Paula Nadelstern makes quilts on the same block in the Bronx in New York where she grew up. Her Kaleidoscope quilts merge magic with light, color and motion. Paula's books, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts and Snowflakes & Quilts are available from C&T Publishing. Read more about this author, teacher, quiltmaker and textile designer in this interview from Quiltmaker magazine and on her website, www.paulanadelstern.com.
How did you decide to make quiltmaking a career? What led you in that direction?
I settled into full-time quiltmaking by way of the playground park bench. That's where city moms on hiatus from previous careers hang and out share ideas--like organizing quilt novices into making a raffle quilt for a local cooperative nursery. One good quilt led to another and another. By the time I gave up my place on that bench to a new generation of moms, I had the expertise and repertoire for a comprehensive book on group quilts and was stitching my way toward a new career.
What inspires your work? How do new ideas come to you in quiltmaking?
My goal is to harmoniously integrate the "idea" of a kaleidoscope with the techniques and materials of quiltmaking. Becoming a kaleidoscope aficionado has made me more adaptable and creative, both artistically and intellectually. The notion that there is no absolute, correct, best selection, that my fabric choices today will be different from ones made tomorrow, is very liberating. After all, a breathtaking collision of color in a 'scope will maneuver into something different, something slightly new, during even the instant it takes me to hand it to you.