My favorite things in life (aside from people) include most foods; most quilts made by someone other than me; and many aspects of New York City, which is sorta my ancestral homeland.
So I am thrilled to announce that after a lifetime of gestation (plus a year of actual work), my book, "Quilted New York; Celebrate the City with Fabric and Color" is in print and available!
Here’s the proof, my new book in my old hand, wearing my Dad's even-older ring (I think my grandmother gave it to him in the 40s). My Mom’s ring is on my other hand. I wish they were here, because New York City played a big role in their lives.
The book has detailed directions for making 11 structures inspired by iconic NYC architecture. There are two quilt patterns, one for this quilt, which I call "Color Block New York." (It can be about 70" square, more or less, depending on border choices.)
My Dad's mother, a turn-of-the-century immigrant from Poland, settled in a one-room tenement apartment in Williamsburg (at 182 S. Third Street). Her husband abandoned the family, so she raised two sons alone, toiling at a sewing machine in a leather pocketbook factory. It’s such an irony that the sewing which wore her down brings her granddaughter so much joy. I understand how much luckier I am than her; the unconditional love she showered on us despite so many years of hard labor is one of the reasons I have the luxury of enjoying recreational stitching.
My Mom was a death camp survivor from Radom, Poland, who moved to Brooklyn after the war.
New York City gave both of them refuge and an excellent education. Dad earned an undergrad degree from NYU, and a graduate degree at Columbia U's Teacher's College; his tuition was paid by the GI Bill because of his combat service in WWII. I don't know how Mom paid for Hunter College, but it couldn't have been expensive, because it was public.
When I was in elementary school, we'd visit my Bubbie (grandmother), in that Williamsburg apartment. To my frustration, our parents absolutely forbade my brother and me from playing on the tantalizing fire escapes.
So New York always felt like my homeland. One building in my book is a tenement, complete with fire escape, in honor of Bubbie. (I took artistic liberties with the color).