The Quilter: Quilting with Malke

Posts Tagged ‘Fabrics

I was asked a while ago if I would be willing to be interviewed for an article on Jewish Women in Business and here are excerpts of some of my answers:

What inspired you to create your business? I had just moved into a new house in a new neighborhood and was in between having babies; and a friend of mine who also sewed a lot approached me and asked if I would like to open a sewing store in my basement, foolishly, I agreed.

Were there any areas where you discovered tricks to cut costs? If so, where and how? I started giving classes so that I could save on the cost of a teacher, even though teaching is not my favorite thing to do.  We also are more careful in our ordering pattern. We order to restock sold notions but order new fabrics not more than once a month.  We also moved from a store front bck to my house so tha I could cut down in the rent and other commercial obligations.

Have you encountered any challenges specifically relating to your being an Orthodox Jewish women business owner? Not so much challenges as venues that I cannot participate in because I choose to be orthodox.

If so, how did/do you deal with the challenge? I do not participate in the many shabbos venues for quilters.

What advice can you offer other Orthodox Jewish Women entrepreneurs? Realize that being a woman today is not what will make or break a business.  Being orthodox puts many restrictions on you but you can compensate by working harder and manuvering around the system.  Know your business inside and out, network, and most importantly, take some business courses.

How do you maintain a work-life balance, juggling the roles of a business owner and mother?  Although any job outside of the home is stressful, if your goal is to work for pleasure because you love what youre doing, you can manage.  I love to run my business most of the time.  I have also been given the golden opportunity to work with my children.  They were always with me when they were small and when they got old enough, the girls work for me, either full or part time, and the boys help with stock when they could leave yeshiva.

We’ll be going Thursday, May 26 to the American Folk Art Museum at 45 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. There is an admission fee and we’re planning to be there for the 1:00 tour. We’ll be meeting at the Avenue J train station (Q train) to be able to visit B & J fabrics before the museum. You must call to register.

Another thing on our agenda will be a UFO Day. No, you don’t actually have to finish an object, but you do have to bring in UNUSED FABRIC OBJECTS. You can bring in as  many fabrics as you want to trade- you know… the ones you have no idea why you bought in the first place! Or just leftovers from other projects you don’t want to use again (or eve think about again!).  Fat quarters is the minimum size & 1 yard pieces is the maximum, but you can bring in as many first quality pieces as you wish.  If you are interested, please email me!

Take care,


For those of you who live nearby or are coming to NY to visit- don’t miss out on our STORE-WIDE sale! We are putting every item in stock at a 35% discount!!! (when paying with cash, 30% when with a credit card… not including already discounted items)

Come in and stock up on notions and browse through our fabrics for great finds! This sale is really not to be missed and I’m not just saying that because it is my store 🙂

2011 Quilt Challenge Guidelines:

Deadline for entries: Sunday, March 27

1) Purchase our challenge packet which includes:

*This fat quarter

2) Create a wall hanging using a recognizable piece of challenge fabric plus fabrics of your own choice.

3) The finished quilt cannot be larger than 24” x 24”.

4) The quilt must be made of three layers top, batting, and backing. The three layers should be attached in some way ie. tying, quilting etc.

5) All quilts must have a sleeve and paper label pinned to the quilt. The label should include your name, phone number, or/and address.

6) Your name should not appear anywhere on the front of the quilt.

7) The quilt must have a title and artists’ statement. Please type approximately 50 words.

8) The quilt must be delivered to SEW MATERIALISTIC by 6:00 on March 27. Quilts will be on display from March 28- May 1.

9) The public is invited to vote for the favorite entry (once a day) until March 18. The winner of the $72 and $36 gift cards will be announced May 2. The exhibit will be closed on May 1.

10) Please pick up your quilt between May 1- 8. We can make arrangements for return shipping.

Quilt Challenge Fabric


I’m taking off a day from work today with 2 of my daughters to go to Manhattan to find material for Blima’s wedding.  She wants the color purple for all the family and I’m happy to report if you don’t already know that purple is a hot color this season.  I think I’m too old to actually wear all purple (I’ll feel like a huge grape) but a shade of it will work for me.  I usually provide dresses for all the grandgirls and I’m happy to report that was already taken care of!  We are now trying to decide if all the guys should wear purple ties (or socks—  just joking) or just buttoneers. They seem to be balking at the buttoneers, but I’ll just threaten them a little more. 😉

I’m happily playing with my postcards and will post the new ones.  I do have a confession to make though- I have become obsessed!  I am making a large quilt that needs 1/4″ square triangles, lots of them.  Since I can’t do much more than sit in my lounge chair (I’m doing so well…), I sat yesterday cutting off all the dog ears.  I had this nice huge pile on my work surface and they were all green.  I started handling them and was struck with the idea of making some snippet postcards, too.  as I’m playing, my husband is cleaning the kitchen and brings me 2 handfuls of scraps from the floor and asks me what to do with them.  I begged him to save me from myself and he should throw everything out right away so I don’t have to agonize about how small a piece I should save. Let’s face it: it is getting ridiculous!  How small to YOU keep?  And better yet, for how long and do you really every use it all up????

I’ve been trying to keep up with a ‘block of the month’ group, but so far I haven’t been too successful.  Instead of making one of each block, I thought I would be real bright and make 2, so I would have 2 more quilts to give to the grandkids [since I don’t think I will ever really catch up].  Only problem: I misplaced everything in the mess of a sewing room I have.  I started cleaning last week hoping that I’d find everything soon since the meeting is next Sunday.  I read somewhere that one should beware of a quilter that is cleaning her room; it means she is planning to move out!  I found the bag in the second to the last corner.  When I excitedly showed my husband, he commented: “does this mean you aren’t going to clean your room anymore?”  RIGHT!  Guess what I’ll be doing all night tonight?  Show you both finished projects the end of December.

I’ve been making more postcards for this trading group I joined- “Trading Fabric Post Cards”- a group of 25 people who from all over the world who has to also send out 25 postcards. There is no fee and no rules. If you would like to sign up, just google quilted postcard trading group. I still have these in my possession (past the due date) bec. big cities are quite uncooperative in hand stamping… If the fabric postcards were to go through the machine it can be damaged. By me, they charge .44 cents, then .20 cent fee, then $1 for each handstamp!
As an aside, Sew Materialistic offers free postcard workshops, where everyone just sits and sew postcards- lots of fun!

Quilted Fabric Post Cards

Quilted Fabric Post Cards

Quilted Fabric Post Cards

Quilted Fabric Post Cards

Quilted Fabric Post Cards

My daughter, Blima, made this lap quilt as a wedding gift for her best friend. Her friend loves flowers and hearts, so Blima used every flower and heart fabric she could find. It is a positive/negative quilt. If you want more info about how to make it, you can email Blima at

Positive/Negative Flower and Heart Quilt

I went to a quilting retreat last week on the 5.  I think it’s the best kind, the one that I get to spend a day with friends who enjoy the same interest, quilting, even if we do come from very different backgrounds.  We are the Quilters of the Night Kitchen. Yesterday we were able to put together 3 soldier quilts that the Brooklyn Quilters Guild collects to give out to veterans.  We all worked fast and almost finished all 3 tops.  food, music, talk, and quilting-who could ask for anything more?  a great time was had by all.

Original Quilt Postcard post.

Here’s more:

Postcard Quilt 3

Postcard Quilt 4

Postcard Quilt 5

I was awed and inspired by an exhibit I went to in Morristown NJ.  I went with a group of ladies and we were treated to a private showing by Jack Walsh, the proud owner of all the quilts.  He is a collector of contemporary quilts and it was an eye opener.  The exhibit made me want to dabble more in contemporary quilting.  I think I’m off to a good start with the post cards I started making and sending out.  I’m having so much fun!  Check them out!

Quilt Postcard 1

Quilt Postcard 2More to come!

Sew Materialistic Newsletter Spring/Summer 2010

Sewing Classes and Quilting Classes are located in our Brooklyn, NY Store at

1131 McDonald Ave Brooklyn New York.

Good and not so good news.  If you’ve been keeping up with this blog than you know that Blima got engaged and I was busy with her dress and chupa[wedding canopy].  Blima has since broken off her engagement so now I have so much more time on my hands to reorganize my long suffering sewing room.  I finally got all the shelves up and it is really starting to look good.  I’ll take a picture when it’s finished.  I’m soo proud.

I took a group of ladies; Cecelia, Alzaida, Claudia, and Chava to the Somerset Quilt Show on Friday.  We were all tired out after the long day and I think everyone had a good time.  For some of the ladies, this was there first show!  I’m hoping to schedule another trip for May.  If anyone is interested in joining us, please email the store.

I’m having <CENSORED> [complaining] burn-out.  It’s again the time of year for me to start thinking about another newsletter.  I came up with the great idea of not sending out a whole newsletter but instead only a postcard with a burning match on it.  The idea was nixed by one and all, too bad.

I love my quilting store and I love most of my customers, (I’m sure you are one of them), and thank G-d we are doing pretty good in this economy but I still feel burned-out.  In particular, registration for sewing and quilting classes was way down this quarter.  Now I’m cheap and don’t go in for spending my hard earned dollars on anything but quilting fabrics for my stash but I’m always curious about new techniques and patterns and therefore try to take classes that interest me and allow me to grow as a quilter.

There are a few diehards that do take all the classes that we offer and it gives me great pleasure to see them growing and enjoying the sheer joy in learning something new.  Are we not offering enough new and innovative classes?  Should we be offering more detailed work?  More fast and easy?  I dont know where to go so I dont feel like going anywhere.   So there, I’ve said my piece and I feel better [now i have to see if this goes thru my censors](One Word Censored).

I’m on a short vacation of sorts because I’m in L.A. enjoying the sun, in between the rain, and the Road To California quilt show that I try to go to every January.  It was great as usual and I was visually overwhelmed by all the colors and quilts.   Spent too much money of course but that’s not new.

I spent another great day in downtown at Michael Levine, a not to be missed fabric shop, with a great selection of cottons.  I’m going to have to go home and sew fast and furious to use up some of the fabrics I bought.

Sorry for the delay, and it’s been a while, but here are more stuff from our Vermont Quilting Trip!

Our group in Woodstock where we all picked up some very cool fabric.

The Quilting Gang

The Quilting Gang

One of the many covered bridges in Vermont.

Covered Bridge on our Quilting Trip to Vermont

Covered Bridge on our Quilting Trip to Vermont

A quilt show in a trunk.  This is the background story:  while at the Shelburne, Madi became friendly with a perfect stranger who also happened to be a quilter!   She took us to see the covered bridge and than showed us the quilts she had in her trunk because she was having a one woman show!

One Woman Quilti Show in Vermont

One Woman Quilti Show in Vermont

One of the beautiful quilts at the “Covered Bridge Show”

Covered Bridge Show in Vermont

Covered Bridge Show in Vermont

At the store, we started a Dear Jane class.  Although we had only six people register, we all became dedicated Janiacs, and we are enjoying every minute of it.  I, in particular, took off with those little cute blocks and I am making, or trying to make, two of each in different colorways to make them the same but to look different.

I’ve made quite a few but not nearly all of them.  Anywho, we dicided that it would be fun for all of us to go to the Shelburne Museum to see Dear Jane up close and personal.  A two day trip to Vermont in the Fall would be fun anyway.

Tell you all a bout it when I get back!

I’ve been very busy since I came home from Cleveland; cleaning my sewing room.  I had emptied the whole room out, because I got new shelving, and now I have to put everything back together again.  I’m not having much fun because I would rather be quilting but I like revisiting old friends.

How do you organize your room?

How small a piece of fabric do you keep?

I’m afraid to throw anything out; maybe it will be the one I’ll need for some project.  My not finished pile is huge.  When the room was a mess I didn’t see how many I had,  now I’m amazed.

My daughter, Blima, visited her sister in Argentina and took some pictures of the quilts I made for them.  I will post them this week.

Here is a better picture of my daughter’s chupa that I made.



Hi.  I haven’t written much in too long, sorry.

I have been busy trying to work on a lap quilt for my daughter.  She said that her house feels too dark and depressing (this after a trip to sunny Florida) because she has decorated in dark colors.  I used the ricky tims kaleidescope method and made her the begining of the quilt.  I really enjoy this pattern and have used it for my newly married daughter’s chupa [wedding canopy].  I got stuck when I had to do the borders, but I’ve solved this lingering problem and hope to work on it this week.  Going to post a picture when im finished, but here is the center:

Ricky Trim Kaleidoscope Quilt

Ricky Tims Kaleidoscope Quilt

My daughter sent me a picture of her husband using the “Moby Wrap” with her son.  I guess it’s a unisex wrap with that neutral black color.  No excuses dads!

Unisex Moby Wrap

Unisex Moby Wrap

This was my daughter’s project.

To make a wrap-around baby carrier (like a Moby Wrap):

  1. Cut approximately Five (5) yards of a slightly stretchy fabric 45″- 60″ wide that also “breathes” (eg cotton knit).
  2. Cut in half the long way; making two wraps.
  3. Fold in half the short way.
  4. Iron on or sew an applique to indicate the center for when you are ready to use it.
  5. The two ends should taper off to be points for an easier tie, so cut a triangle off each.

And that’s all folks!

Moby Wrap: Make it Yourself

Moby Wrap: Make it Yourself

I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I’ve been crazy busy but we just finished loading on a whole new batch of quilting fabrics on our site.  Enjoy and tell a friend!

Here is the picture of the quilt I created for my daughter’s Chupa.  It was part of the “ceiling” of the Chupa.

Quilt for Chupa

Quilt for Chupa

The wedding finally came and passed (more on that another time).  Below is a picture of my daughter in the wedding dress I made!  Yay!

Wedding Dress (My Daughter also!)

Wedding Dress (My Daughter also!)

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on my Holocaust Quilt.   Thank you.  It’s a very precious project to me.

Tools that I haven’t mentioned because you all knew about them and I think are great:

Iron Safe: Our best on-line seller, covers the sole plate of the iron with a Teflon cover that makes it safe to iron on anything without the shine or scorch.

Tailor Tacker is a neat little gadget that is used in dressmaking but works just as well in quilting to accurately mark your quarter seam corners.

120 Inch Tape Measures are simply great for measuring larger quilts accurately.  When I was trying to measure the chupa quilt I had to keep on flipping my 60″ and coming up with different numbers.  I now have a 120″.

If given the choice between sewing [even with a deadline, my daughters dress] or quilting, there is’nt much of a toss up.  But since I have to justify quilting instead of sewing, I got involved into making a chupa for her.  A chupa is a covering that jewish brides and grooms have over their heads during the ceremony.  I wanted to try the Ricky Tims kaleidescope.  It came out beautiful!  I gave it to our longarm quilter to finish and now its full-time on the bridal gown!

All the live ballots, absentee ballots, oversea ballots, hanging chad ballots and all other ballots have been counted and we have a winner to the 2009 Challenge Quilt Contest!

Madi #4 Sweet Dreams!

Runnerup is Susan #9 “New York Mosaic

Thank you to all of you who voted in my quilting store and online and thank you to ALL of the entries!  They were all fantastic!

Please reference this post about the Challenge Quilt Voting.

A number of people have contacted us regarding the poll not working.  I have put up a new poll so please vote again!   Although this is highly unusual we hope the Florida Supreme Court will uphold our decision.  Hanging chads will not be counted.

Reference This Post

“The Old Stomping Ground” by Linda

“I lived in lower Manhattan when I first came to NY.  I quilted the most travelled route I took in those days between the Lower East Side, where I lived, and the World Trade Center where I worked.  (Ii never took the bus).”

2009 Challenge Quilt The Old Stomping Grounds (NYC)

2009 Challenge Quilt The Old Stomping Grounds (NYC)

“New York Mosaic” by Susan
“The first thing that struck me when I moved to NY from the Midwest, almost 30 years ago, was the non-stop motion everywhere, the lack of patience and the need for everyone behind me to be somewhere else five minutes ago, if not esterday.  To me, NY is a true mosaic, not a melting pot, with each person a unique part of the whole.  This quilt is based on the subway tile station mosaic motifs, trying to incorporate motion, people, landmarks, traffic and some of the many things NY is know for: finance, communication, entertainment, food, etc.”
2009 Challenge Quilt New York Mosaic

2009 Challenge Quilt New York Mosaic

Reference This Post

“Convergence” By Joyce

“I was inspired by the convergence of the people, cars, trains that form New York City.”

2009 Challenge Quilt Convergence

2009 Challenge Quilt Convergence

Reference This Post

“Quilt Show Grid Lock” By Malke

This is mine so there is no voting on this one.

“By air, land and sea we can find a quiilt shop anywhere. And we do! Malke”

Quilt Show Grid Lock 2009 Challenge Quilt

Quilt Show Grid Lock 2009 Challenge Quilt

Reference This Post

“The Maze” By Merri
“Out path starts at the hospital [the bottom subway map starts at a hospital] and ends at the cemetery [the top subway map is the cemetery]. Along the way our loved ones watch over us.”
The Maze 2009 Challenge Quilt

The Maze 2009 Challenge Quilt

“A Wild Ride on the Subway” By Ellen

“‘ A Wild Ride on the Subway’ fits with the theme of transportation that I have been working on.  From boats to taxis to Volkswagons, getting around NYC can be an adventure!  Born and raised in Brooklyn New York, I have been painting for over 35 years.  Over the past five years, I have been experimenting with fiber art, finding it to be freeing and fun. where as my paintings are formal, my quilts are whimsical and playful.”
Challenge Quilt - A Wild Ride on the Subway

Challenge Quilt - A Wild Ride on the Subway

“Sweet Dreams” By Madi
“Some people count sheep to help them fall asleep, I count trains.  It works for me since I live a stones-throw from the Q Train that helps lull me to sleep.”
"Sweet Dreams" 2009 Challenge Quilt

"Sweet Dreams" 2009 Challenge Quilt

“People on the Moon” By Sarah
“People in NY, with it’s great history and diverse cultures, are all on the moon.  Both residents and tourist alike using different means of travel.  Buses, trains, cars and trucks moving over the grand bridges.  Through tunnels, up and down our streets, sometimes at great speed I might add.  Let us not forget the boats that travel in and out of our vast waterways and harbors. We have it all for people on the moon.”
"People on the Moon" By Sarah

"People on the Moon" By Sarah

Update on the wedding dress: The hardest part for me is making the first muslin fit.  Thank G-d that’s finished and I’ve made the lining ready for Yehudis’s wedding dress.  Today I cut into the fabric!

“Our Day in Central Park” By Perri

“I stared at the challenge fabrics for a long time. Central Park was conveniently in the center of my piece of subway map so it gave me focus, after rejecting the idea of cutting out tiny words from the map and finding fabric to symbolize many NYC destinations.  The quilt became an exercise in fabric scraps and wonder under.”
"Our Day in Central Park" Challenge Quilt

"Our Day in Central Park" Challenge Quilt

“NY State of Mind”

“Our energy, our style of always being on the go and our unique attitudes make us true New Yorkers. that’s why I love every minute of my “NY State of Mind””

"NY State of Mind" Challenge Quilt

"NY State of Mind" Challenge Quilt

We had a Challenge Quilt.  I will be posting a couple of  entries a day.  At the end of the postings I will create a poll.  Being that this is a combination of in-store and online voting we will combine the two votes to come up with the winner.  The winner get’s a cash prize, all the glory and media interviews!

The quilt needed to have two fabrics (I will post them soon), finished back and front with quilt batting and binding and can’t be more than 24 by 24 inches.   One of the fabrics was a subway map and the other fabric had lots of people on it, hence the NYC connection.  I will also post the explanations from the contestants.

Bookmark Us!

Did I mention about the 2 Pronged Pins?  Fantastic to make sure that your seams are in the right place without having to fidget with the seam allowances.
Quilters Suction Cup that makes it more secure when holding down your rulers so they don’t move while you’re cutting.
Fabric Glue that you use as a temporary adhesive so that you don’t need to use pins to hold down the binding when you sew your binding by hand.

I’ve gotten some emails asking for an update of my original post, so here goes:

Yehudis (my daughter) has decided on the style and then presented me with the sketch assuming I would firgure it out.  She wants a “corset look” from under her bust to below the waist with princess line for the skirt.  We are now up to the point of deciding if we should either put in a bust dart or gather.  I made the muslin and put in the boning so that she could see what it will look like.  I’m not concerned about the skirt because she just wants it very full and simple.  We bought a Vera Wang embroidered winter white silk.  The train is what will make the dress because it is the most interesting part, but I’m very far from that point.

Please share your thoughts!

A few people contacted me and asked how I got the photo on the fabric for the Exposed Breast Cancer Quilt.  Since I do a lot of photo transfers, I use special fabric bubble jet ink and treat the fabric myself.  The actual xrays is fabric that I carried at the time.  I now have another similar one but not the exact same.  As an aside, I now also sell prepared photo transfer fabric from June Tailor by the piece at $3 each.

A little help from G-d, friends, and family– I belong to a quilt group called “Quilters of the night kitchen.”  We challenged ourselves to exchange a baggie of scraps and use them in a quilt.  This was my interpretation.  I love them all and I added the hand holding the last block (on the bottom right) to emphasize how I need everyone for their support.  This quilt is not bound, but is on stretcher bars, it is quilted, however.

Breast Cancer Quilt: The Support Quilt

Breast Cancer Quilt: The Support Quilt

My youngest daughter became engaged this week so I will be busy preparing for her wedding.  She plans on getting married May 13, 2009.  That doesn’t leave me a lot of time to make her dress!  It started with my oldest daughter, she is a phenomenal sewer and wanted to make her own dress but I heard it was bad luck so we made a deal that I would make her’s and she would make mine.

Little did I know that that would snowball into a tradition and I am now on my fifth wedding gown (only they don’t reciprocate and make my dress!).  She bought her material and designed her dress and now I’m going to have to figure out how to make it.  I can sew but I’m not a professional and do not know how to drape sew.  I will try to write about my progress and would happily accept advice.

Bernie Siegel, I Hear You – I read a lot of inspirational books to help me through a very hard time.  Bernie Siegel
inspired me to visualize attacking my cancer cells.  I found the bulls eye fabric and I knew exactly what I would do.  The only thing is that maybe my cancer cells came out a little too cute.

Bernie Siegel Breast Cancer Quilt on Target

Bernie Siegel Breast Cancer Quilt on Target

The challenge, for the previous challenge quilt, was to use the two red fabrics. The theme was “Helping Hands” because the fat quarters were hand stamped by women in Africa and this was a fund-raising project. If you are a QuiltShow member, you can see more challenge quilts online at

When I first saw the title of the challenge it brought to mind the story of the woman on a plane.  She flushed the toilet while still sitting down and needed the help of ground crew to get her out of the toilet.  Such an unlikely story…but the truth. I felt the need to translate it into fabric.  The name of the quilt is “Help! I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up”.  Obviously, she needs a “Helping Hand”.   🙂

Help, I've Fallen and Can't Get Up Quilt

Help, I've Fallen and Can't Get Up Quilt

You Are What You Eat Quilt

You Are What You Eat Quilt

A mix of biology, food and insight.  “Hope everything works itself out!”

We (Sew Materialistic that is) have just added many quilting fabrics.  We have over 700 different types of quilting fabrics online.   Come visit and bring a friend!

Here is the direct link to the latest Quilting Challenge. Please let me know your thoughts and contact me if you would like more information.

Challenge Quilt Fabric

Challenge Quilt Fabric

I discovered that I enjoy doing journal quilts. I never did traditional quilts per se.  My quilts have to have some humor to them or tell a story.  I started joining small challenges just so I could do that.  The formats are usually small and there are very few restrictions.  You are given a challenge fabric and a time limit.  Both those work well for me.  At Sew Materialistic we are also having a challenge, if you would like to know more about it, please email me.

Hi, I’m Malke

I've been a quilter for a couple of decades and I decided to share my quilts, methods, joys and thoughts on quilting with the rest of the blogsphere. Please bookmark my blog by clicking the cute "Add This" button below. Read more on the "About Me" page.

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August 2020
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