Instead they come from my friend Linda Horowitz, a businesswoman and humorist, who loves making over-the-top kippot from the patterns in my yarmulke how-to book. She especially likes to make personalized, reversible lined kippot with 12 fabrics (plus buttons and charms.) A couple of months ago, she made the hat below for a friend's rabbinical ordination. There are six panels on the outside....
And six more on the inside....
Her giftee is involved in Jewish summer camp (so there's a camp fabric); "edible Judaism" (pumpkins); sun-and-wheat for counting the omer; a dove of peace button on a Jerusalem fabric; a tree fabric (Tree of Life/Tree of Knowledge - both work), with an apple button, which, she notes, could also be a teacher's apple; a G-clef charm; and much more. The binding is black denim with gold musical notes.
I thought I couldn't be prouder, but shortly afterwards, Linda sent me another baby picture! It was for the following 4-panel kippah she made for her son, who is starting freshman year at Butler University in Indiana. The school mascot is a bulldog.
She then cut out two of the dog heads, and fused them to a satin white fabric. She hired a professional machine embroiderer to spell out "Butler" in Hebrew (under the dog's head), her son's Hebrew name, and "Go Dawgs!" (The embroideries cost her $10/panel.) She cut the fabric into four panels, and stitched them together to make the kippah.
But wait, there are more new grandbabies! They're not hats; they're quilts, and they're Canadian! (so I may need to move in with them after the election.) A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from my friend Susan Podlog, who lives in Calgary - and it contained this photo:
Left to right: Leslie Levant, Nadine Waldman, Deb Finkleman, Carolyn Devins, Polina Ersh, Myrna Ichelson holding a challah cover by Lily Joffe
What makes this astonishing to me is that some of these ladies were beginners to paper piecing and even to machine sewing! Tackling my paper piecing patterns without a little experience can be daunting. For example, here's the letter Aleph:
... Fortunately, this group of stitchers includes Polina Ersh, "a phenomenal quilter and paper piecing maven," explains chapter member Susan Podlog. "Polina has the patience of Job, and was so gracious in sharing her knowledge. We so appreciated her willingness to be a teacher!"
One of the Polina's most helpful tips, Susan reports: Use the "Add a Quarter" ruler to trim seam allowances as you go. My pattern does not include information about this tool, but I just found a very clear tutorial here. (This tutorial is from the ruler's inventor, Carolyn Cullinan McCormick. No financial affiliation!)
The group also gave me some very lovely feedback on the patterns. One of the women wrote,
"I do remember thinking it was good that I'd done a previous paper-piecing project. I guess I'd say it might be tough for novices without some guidance. But I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and very glad that Cathy made this pattern. It's something the world needed!What more could a grandmother ask for? Well, a human grandchild would be nice, eventually....meanwhile, I'll just sit here in the dark.
A blog post with more about aleph bet quilts is here. Patterns are on my Judaiquilt website, here. and my Etsy shop. If you make something from one of my patterns, please send a birth announcement! We will both kvell!
P.S. Many more Judaica patterns, in many different mediums are available to members of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. You'll make new friends and learn new techniques - it's all good!