nadelsternYesterday my mom and I went to the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan to see Paula Nadelstern’s exhibition and take her guided tour. We’ve been planning to go to this tour for months. It was unbelievable, I didn’t know it was possible to get this kind of detail and design into a quilt. She’s a New Yorker who’s been quilting for decades and making these kaleidoscope quilts since the 80s.

Photos are not allowed in the museum, so I couldn’t get any personal shots of her work. So this is from the museum’s website, a photo of her piece Kaleidoscope XXXIII: Shards (2007).

But if you’re into this kind of thing, the exhibit is worth seeing before it leaves on September 13th. Photos don’t do these quilts justice anyway; they have to be seen to be believed. And she was wonderful to listen to. She told stories of being a single mom in the Bronx, taking over the kitchen table in a tiny apartment for her quilts. She explained how she made all those complicated centers in her most interesting circle designs. If there were 12 triangles in a circle, she’d sew 2 triangles together and cut off the tips, replacing them with a 1-piece tip. So she would have 6 points instead of 12, easier to match up. And she was funny. And extremely knowledgeable about kaleidoscopes. It was a great tour and a fabulous exhibit.