teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Meeting Paula Nadelstern And Her Palindromes

Back in mid-January I had the opportunity to meet Paula Nadelstern - she was running a two day Detangling Dangling Angles workshop at my LQS, The City Quilter, where I work in Manhattan and though I wasn't able to take part in the class as I was working in the store that weekend, I did catch up with Paula during our lunch break.

Disappointingly I didn't have my camera with me to take photos of all of The Palindrome Gallery quilts on display at the store but Paula's sent me links to her quilts and fabrics and info about The Palindrome Gallery.

Here's the piece from Paula:

THE PALINDROME GALLERY is composed of eighteen 36” square quilts made by quilters from around the country and me.  My goal is to demonstrate the versatility of this collection by exhibiting a diverse array of simple but stunning quilts made from complex fabric.
I’m trying to fight that “WHAT DO I DO WITH THE FABRIC” dilemma. These quilts look difficult and complicated but should not be intimidating to a person who knows how to look for the seams. I want to promote the idea that you can transform simple quilts into visual spectacles by using charismatic prints.
PALINDROMES: Squares, four-inch squares are pieced in the traditional Amish pattern called Trip Around the World, resulting in a visual palindrome.

 is made of 17 vertical strips of various widths and Palindrome prints. By camouflaging the seams, the viewer sees the whole quilt before the parts; in other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The rhythmic, echo of circular quilting by long armer Linda Leathersich (FL) helps obscure the piecing lines.

Lois Podolny’s (Tucson, AZ) sublime machine quilting is showcased in a whole-cloth, 2-sided quilt with a yard of Totem on the front and Metallica for the backing (Where Do the Butterflies Land).
Vicki Welsh (Richmond, VA) cleverly pieced the same block five different ways and lays out the result in a unique setting (MURDER FOR A JAR OF RED RUM, a palindrome of course).

(You can read more about Murder for a Jar of Red Rum here on Vicki's website and she also speaks about her process. - ChrissieD)

At my request, Helen Frost (Tucson, AZ) made a gorgeous Blooming Nine-Patch, a pattern reintroduced to the quiltworld in 1996 when an eye-catching example was showcased on the cover of her mother’s book, TRADITION WITH A TWIST (by Blanche Young and Darlene Young-Stove.) Helen’s is called BLOOMING NINE-PATCH-NEVER ODD OR EVEN (which is a palindrome)

There’s even a contemporary art-quilt by Beth Carney (Yonkers, NY) called Still Skinny, a title inspired by a design composed of thin, vertical strips cut randomly from a multitude of PALINDROME prints in the same colorway peppered with a gold from Metallica. 

The rest are equally exciting and clever. These quilts are available as a trunk show for quilt shops from January through August 2014; the contact person is cnilpirom@benartex.com
To view all of the quilts in the Palindrome Gallery, click here.
To purchase on line, visit www.equilter.com or www.cottonclub.com

One of the quilts in The Palindrome Gallery is by the store's very own Judy Doenias, 'Not A Scrap Is Wasted'.

I only wish I'd had my camera so I could have shared the quilts with all the detail that I know you love to see - these quilts appear so unbelievably intricate but it's all down to cutting and placing the fabrics, at first glance you think they must be printed panels and then you look closely and see the seams!

Fortunately, the store took some pics which you can see here and there's also a 360-degree pic of the classroom/quilts here.

You can read more about Paula's work here on her website.

This is a textile art quilt I've made using Paula's fabric collections - Woven.  You can see more pics and read about the piece here.

For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D

Follow on Bloglovin

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs.


  1. Amazing quilts Chrissie, and no doubt even more amazing in real life! The Trip Around the World quilt is stunning.

    1. They really are Fiona and I'm so disappointed I didn't have my camera with me :(

  2. Those are amazing! Incredible how fabric choices make so much difference to a design.

  3. Paula's quilts are really something special aren't they? She was here not too long ago and brought some with her. I think my breath actually caught when she held up one or two. A true artist is she.

    1. Oh I'm so pleased you got to see some in the flesh so to speak, they are wonderful aren't they?! :D


I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley