judaic designs include a 6-pointed star; a rainbow and dove; a curvaceous 'chai', (chet-yud, for 'life'); a shofar; a 7-branch menorah; a Chanukah menorah; two different kiddush cups; Noah's ark; dove; rainbow; wheat branch; palm branch; a really cool pomegranate, and―most extraordinary of all―the tablets of the 10 Commandments, each commandment symbolized by an embedded paper-pieced Hebrew letter. (See 'Learn to Quilt' below, for introductions to paper piecing).
Learn to quilt
To learn strip-piecing and basic quilting, consider Eleanor Burns' 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 hooked. Burns teaches the simplest, fastest techniques for the way-coolest results. Directions are extraordinarily clear. Her other Quilt in a Day books (like Irish Chain, Log Cabin, and others) are also an excellent way to begin
To resolve questions about Jewish law, history or traditions, ask your rabbi, or the rabbi of the people for whom you are making the project. The Jewish community is diverse, and what's okay in one community is definitely not in another. (Serious understatement!) Here are some other places to learn more about Judaism:
Torah.http://bible.ort.org/intro1.asp. Includes the entire Torah, the Haftarot, summaries of each portion, and blessings. See the text in Hebrew, English, transliteration, trope - and click a button to HEAR it! You can print out the text for your own personal use. However, this site forbids unauthorized reproduction and distribution--- which I believe means you are not permitted to print their text directly onto your fabric and put it onto your quilt, regardless of the purpose of your quilt (whether you are selling it, or stuffing it in the bottom drawer). What you can do, presumably, is use their Bible as a guide, retype the biblical quotations into your program or handwriting, and then choose your own fonts, sizes, styles, etc - just as you might do from a paper Bible.
CD ROM Bible. Many choices. I own the Davka Corporation's CD ROM Judaic Classics Library Bible ("The Complete Hebrew/English Bible on CD with powerful search program."), (www.Davka.com). It allows me to find the passages I need quickly, to put it in another font (maybe - depends if that font plays nicely with theirs), and then print it out, without copyright hurdles. Davka is extremely understanding of artists' needs.
The Jewish Encyclopedia, first printed in 1901, is now online and searchable. There's a lot that's outdated, but some things never change!
Ritualwell.org, for creating contemporary Jewish rituals. "Our hope is that this site will connect Jews to a living Judaism and empower us all to mark important times in our lives with ritual."
Melton Arts 'Learning Judaism through the Arts.' Resources for Jewish art educators, and links to a wide variety of Jewish artists.
Judaism 101. http://www.jewfaq.org/#Author. The conservative author presents predominantly orthodox perspectives and traditions. A handy modern Jewish encyclopedia on one site. Not to be confused with another Judaism 101 site, from the Orthodox Union (see below).
My Jewish Learning. www.myjewishlearning.com Articles, mini-courses, quizzes, discussions, recipes, etc. Transdenominational perspectives on Jewish topics, presented by Hebrew College in Newton Centre, Mass, and 'Jewish Family & Life.'
Diamant, Anita, The New Jewish Wedding, Simon and Schuster, 1985. Actually, ALL of Anita Diamant's non-fiction books are terrific resources.
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) Inspiration for anyone making a quilt for a bar or bat mitzvah child.
Shatnez Testers of America Everything you ever wanted to know about Torah law on fiber mixing.
Yiddish Dictionary Biz hundert un tzvantzik, and visit this site, which features phonetic spellings and translations of everything your Bubbie used to say in Yiddish so you shouldn't understand. Loads of fun! A sheynem dank. It's at http://www.koshernosh.com/dictiona.htm .