New Tallit Bag

A tallit Bag is for holding the prayer shawl men wear in synagogue on Saturdays. And yes, I say men, I’m not looking for equality – we women have other important aspects of our Jewish lives.

Anyway, I made one for my son for his Bar-Mitzva and it’s getting old and ratty – Joel and the other boys probably also need an update, but Wish uses his often. So time to make him a new one.

I shared this book a while ago, and now it is time to use it. But surprise surprise!

Most of the images were not Jewish buildings. I get it, the mosque and Churches are prettier, but this is a Jewish object so lets see what we have that might work.

The Western wall, problem for me is the image is so old, the book was published in the 70s, I just don’t like it.

The Montefiore Windmill is nice.

I like the Via Dolorosa, which could be any street in the old city.

but this is what I chose: The Tower of David

Fortifications of the city existed on the site from the time of the Hashmonaim dynasty (Hannunka story), this iteration is Mamluk – from the period of expelling the Crusaders. Either way, the name is David, so I went with this one.

I couldn’t import the chart into MarkupXP – so I enlarged and printed it. I found this cute tool – while working on a large area, I use two needles to mark off 10 or 20 stitches. After I received this I realized I can make this on my own, I might do so for friends.

Turns out I still managed to miscount….

I’m using silks from my stash. the linen is 32 count in a light blue. working on 32 is so much easier than 40. The needle sails through.

At this point I am realizing that my far right tower is a little to far… Oh well, I’ll fix that soon enough. No project happens without pulling out stitches.

Yes, my colors are brighter, I like it that way. I wasn’t going to look for the original colors that have probably mutated through the years and as I mentioned, I am using my silks from my stash. Working with what I have.

I love seeing an image appear stitch by stitch. More soon.


Shana Tova

Jewish new year starts tonight. I’ll be cooking soon, luckily other family members are bringing food as well, it’s not all on me.

Meanwhile, around the neighborhood, a massive reconstruction of underground water pipes. On the weekend, the tool chest is moved out of the way of our many thieves that roam freely.

The weather is fall like, so slowly, I’ve been putting out fall decorations. I found this wreath about two months ago – I love it’s fall- but not just orange and black.

I found this at a junk shop and it’s already out.

neighbors are beginning to put up their decorations.

I’m fine with cute ghosts – I’m getting tired of skeletons.

My attempt at a Rosh Hashana floral arrangement. some white and blue.

I finally finished this sweater. It is a little larger than expected, but I think it will be a wonderful warm cozy sweater.

back view. I have just ordered new yarn and a pattern for a new sweater. I guess I just can’t stop knitting.


Another month, another great quilter.

This month at the guild we had the pleasure of seeing and leaning from Kim Brownell. She came from Folsom in NorCal and brought a lot of creative works.

Many of her quilts are quite small – art quilts. Her rule is, a three layer sandwich. This is fairly traditional, I’ll share some that really aren’t.

She likes birds… this came with a funny story about how a crow stole their Tinker Bell antenna off their car. I always thought that was the job of a magpie – to steal shiny stuff, but sure, it can be a crow as well.

Charlie the Road Runner, her mom used to live in Tucson and this was the neighborhood pet, everyone fed him. A wonderful use of fabrics! This was among the last quilts shown, the final quilt – The Time is Now – is being shown on stage.

Kims’ one and only wearable art. The only coat that fit her when she was pregnant with her daughter. There are plenty of penguins here.

Inside the coat.

more inside and out.

Kim made this early in her quilting career, before she decided that a fusing form of appliqué was much more her cup of tea.

A quilt that celebrates reading.

She has cats, she has as many quilts with cats as with birds. This is her bowl of cats – as fruits and vegetables. I really love her very imaginative mind!

Here is her example of ‘its a quilt’. all of the squares are basically potholders – but they have the three layers. While sharing this someone asked – what quilt do you have on your bed. Kim laughed – a coverlet from JC Penneys.

Sorry it’s fuzzy, taken in a hurry. This is the quilt where she figured out how to take the technique of stained glass -with a ton of bias tape – to this – black background, and a lot of glue – as in E-6000. I’ve used that around the house, but not for fabric. It works well and even can be machine washed and dried.

This is from the weekend workshop – look how much they accomplished! I need to force myself to go to more workshops. Sometimes you learn something great, sometimes you learn what you don’t like and will never do again.

Pile O’ quilts.

During show and Tell, Paul shared this incredible transparency quilt. He is so meticulous, you can’t see where the seams meet.

Also, all the basics are from one line – different colors. but more depth than just solids. Oh, this quilt now lives on his bed. I hope he’s not sleeping under it right now – we have had a very hot and HUMID September.


A visit to Temecula

Having Joel retired is lovely, we can go places mid-week. And we did, to Temecula with three other couples.

My son has an AirBnb in the hills east of the town. A really lovely house, room for 8 of us to be there comfortably. Here is the pool looking out at the mountains.

The first morning there, it was very cloudy, and no, we never used the pool, but we did sit outside, chatting and enjoying each others company. The next morning was sunny and there was one lone balloon making it’s landing. On weekends there are plenty, this was a Thursday, so only one.

While looking for dinner on our first night, I found a place in neighboring Murietta. Here is their town clock. Although this is ‘Old town’ it isn’t developed at all.

The place looked shut down.

This place looked like it might be a bar or restaurant, but didn’t look open.

We had a fun dinner and that night, everyone crashed.

At least there are lovely people and dogs here. We took a short walk and met a nice gentleman with 3 dogs, two basset hounds and a chihuahua. The one lying on the ground is a European Basset, very big. The one standing in an American Basset – smaller. Those huge ears aren’t only for hearing, as they ran through the marsh, finding the birds the hunters shot down, their ears would whip up the smells for them. Bassets have incredible sense of smell. Also, all purebreds, of either breed will always have a white tip at the end of their tails, sort of the flag for the owners to see as they rush through the marshes.

Old Town Temecula is vibrant and hopping. So much so that I only have a few pictures. I love shopping in cute stores in cute towns.

Temecula has a gorgeous city hall. Apparently they have a huge venue for Line dancing as well, we didn’t go. We stopped only at one winery and didn’t do the tasting. Michael, who was with us said the wines here really aren’t that great. At dinner he proved it by ordering a wine and making faces. But what we did do was taste the olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil company. I am not a member of their club, but I always buy some oil and vinegar when there. They have stores in Laguna and Seal Beach. The whole tasting process is a fabulous marketing technique. And to prove that I bought stuff:

For dinner when I got home, I marinated chicken breasts in the oil and vinegar, added veggies and baked for about 40 minutes – it was delicious!

No pictures of the group, oh well. we all had a wonderful time together and plan on doing more of these kinds of getaways.


An Amazing wedding

I met Sarah and Vadim 4 years ago when I went to an event to meet Kevin Kiley who was a member of the CA assembly from Rockland. He is now a very successful congressman from that district. The event was at the Kitson store in West LA, outside I see this cute couple – and she has a large Star of David around her neck. We immediately connected and have been friends ever since. My story even ended up in the wedding.

They live out in the Inland Empire, which is why I don’t see then as often as I’d like. They actually got married in Vegas 9 years ago, but it was time for the real Jewish wedding, at this gorgeous private property. Its’ good to have nice friends! (not me, the owner of this amazing house.

There were over 300 people, all kinds, From the Chabad Rabbis to hipsters, to older folks like us. And the weather was kind, not too hot. So while the techbros came face to face with real nature up at burning man – we had an amazing, live affirming gathering.

They hired this adorable woman (or maybe she was just another guest) to entertain the kids and paint their faces. If you look closely, on the left there are some juggling buttons.

Once it was dark, you could really see how wonderful they were. The Rabbis (there were three of them there) got into the action, because there is nothing a Chabad Rabbi can’t do.

In typical fashion, Chabbad Rabbis will get people to put on Teflin, wrapping these boxes on the head and arms is done by Orthodox Jews every day, except Shabbat. This is the groom, getting his extra blessings before the ceremony.

Even Joel, who owns a pair, but hasn’t put them on in years, got in the action.

The bright neon lights look great, but aren’t great for photography. Which is fine, I only have a few pictures, I was sort of sorry that the videographer put the camera right in front of the ceremony. Some of us like to be there in real time without that blatant of the reminder of capturing everything on camera.

The Groom! How happy is he? Unfortunately, his parents couldn’t make it from Israel, but they were just there for his sisters wedding.

SJ’s parents died years ago, so some dear friends walked her to the Chuppah.

Clouds, darkness. During the ceremony we learned that the couple really wanted the Jewish date of 18 of Elul. Because exactly 110 years earlier one of SJ’s grandmother disembarked in New York from Russia. Btw, her name was Sarah, and she is who SJ is named for. What the Rabbi forgot to mention is that in Judaism the new day starts the night before, which is why they had the ceremony at night.

I know, a Halloween looking picture. Another thing about the Rabbi, he has 7 children, from 4 months to 18 years old. The 18 year old son has moved away from the Chabbad tradition, and has moved to Israel to join the army – as in an elite commando unit. The idea going around is that when someone leaves the ultra orthodox community – they are shunned. Nothing could be farther from the truth, he was at the wedding. His parents are so proud of what he is doing. The openmindness is usually on the side that gets maligned. Meanwhile those maligning – who usually have some sign outside their house telling us how tolerant they are – are the least tolerant of all.

Most of the guests weren’t Jewish, and they were so impressed by this ceremony. It is indeed very beautiful.

The couple couldn’t stop smiling all night long!

We played Jewography with the Jews we met there and of course found connections. Works every single time.

And now these two are going to start having babies! May there be no complications!


Aytan is 14!

He is getting bigger and taller. I offered to drive, because it is so hot and I’m a wimp – nope – he wanted to walk (its’ really not that far)

Shira was with us as well, she is also getting tall.

Than I took a friend to a wacky junk shop, it is too haphazard to call a thrift store. Recently I found All things and more. Zach the owner is a little insane, he swears a lot, the place is a mess, but if you are willing to dig and get dirty, you can find treasures. This is what I found, some cute dishes covered in dust. My friend found some cute stuff as well. I saw a case of jam size mason jars – she grabbed them! They were on her shopping list. Luckily, the were still in the plastic wrap – although they certainly need a good wash.

After a good wash. I’m having some guests on Friday night, I’ll use these plates.

I already used the serving dish at dinner.

I like capturing the info chart when I am at a round number. Pay no attention the the time, its’ a lot more than that, when I am filling in an area I turn off the program and then go back and mark the stitches.

I am at 34%, The top third of the project is complete! Guess what, from here on out it is full coverage…… it is going to take forever and I will start doing some smalls just to take a break. Although I do have to say, at this point I jump around a lot – so it hasn’t gotten boring.


A weekend of family

Our Torah Minyan meets at our old synagogue, my kids and grandkids went to the OG, but stopped off to see us.

I wanted a picture of Einav in the dress, so she makes a silly face. The dress fits here quite well, it’s a size five – she is a big girl

Weird light, all the camera caught was the neon. We had the boys stay over so we went bowling again.

Getting a little help.

West and Cam did well, Yoch got 100 points, Cam got 92. Yes the kids had the bumpers. I didn’t do too well, a lot of gutter balls, but also game- I actually got a strike, yes I am as shocked as anyone.

Then back to our house for icecream!!

These two went to a Dave Mathews concert and had a great time.

Of course we made pancakes. West is using the wonderful tool his family got me for Hannukah, yes it makes a nice size pancake. Also, I learned that if I let the mixture sit for 5 minutes or more, the pancakes will fluff up. Live and learn.

Shira sent me this picture, she is still crocheting and getting so much better! Yay!

Her Middle School sent pictures of the new 6th grade, she is having a good time, I am so grateful.


Another Challah cover

Life sometimes dictates when I will take a break from my large project Solomons Temple. Friends sent out an evite – nine years after their Las Vegas wedding they are having a Jewish wedding. I wonder if this has to do with the fact that his sister had a lovely wedding in Israel this summer.

I had to get to work quickly. I don’t have a large stash of linen, (to remedy that I just ordered more). I hope in other images you will see this is green, not off white. It is 32 so, easy to work with. I pulled out my Cosmo floss – left over from my 2021 stitch along with Modern Folk Embroidery. I probably over did the design. I have the image of the alphabet saved, but I had to chart it out. I should have simply chosen one design for the pattern, but I didn’t.

I bought another pattern with pomegranates… I might make more of the pattern, we shall see.

So here I am, two pomegranates on either side. but something is missing. I had added leaves on the larger one on the left, but not enough.

A few more leaves and it looks so much more balanced.

And now, what kind of border? Rachel Clark had a whole coat with Seminole patchwork. Fool that I am, I got rid of my book that I bought over 40 years ago – no longer in print.

There are some images and tutorials online, I’m still looking for a good book. I’m not Rachel – she clearly can see something and recreate it, no matter how complicated it is. so This is my test strip, FYI, this was the second attempt… so I guess I shouldn’t complain that it took only two…

Also, on Monday, when UTLA decided that teachers can’t teach after a very rainy Sunday (we are talking LA. not the desert where there was a lot of damage), I went with my son in law and the grandkids to lunch. right next door to Mitzvah Land. And look what I found, the perfect board of the Challah, it is painted glass and the color is perfect!!!

So now you understand the colors I chose for my seminole broader. A while ago I bought a kit to help make perfect piping. The kit is great, but to get to perfection, I need a lot more practice. Then again, perfection is overrated.

Here it is! You can see that the linen is green, I did a reasonable job matching the corners, the fabrics work with the stitching and the colors on the plate. I am extremely pleased.

Side by side, mine and the gift. I deliberately chose something other than blue – because I love blue so much! Need variety. I am thrilled with the new one as well. The nice thing about a Challah cover? There is no set size. And I am finished 10 days early – now back to the Temple!


Up to Big Bear

My son and DIL have work to do at their house up in Big Bear, so we drove up, to spend some time up there. Last time we were there was two years ago in the winter.

We visited the zoo, it was hot, so most of the animals were in their lairs.

Bear teeth are quite large. At one point they had a bear called: Tripod, as in only three legs. I think that bear is no more.

These are the usual black bears. There are 3 grizzlies that were brought here from Yellowstone. They were hiding so I saw them from afar.

I love an owl, any owl.

There is a playground there, best part was the small climbing rock

There are two new Bobcat kittens, they like most other animals kept out of sight.

with another bear

And a Yeti!!!

The sunflowers are huge.

I love the flowers here in the summer.

Driving up, we had quite the adventure – no sign or word of road work, but halfway up – the road was completely closed, we had to drive back down and back up through Yucaipa. On the road they were also doing road work, but they allowed traffic on one lane – so twice, we had to wait for about 15-20 minutes. At least we got up there.

Its’ hard to capture rain in a picture. The boys spent Saturday night with us, and as the rain came down, no not a hurricane, just a tropical rain. Although it makes sense that Hilary would disappoint. Of course the media and our dictator, Newsom were doing everything to scare us that this was the end. Yes, a lot of rain does some damage – but there was no reason to close the schools or show fake pictures of a flooded Dodger stadium.

Strange picture, the old trampoline is going away, for Attains’ birthday I bought an exercise bench – from Play it again Sports. He loves his boxing and sports.


Rachel Clark

Many years ago Rachel clark was the presenter at SFVQA, bringing her coats and stories. Well she came back, and her work has only gotten better!

I had the pleasure of being one of the models, and I have to say, thank God I didn’t model her political coats. Sure, they are gorgeous and she has every right to put her politics in art, unfortunately that is a one way street. I have yet to see, at any quilt meeting or show – a pro-life quilt, and believe me they are out there.

Being one of the models, means, I didn’t get pictures. at some point I may see a picture on the guilds’ website. So after the show, I went and took pictures of the pile of coats. I love how she enlarged the old seminole quilt patterns. I’m wondering if there will ever be a resurgence of that style, especially since we use rotary cutters these days.

Same coat, with front band. I know, showing someone wearing these is what really brings them to life.

Inside of the coat, her lining fabrics are amazing, they often compliment the garment, but in funny ways. The alligator quilt has all kinds of fun alligator fabrics in the lining.

The Christmas Coat, one of the few Christmas specific garments I love. I think this started with the plans, but she puts the fabrics together so well, and sure, red and green, but with such panache!

First of all, she is quite the seamstress, her work is impeccable. And yes, she is still working very hard on these coats – which she does wear. Its the travel and classes she is cutting back on.

Her African coat. Made from many African prints. I have to say, she found the ones with the huge images, I think this is a newer trend in fabrics printed in Africa, probably because the printing technology has changed so much.

Don’t you just love the huge key with the actual key added for interest?? Rachel puts a lot of extra stuff on her coats.

LOVE the pumpkin! Also notice the mola coat, I was fortunate to wear this one, more pictures!

Like many quilters, she collected plenty of Molas, at some point she decided it was time, but into them and make a gorgeous coat. Her love was the pig moles, there are at least 3 on the coat. I also like the bull! She didn’t have enough of them, so she got out her Cherrywood hand dyed fabrics and created the bands of color. I didn’t get the picture of the front placket, it went from wide to very narrow black and colored stripes, then just black stripes. A real artist and I don’t say this about a lot of crafts. Many crafts are just that – and are more impressive than most art today, but I’ll say that Rachel is an artist

I was walking through the audience so I missed the description this coat. I do know that blue is her favorite cooler and this took a very long time and probably has 300 fabrics in it.

This is why I love being around creative people, it really feeds the soul.