Jewish Threads: A Hands-On Guide to Stitching Spiritual Intention into Jewish Fabric Crafts

A book from Jewish Lights, SkyLight Paths’ sister imprint

Make your own Jewish fabric crafts with spiritual intention—venture into a world of creativity, imagination & inspiration. These projects and stories will resonate with your artistic soul and awaken a desire to hand-craft keepsakes for the generations.

Diana Drew with Robert Grayson

w/ 8-page color insert and b/w illus.
7 x 9, 288 pp | 978-1-58023-442-9

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Learn how to make your own Jewish fabric crafts with spiritual intention—venture into a world of creativity, imagination & inspiration.

Journey along with talented Jewish fabric craft artists from throughout the United States and Israel as they retrace their steps in the creative process used to make thirty evocative projects. Then tap into your inner creativity by following step-by-step instructions to fashion family heirlooms with your own personal flair. Inspirational and motivational, these projects and stories will resonate with your artistic soul and awaken a desire to hand-craft Jewish fabric keepsakes to pass down from generation to generation. Projects and techniques include:

Quilting • Appliqu • Embroidery • Needlepoint • Cross-stitch • Knitting • Crochet • Felting • Needle felting • Tallitot • Tallit bags • Torah mantles • Challah covers • Seder plate • Afikomen envelopes • Torah table (shulchan) covers • Tree of Life & shalom wall hangings • Purim puppets • And more!

“A seamless and mindful meshing of instruction and inspiration, transmitting the beauty of Jewish traditions and the power of the needle arts to enhance them.... Offers not only patterns and ideas for projects but invaluable blueprints for connection. A book to cherish.”

Linda Skolnik, author,
The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self-Discovery

“A rare book, one that deepens its reader both aesthetically and spiritually—and teaches so much along the way.”

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, Jewish Literacy

“Invites us to celebrate Judaism. A treasure for all who already enjoy working with their hands, as well as for those who want to get started.”

Karen Bacon, PhD, The Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean,
Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University

“Bravo for getting us back to our needles, thread, and sewing machines to create beautiful Judaic objects! A wonderful guide for every artsy-craftsy Jewish education-through-the-arts type of person, whether it be for your home, your synagogue, your Hebrew school, or your community Jewish museum!”

Ellen Premack, executive director, Mizel Museum

“Reinforc[es] the intrinsic worth and spiritual connections of Jewish textiles.... Rethinks categories, concepts, and tradition to break new ground in the field of textile art.”

Laura Kruger, curator, Hebrew Union College Museum

“Valuable.... This highly researched book is a wonderful gift for yourself and anyone interested in learning how to make Jewish fabric crafts.”

Marcia Jo Zerivitz, founding executive director and chief curator,
Jewish Museum of Florida

“A cornerstone book for any serious fiber artist and a must-read for anyone interested in including an aspect of Judaism in their crafting. Truly inspiring ... the reader and crafter will come away with a sense of artistic and spiritual fulfillment.”

Stanlee Stahl, executive vice president,
Jewish Foundation for the Righteous

“Celebrate your Jewish identity with joy and pride! This breathtaking range of creative expression has something for everyone, and inspiration for the most meaningful, personal gifts you could never imagine without it!”

Eleanor Levie, quilt book author and producer

“Illuminates yet another portal to Judaism.”

Rabbi Jamie Korngold, The Adventure Rabbi; author, The God Upgrade: Finding Your 21st-Century Spirituality in JudaismÂ’s 5,000-Year-Old Tradition

“Inspiring. I loved having the instructions for the projects I might want to do, right there, after each story in the book.”

Marian Kugelmass, Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework,
North Jersey Chapter

Introduction ix
Part One: At Home 1
1. Susan's Tree of Life Wall Hanging 7
2. Ruthճ Hamsa Wall Hanging 13
3. Arnaճ Ahavah Needlepoint 19
4. Donnaճ Quilted Shalom Wall Hanging 25
5. Barbaraճ Felted Grapes Purse 31

Part Two: In the Synagogue 37
6. Eleanorճ Tree of Life Runner 43
7. Estherճ Crazy Quilt Shulchan Cover 49
8. Loisճ Sefer Placekeepers 55
9. Sukkot Torah Mantle 61
10. Shavuot Torah Mantle 73

Part Three: Celebrating Holidays 81
11. Estherճ Crazy Quilt Challah Cover 89
12. Menorahճ Challah Cover 95
13. Donnaճ Apples & Honey Challah Cover 101
14. Heatherճ High Holy Day Inspiration 105
15. Claireճ Ushpizin Quilt 113
16. Eleanorճ Chanukiah Vest 121
17. Ruthճ ChanuCats Quilt 125
18. Dancing Hamantaschen 131
19. Lesleyճ Purim Puppets 137
20. Shellieճ Ten-Plagues Matzah Cover 145
21. Claireճ Afikomen Envelopes 153
22. Zo‘ճ Knit Seder Plate 157

Part Four: Through the Jewish Life Cycle 167
23. Hannahճ Baby Quilt 175
24. Vickiճ Cross-Stitch Wimpel 181
25. Juliaճ Bat Mitzvah Challah Cover 189
26. Julianճ Traditional Tallit 195
27. Judyճ Garden of Eden Tallit Bag 203
28. Debraճ Tallit & Tallit Bag 215
29. Stuartճ Healing Quilt 221
30. Shalva Quilts 229
Inspirations 237
NCJW, West Morris Chuppah 237
Arnaճ Tallit Bag 239
Another Chuppah 240
Hannahճ Woven Shalom Wall Hanging 241
Womenճ Torah Project Bimah Cloth 242
Final Threads 245
General How-Toճ for Quilt Making 245
General How-Toճ for Lettering 252
Stitch Guide 255
Resources 257
The Blessing of Working Together 259
Projects for Holidays 260
An Array of Techniques 261
Jewish Imagery 263
From Sea to Shining Sea ... and Beyond 264
Suggested Reading for Beginners 265
Acknowledgments 267